Pop stars have a history of tackling their tabloid headlines in music videos and now Rihanna is having some fun with the media in her “S&M” clip. It’s a colorful romp through the singer’s sexed-up public persona, complete with an appearance by Perez Hilton and plenty of stereotypical-looking reporter types.
The video was shot by Melina Matsoukas, who also directed Rihanna’s equally colorful clip for “Rude Boy.” The video opens with Rihanna being dragged kicking and screaming to a press conference, where she is promptly covered with plastic wrap. She wears a dress with headlines written all over it while cooing, “It feels so good being bad.” The reporters all take notes while wearing S&M ball gags.
The press conference scene then cuts to a party scene where Rihanna dons a “Censored” tube top. Then we see the singer sporting a cream-colored latex gown, walking with gossip blogger Perez Hilton on a leash, wearing, you guessed it, another ball gag. There are more bondage references all the way through the video.
Soon Rihanna, again wearing latex, sits in a room watching the press get tortured with whips. Dominatrix Rihanna looks on before we see the singer on a mattress, all tied up, as she rolls around in colorful attire. Rihanna then channels a Playboy bunny while prancing around as projected images of headlines hitting on topics such as rumors of “daddy” issues and her Illuminati ties flash against her body.
Rihanna then appears in a newsroom as reporters take photos from all around her. She seems unfazed by them as she stares seductively into the camera lying atop a desk. As if that weren’t sexy enough, she goes on to eat bananas, strawberries and bejeweled ice cream. The video closes on a shot of Rihanna covered in kitschy Post-its as the reporters move away from the exhausted singer.