In Defense Of Rihanna, Katy Perry And More Of The Biggest Grammy Nudity Advisory Offenders

Rihanna rocking killer under curvature of the breast in Armani at the 2012 Grammys.
Photo: Getty

Here at MTV Style, we subscribe to the to each her own, flaunt what you’ve got school of thought when it comes to style choices. Not so fond of said philosophy, however, is CBS, the network that will be broadcasting the 55th Annual Grammy Awards live on the east coast this Sunday. In an email with the subject line “55th GRAMMYS: Standard and Practice Wardrobe Advisory” that has been making the rounds on the internet today (first reported via Deadline), someone, who we’re going to venture to guess is probably a dude, laid out some ground rules affecting what our favorite ladies can wear on Sunday night. The email reminds us of a puritanical high school dress code, with the assertion that artists and their stylists, and we quote, “please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered,” among other things being, frankly, pretty hilarious. To elaborate on what they mean by “adequately,” the memo goes on to say that “bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic.” Does anyone else feel like they’re listening to their principal give a lecture before a high school dance? *Cue Peanuts gang Wah-Wah grownup voice* Also “problematic” are “thong type costumes” and the “bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks and buttock crack.” Once you’re done chuckling at the phrase “buttock crack,” stand beside us in solidarity for side-boob. Speaking of, what exactly are “female breast nipples,” as in, “Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could possibly expose female breast nipples.” I mean, duh, we know, but like, do females have other kinds of nipples that we’re not aware of (also shudder at the word “females”)? Are male breast nipples allowed? Heaven forbid the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Sisqo can’t let their shirtless freak flags fly (ok so maybe the dudes being shirtless trend is a little over). And one more thing, when CBS says “Please be sure the genital region is adequately covered so that there is no visible “puffy” bare skin exposure,” what exactly is that? That’s one of those things where we think we get it but aren’t totally sure and we just have to shake our heads. We’re tempted to stand up on our soap box with a megaphone and start yelling now. Leave our “female breast nipples” alone! Rihanna, Katy Perry, don’t lose sight of who you are. Viva side-boob!

Oh wait ONE more egregious affront to freedom that we just have to mention: “The Network requests that any organized cause visibly spelled out on talent’s wardrobe be avoided. This would include lapel pins or any other form of accessory,” which means, no pink breast cancer ribbons, red AIDS ribbons, or American flags on your lapel? Is this all just a set up to get the rebels of the music industry to #OccupyGrammys? It’s not like we think anyone is going to take this sitting down (or butt cheeks covered, as it were), but honestly, what does THE MAN want, a pop star uprising? In memory of sartorial freedom from tyranny on the Grammy red carpet, we’ve put together some of the most surprisingly (and not so surprisingly) memo-violating looks from the past three years after the jump. Look at them while listening to Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You” on repeat.
fergie: February 12, 2012


Rihanna at the Grammys in 2012 (left) and 2011 (right).
Photo: Getty

If we had to pick the person that CBS is probably the most worried about on this year’s carpet, we would wager that it’s Rihanna. We’re going to be seeing a lot of her on Grammy night, as she’s both nominated, for Best Pop Solo Performance, and performing at the ceremony. The singer is a big fan of the deep plunge neckline and to-the-crack- backless look, illustrated by the Giorgio Armani gown that she wore on the carpet last year, both of which violate the memo. But you know what? This is a cut that looks REALLY AMAZING on Rihanna. She should be able to wear what she likes! More, even, than that, Rihanna is a known rebel, smoking illegal things on Instagram (and wearing them printed all over her clothes) and favoring completely sheer dresses, so it’s not like we think she’s going to listen to them anyway. However, Rihanna has also been known to play it relatively safe, as she did at the 2011 Grammys in a white Jean Paul Gaultier gown featuring alternating sheer and opaque panels. You can’t actually see anything through the dress, but we have a feeling it still might not pass the CBS fun police.

Rihanna performing at the Grammys in 2011.
Photo: Getty

Rihanna’s 2011 performance look illustrates one of the more baffling of the clauses in the memo. Thong like, maybe, but any kind of leotard is likely going to expose the “bare fleshy under curves of the buttocks.” These are performers, and there is dancing expected of them. Leotards, man! Come on. While we suspect that Rihanna may be performing a ballad at this year’s awards, she’s certainly not one to shy away from a revealing performance look. Could her big part in this year’s ceremony be part of why this letter was sent out? We’re not counting that out.


Katy Perry and Russell Brand in 2010.
Photo: Getty

Katy Perry is also nominated in the Best Pop Solo Performance category, and, although she tends to keep it a little more covered up than Rihanna, she’s no stranger to the side-boob. In 2010, Katy wore a sheer, beige, backless Zac Posen dress that certainly brought with it the “problematic” “bare sides or under curvature of the breasts.” We think she looks amazing, though, and the glimpse of skin at the sides of the gown are a sneaky little surprise that adds a lot to the whole look. The real reason we wanted you to see this photo, though, is because Russell brand is THIS close to showing off some MALE BREAST NIPPLES. Is that allowed? It shouldn’t be.


Lady Gaga performing in 2010.
Photo: Getty

Gaga isn’t confirmed to attend this year’s Grammys, but her performance look from 2010 may start to illustrate that pesky “puffy skin” issue. Her high cut body suit might just be violating that part of the memo? But then again, we’re still not totally sure what “puffy skin” is even describing. Her look definitely qualifies as being thong like, though, and those are certainly some buttocks we see. Really though, just let Gaga live, CBS. She’s an artist! Butt cheeks in the name of art!


Pink performing in 2010.
Photo: Getty

The bodysuit is such a staple of both pop performance and red carpet fashion that it deserves its own defense against this memo. Favored in its sheer (or matching the wearer’s skin tone) and bejeweled iteration, it’s become the thing to look out for at every awards show. One of the most famously shocking bodysuits was worn by none other than P!nk at the 2010 Grammy awards. Also consisting of a white harness, the look was about as nearly naked as they come, so much so that there might even be some “puffy skin” in there. Basically, if this look did not an FCC fine make, we don’t know what CBS is freaking out about. Also do they not have dress rehearsals for Grammys?

How do you think your favorite Grammy nominees, performers, and presenters are going to react to the memo? Will they play it safe or play the rebel?


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