Rihanna has officially hit that late 20-something puberty and everyone is so unbothered that it creates cause for question. On July 23, she graced the red carpet for her new movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets premier in Paris. As always, she stunned with her typical slay and serve technique sporting a fringed pink Prada set drenched in feathers and jewels.
But what stood out more than her amazing ensemble was the amount of curve that was in it. After those photos hit the Internet, there was no denying that the pop singers appearance has indeed changed. But to disbelief, RiRi’s weight gain was overall deemed equally as attractive as her familiar toned body, if not more so.
It is commonly expected for celebrities to face a great deal of negative and presumptuous commentary upon drastic changes to their appearance. After the tabloids have their field day, the celebrity is either captured in a rehab center recovering from a drug problem or on the contrary, hitting the gym with a trainer in attempts to make all things right in the eyes of the media. A good example of this necessity to “keep up appearances” is Kim Kardashian-West.
Back in 2012 while pregnant with North, Kim gained nearly 60 lbs. Known for her body and admired world wide for inspiring a new wave of socially desirable beauty trends, Kim’s appearance was non-stop goals. It seemed like the only way women were to be considered beautiful was to achieve her look including the big butt, tiny waist, long hair, and extreme highlighting and contouring paired with wide feathered eyes. Nevertheless, the second Kim gained a drop of weight she was ridiculed and chastised relentlessly and because of her “ideal beauty” reputation; Kim was forced to immediately snap back to her original appearance despite entering her newest role as a first time mom.
Oddly, this was not the case with Rihanna. In fact, she has taken the total opposite approach by remaining consistent in her unapologetic swagger. That is not to say that there has not been shade thrown her way. Of course she received backlash on the subject including speculation of pregnancy from fans. Twitter became a playground for criticism and concern and a certain @jaystar954 tweeted “So how much more weight can Rihanna gain before we say Rihanna gained to much weight?” (SplashNews, 2017) Clearly nothing short of a representation on how brainwashed individuals can be by social norms.
Despite a few disapproving tweets however; Rihanna still has yet to be criticized by the media. One theory is simply because she made her claim to fame early on as just an entertainer with a unique style. She started brand building and trend setting as the “Good girl gone bad”. The girl that went from being sweet and shy to bold and “Unapologetic” making her one of the most genuine and down to earth entertainers of our time. Her appeal is to her personality not her looks ultimately generating a sense of acceptance no matter what she does. One source stated, “The singer can balloon-up or shrink down to whatever size she wants and she would still be one of the sexiest stars out there. Her allure comes from the fact that she is very confident in her skin, something young girls should emulate.” (Heightline Celebrities, 2017)
Another theory is in light of the body positivity movement. We are slowly but surely trying to move towards a society where body shaming is no longer acceptable. Every day advertisements, television shows, and celebrities are pushing the fact that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes in hopes to teach people how to not only embrace themselves, but others as well (if only that same concept could be universally accepted when it comes down to race but nevertheless…).
No matter what the reason is, there is something great to be taken away from Rihanna and her new image. We all can stand to learn through Rihanna how to love ourselves as is even through change. You can either take yourself as you are or love yourself for who you are not because it doesn’t matter how you love yourself so long as you do. Thick Gyal RiRi is trending, beautiful, and even inspirational because beauty is beauty inside and out. There is an unquestionable tolerance of the positivity behind being real, being natural, and being in love with who you are first.
Written By: Raven Noelle