Rihanna is sexy. There’s no doubt about it. The superstar has been titled the "Sexiest Woman Alive" by Esquire and called “the undisputed champion of carnal pop” and “the essence of f***.” Her sultry hazel eyes, leggy frame and brash sexuality define a modern sex symbol. Whether she’s dripping in red carpet couture, casual in a pair of ripped jeans or wearing nothing at all, she’s comfortable in her skin. Women want to be her and men want to be with her.
But wait...now the world is calling her something different: fat. Yes, you read that right. RIHANNA IS FAT. This week, the singer celebrated Crop Over festival in her native Barbados and debuted a new, curvy figure underneath a sparkly costume and headdress.
The internets went crazy, with many haters commenting on her weight gain in the eye-popping ensemble. “Bruh is rihanna getting fat lol,” shared a tweeter, while another added: “Rihanna look fat but imma let you guys say differently." Another tweeter thought this comparison was apt: “everyone wants to call Gaga fat but as soon as Rihanna steps out looking like a fridge in drag its all good.”
First off, no. She's still all muscle and perfect curves. She gained what -- two pounds? But secondly, I see a gorgeous, 27-year-old woman loving life and embracing her body in an unprecedented way for celebrity culture. In a world of Instagram filters, Photoshopped selfies and celebrities (and normal folks) going under the knife to mutilate themselves to create freakish, Frankenstein-looking bodies, we’ve forgotten what natural beauty looks like.
Remember what bodies look like before waist trainers smushed our organs to create a painful, hourglass silhouette or what noses look like without being beat and contoured to death? Nowadays, a celebrity with real breasts and a real butt is like a unicorn, some mythical creature that exists only in our imaginations.
In a recent episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim Kardashian admits to her younger sisters (because the 17-year-old Kylie has got lip fillers) that she never leaves the house without wearing Spanx. Think about it: A woman who has it all—money, fame, a gorgeous family and a body that “breaks the Internet”—feels so uncomfortable that she can’t leave the house without wearing a glorified girdle EVERY DAY. It’s incredibly sad. Even Kim Kardashian, a woman who has helped usher in Hollywood’s current beauty standards, can’t meet them herself.
Rihanna, on the other hand, is doing her. She’s smiling, dancing and celebrating life. Instead of counting carbs, she has a drink in her hand. You don’t like it? Shut up and watch her grinding on a float. She’s flooded her Instagram with photos. In typical fashion, she’s flipping the bird and living life on her terms. The superstar impacts culture with every selfie, song lyric and social media post. Whether she’s conscious of it or not, she can change the way women are viewed—and see ourselves. Personally, I’d rather look like Rihanna right now than a mutant who ran amok in a plastic surgery office. but that’s just me. Shehas already influenced the world as a sex symbol; now we hope that her message of self-love and body happiness does too.