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How Rihanna is Redefining Feminism in Her Own Way

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I woke up this morning to, yet, another risqué photo of Rihanna, this time for Lui magazine. Every time a new photo of my favorite Bajan bombshell, baring all, goes viral I literally receive a wave of phone calls and text messages. From “What are your thoughts?” to “OMG her ass is out” or my least favorite “Bey would never do that.” Before the flood of comments hit my inbox, I decided to share my thoughts publicly.

Let’s be clear Beyoncé and Rihanna are two very different women. It's like comparing MLK to Malcom X or Biggie to Pac. Each individual is different and crusade for a cause differently. Whereas Martin preferred peaceful and nonviolent protests, Malcom was a “by any means necessary” type of guy. Pac was more poetic, while Biggie was a witty lyricist. Nonetheless, all are equally talented and contributed so much to the world.

Though Rihanna may not have openly stated she is a feminist, like Bey has; it’s quite obvious that she is. The definition of feminism is the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social and economic equality to men. What they left out, but I’m sure is implied, is the advocacy of sexual freedom. Rihanna embodies that in more ways than one. She is outspoken, raw, vulgar, uninhibited, confident in her own skin and gives little to no phucks. The self-proclaimed bad gyal makes it clears she is unapologetic about how she chooses to live her life.

 Rihanna graces the cover of Lui, a French magazine.

Rihanna graces the cover of Lui, a French magazine.

Yet, I continue to hear it all. Ri is hoe, she has no standards and the list goes on. The reason why so many women, and men, choose to defame the 26-year-old is because of what society has condition us to believe. According to the unrealistic standards set for women, we are to be seen and not heard. We’re inferior to men. We’re to have little to no sex partners. Hell, at one point, it was even believed sex was only to be enjoyed by men. By adhering to these stupid decrees we’re only increasing the double standards felt by women throughout the country.

As women, we fight for equality every day: at the workplace, at home, at school, etc. Why make it difficult by insulting a woman’s decision to go nude? It’s evident I’m one of those women who is comfortable baring it all, having discussions about sex and I’m not afraid to speak my mind—all reasons why I admire Rihanna. If that’s not your cup of tea, cool.

I’ll leave you all to marinate on this, “We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”- Chimamanda Adichie.

Ladies, wouldn't you want your daughter (or future daughter) to be a free, sexual being? Wouldn't you want her to be confident in her own skin?

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