Dame Shirley Bassey is making headlines for admonishing today’s female pop stars. But Bassey’s statement is being misunderstood. (“Dame Shirley Bassey tells pop stars to put some clothes on,” goes a typical headline.) Bassey didn’t say that today’s sexy stars shouldn’t wear revealing outfits; she said they should save it for the stage alone. Not when they’re out at on the town. “In my day it was for the stage only,” Bassey said referring to Rihanna’s mostly naked look at the recent Met Gala, “you didn’t go out looking like that.”
That’s different than saying a performer should never show off her assets. The 78-year-old Bassey — a legendary singer who’s been in show business for 60 years — knows that skimpy outfits are tools of the trade. What Bassey may not fully understand is that in the age of Instagram and 24/7 media, the stage is everywhere. That’s a fact that Rihanna, just like Shakespeare, is well aware of.