Why Did So Many Female Artists Have to Dodge Unwanted Kisses at the VMAs?

I'm shipping #Aubrih too, but I'm still creeped out.

An awkward moment at the VMAs
(Image credit: Getty Images)

On Sunday night, I definitely shrieked when Drake walked up onstage at the VMAs and then proceeded to deliver the most heartfelt speech (opens in new tab) about Rihanna. It was damn cute. And I continued shrieking when he went in for a kiss and was skillfully dodged by Rih. You know the moment I'm talking about.

Rihanna dodges Drakes attempt to kiss her

Exhibit #1: Unrequited love.

(Image credit: Giphy)

Part of me wanted it to happened—because, wow, cinema—but then more photos surfaced that indicated it was a nightlong goal of Drake's (opens in new tab) to plant one on RiRi. Okay, sure, can't knock a guy for trying. But, like, can't you?

Lest we forget, earlier in the night, Britney Spears returned to her rightful throne (opens in new tab) (the VMAs stage) for a performance with G-Eazy. He also leaned in for a kiss.

G-Eazy leans in to kiss Britney Spears.

No thank you.

(Image credit: Giphy)

And now I'm left just wondering why? Why can't the stage be a safe space for female performers to ooze sex appeal without being reduced to a sexual object by a guy's advances?

Rihanna's discomfort in that moment was palpable and that's totally unfair. She *owned* the VMAs stage on Sunday night and won the most prestigious award of the evening, and yet we're mainly talking about Drake's unrequited love. Sexual tension on stage is a entertaining device—sure—but when the female performer is not game, I'm no longer on board.

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Rosa Heyman
Rosa Heyman

As Cosmopolitan’s deputy editor, Rosa Heyman oversees a team of whip-smart editors and hilarious writers who bring you some of the best investigations on the internet, from dissecting the latest Kardashian drama to uncovering the link between white supremacy and misogyny. She currently manages the news and social teams and develops the strategy for how the brand best distributes content. You can usually find Rosa glued to her phone workshopping a cheeky caption for Cosmo’s Instagram account.