You would never think there'd be a day where people would call out Rihanna for doing something offensive. She's a queen who can do no wrong. But recently, she has been under fire for being disrespectful toward certain communities of people. She was just "canceled" in late 2020 for using a Hadith in a song in her fashion show, which infuriated the Islamic community. And now, another group of people isn't too happy with her right now.
Not only is it a rare occasion for Rihanna to release new music as of recent, but also for her to post anything on her social media accounts. And when she does frequent her Insta and Twitter, it's always a treat! She's posting photos of her looking flawless as always where she's flexing her outfit or posing for a cute selfie.
One of her latest pictures on the photo app was of her topless wearing nothing but lavender-colored satin shorts from her Fenty lingerie label and some jewelry. It sounds like a perfectly OK pic, right? Nope, actually. People aren't so happy with how she was wearing one of the pieces of jewels. And now, they're coming for her for cultural appropriation.
Rihanna got called out for cultural appropriation.
What seemed to be just another sexy photo of the pop sensation on Instagram, was actually one that came off as really disrespectful. As mentioned, she was wearing nothing but bottoms for clothing and had coordinating jewelry on that consisted of large earrings, two necklaces, a ring, and a wrist cuff bracelet. One of the necklaces she was wearing was a long, dangling one that had the Hindu god Ganesha as a pendant.
If you don't know who Ganesha is, let us give you a brief explanation. Ganesha is an elephant-headed deity in Hinduism who is known to be the "remover of obstacles." They are also seen as the patron of "letters and learning."
This has caused an uproar within the Hindu and Indian community as they feel deeply insulted by the star. The photo currently has more than 9 million likes and over 100,000 comments on Instagram and 12,000 comments on Twitter... and counting. Many users have expressed their anger toward Rihanna's choice of dress with the religious jewel. Someone said in the comments: "Rihanna, wearing an Indian deity is not a fashion, it's not a trend, it's about respecting Indian communities."
Others felt like she was eroticizing the Hindu religion and using it as a style statement. "Can we stop sexualising people's religion for clout," a comment read. "Stop using our culture and beliefs in a disrespectful manner just for fashion/aesthetic purposes," another said. People in the comment section of the photo have said that they're not necessarily upset that she's wearing it, but the fact that she's wearing it in a way that's seen as inappropriate to Hinduism.
Rihanna recently brought attention to the farmers protests in India.
Another reason why the Indian community is especially exasperated by Rihanna's photo is that just a few weeks prior to her posting it, she brought light to the farmers protests going on in India on Twitter. If you didn't know, millions of farmers in the South Asian country are protesting to overturn new agriculture laws that are trying to make the agricultural industry more market-based than state-controlled there — which could lead to major farmer exploitation in the future.
The singer's fame and following played a big part in bringing awareness to the subject, where she simply tweeted an article that CNN wrote about the topic. Along with the story, she said: "why aren’t we talking about this?! #FarmersProtest."
People have pointed out that her giving notice to this matter in India and then dishonoring a religion of the same country was just not OK. "I'm all for bringing attention to India's national issues, but wearing a Ganesha, a god in Hinduism, on your naked body is mad offensive and so disrespectful to our religion," a commenter wrote.