Rihanna showed women what it means to Shine Bright Like a Diamond in ways Super Bowl 2023 may not realize. What football fans and Rihanna fans alike saw when witnessed what we came for was an image of collective support for pregnant women, especially pregnant black women. According to the CDC, black women have a higher maternal mortality rate than other groups, up to three times higher.
The message Rihanna sent was that pregnant is power. If we are not supporting our pregnant women and new mothers, we'd better get to work work work work work. Birth rates all over the world are dropping because women don't feel they are supported by society in bringing children into the world. The average time for paid maternity leave in the United States of America is only eight weeks, which to a new mother feels like fourfiveseconds, and that time is not mandated by law.
Rihanna unapologetically danced in a way that allowed her body and her baby to feel the gentle sway of the music, while the dancers surrounded her in support, in celebration, and in fierce love and protection for her and her baby. That sweet child was not aware of the cheering of thousands of people, of the elevation above the crowds, or even the dancers who gave everything they had while Rihanna brought the stadium alive with her music. What that baby did experience was all the feel-good chemicals, coursing through Mama's body and the soothing sound of her voice as she rocked her baby back and forth during the butterfly dance. All pregnant women should feel this level of support from society.
Rihanna's "special guest" reminded us of how incredible women are. She inspired millions with her phenomenal songs while growing a life inside of her. Her voice soothed her baby while bringing thousands of fans to their feet. She reminded us of a woman's goddess-like ability to grow, and nurture life. Let's let the legacy we pass to our babies be an umbrella of love, support, and safety so mothers and their children don't have to find love in a hopeless place.