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Over the past few years, Rihanna has made it very clear that she’s not a role model and has no interest in being a role model. The twenty-five-year-old just wants to live her life the way she wants to live it, and if her Instagram account, tagged as “BadGirlRiRi”, is any indication, the way she wants to live it is fast and with plenty of envelope pushing.
From pictures of naked Barbies behaving like strippers to stories of Chris Brown licking icing off of her body to blanket endorsements of marijuana to random shots of the word fuck, her account is decidedly “R” rated and never was that more clear than yesterday when she sent out a picture of her new Prada boots that just so happened to be taken from an angle that allowed fans to see her in a thong.
You can take a look at the shot in question below, which is obviously NSFW…
Not surprisingly, reaction to the above picture has been fiercely divided between those who like Rihanna’s sexually forward and aggressive ways and those who think she’s a woman apt to make horrible decisions. The question is why. How come someone like Lady Gaga can also perform in a thong and not receive even a slighter of the negativity? Like most things involving Rihanna, I think the answer traces back to the horrendous domestic violence incident.
As a society, we tend to like our musicians larger than life. We tend to like a little hotel trashing and even some racy photographs. Unfortunately, when that picture of Rihanna’s face post-punch circulated, it humanized her in a way Madonna or Lady Gaga has never been. It humanized her in the same way Britney Spears shaving her head did. Now, whenever Spears acts unconventionally, we collectively worry about what might happen, and the same idea applies to Rihanna. We worry about her dating Brown and worry about her living life in the fast lane because we saw the clear aftereffects.