I Hated Drake's Speech About Rihanna Because I Hate Public Declarations Of Love

by Candice Jalili

About five million crazy things happened at the MTV Video Music Awards last night. But one of the craziest?

Drake's speech/extremely public declaration of his love for Rihanna when he presented her with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.

Watch it for yourself so we can all be on the same page here (minute 3:23 is an important one):

People are losing their MINDS over this speech.

Whether or not Drake and Rihanna are actually dating, everyone has seemed to want them to fall in love and live happily ever after and, in this moment, he finally admitted it! He gave the people what they wanted! He admitted he's in love with her!

I got to go to the VMAs, and I'm not going to lie... I may or may not have shed a tear during this moment.

I think most of the audience did. It was an intense moment. His love for her was literally palpable in that room.

But shortly after my one tear made its way down my face, I felt... well, awkward.

Not just because I cried like an idiot at the VMAs in a room full of celebrities, but because I realized I HATE public declarations of love.

I felt like I had just watched them make sweet, tender love right there on stage. It was like they were having this deeply intimate, beautiful moment and, for some weird reason, I, a complete stranger, also happened to be there, along with thousands of others.

Oh, and then there were all of the strangers watching at home on their TVs. And now, the other strangers watching it again and again on the internet.

Sure, it was Drake's choice to put himself out there like that. But as a viewer, I couldn't help but feel like I had somehow violated this intimate moment that should've been reserved for just the two of them.

I also have some major issues with public declarations of love in terms of the person the love is being expressed about.

I'm not friends with Rihanna. I don't know what she normally acts like when men publicly profess their undying love to her, but she seemed pretty to react pretty awkwardly, if you ask me.

Like, did you notice him go in for a real kiss at the end of his speech, only to be shut down with a kiss on the cheek?! Riri forced him to settle for that weird thing where he nuzzles her neck while she has her hand around him.

I have so many problems with this.

First of all, SHE DIDN'T EVEN SAY IT BACK. The whole world seems to be going absolutely nuts over the fact that these two are officially "in love," when all that happened was Drake told the world he loved her and she said "Thank you."

Of all the possible awful outcomes of telling someone you love them, the person responding with "thank you" is usually the worst.

Of all the possible outcomes of telling someone you love them, them saying "Thank you" is the worst.

It's what you say to someone when you don't want to hurt their feelings, but you'd rather sip on liquid poison than spend the rest of your life with them.

Rihanna is cool and strong. We know this, I mean, she's Rihanna.

But a lot of us would probably feel awkward in her position, suck it up and just say, "I love you, too" because millions of people are watching, hoping you say it back.

And that's my problem with these public declarations of love.

You're putting the recipient of your love in an unfair position in which they might say something they don't actually mean, simply because they know everyone is watching.

Gotta hand it to Rihanna for keeping it real. She didn't deliver a fake "I love you" just because he said it first. But the fact that he put her in that awkward position where she was expected to say it due to the millions of viewers HOPING she would say it back seems wrong to me.

But, even if we ignore all of the above, here's my BIGGEST problem with what happened last night: Receiving the Video Vanguard Award was supposed to be Rihanna's moment.

It was supposed to be a celebration of her professional triumphs, and Drake was supposed to honor her as an artist. He totally stole that spotlight from her.

Granted, I would be lying if I said he didn't honor her in his speech. He talked about how great she was as an artist, and  about how her authenticity as a person contributed to her greatness. In fact, that was the large majority of his speech.

But then, he made that one comment. He said he was in love with her, and suddenly, the rest of the speech didn't matter.

He knew that was what the world wanted to hear, and that's what they're going to remember about the night Rihanna won the Video Vanguard Award.

It's not going to be about the night she was rewarded for a lifetime of fantastic work. No, it's going to be about the night Drake confirmed he's actually in love with Rihanna.

In her acceptance speech, she did her best to make it about the award:

"My success is not my own. It's my family's. It's my fans'. It's my country's." - @rihanna#VMAs — MTV (@MTV) August 29, 2016


But the damage is done.

In a few years, we'll forget about the fact that Rihanna dedicated her Video Vanguard award to her country and to black women everywhere. Instead, we'll remember it as the night Drake professed his love.