back to top
Music

11 Reasons Bad Gal Rihanna Is Actually A Great Role Model

In praise of a good girl gone bad.

Posted on

11. She has excellent role models.

Angel. #RIPMayaAngelou The first book I read as a teenager, "I know why the caged bird sings". Felt like we knew her

Rihanna@rihannaFollow

Angel. #RIPMayaAngelou The first book I read as a teenager, "I know why the caged bird sings". Felt like we knew her

10:41 AM - 28 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

She made us feel so safe, safe enough to trust her wisdom! Wisdom one can usually only acquire through experience!

Rihanna@rihannaFollow

She made us feel so safe, safe enough to trust her wisdom! Wisdom one can usually only acquire through experience!

10:51 AM - 28 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Happy birthday to the late Josephine Baker! You have and will continue to inspire us women for decades to come!

Rihanna@rihannaFollow

Happy birthday to the late Josephine Baker! You have and will continue to inspire us women for decades to come!

6:19 PM - 03 Jun 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

10. Her signature look is confidence.

When it comes to fashion, Rihanna follows no rules and gives no fucks — she's walked the red carpet in a see-through gown, accepted an award with her hair in a doobie wrap, and strutted the streets in full-body denim. She wears what she wants, when she wants and doesn't care what anyone else has to say about it.

Advertisement

9. She doesn't treat her female peers like rivals.

Is there a pop star more committed to dismantling the bullshit narrative that all successful women are competitors than Rihanna? She has collaborated with Nicki Minaj, Britney Spears, and Shakira, spent dozens of award shows snuggled up to bestie Katy Perry and has openly expressed her admiration for Queen Bey.

8. She's not afraid to take a stand.

instagram.com

7. Her music is the definition of sex-positive.

Months before Fifty Shades Of Grey hit stores, Rih conquered radio with “S&M,” a pro-kink anthem that dares to make rough sex actually sound fun. Her music is judgement-free zone where expressing your sexuality — even the less mainstream elements of it — won't undermine your power or diminish your worth.

6. Her soulmate isn't a man, it's her BFF Melissa Forde.

instagram.com
Advertisement

5. She refuses to be slut-shamed.

Rihanna loves her body. She also loves sex. This shouldn't be controversial but there are plenty of people who'd like to shame her into different choices. When nude photos from her phone leaked and caused an uproar online, Rihanna didn't apologize for posing in private or have her publicist issue a denial. She decided to be a smart aleck on social media instead.

@PinaRihanna that would be... ME when I was skinny!

Rihanna@rihannaFollow

@PinaRihanna that would be... ME when I was skinny!

3:04 PM - 28 Jan 11ReplyRetweetFavorite

Twitter: @rihanna / Via s2smagazine.com

She was similarly unbothered when TLC's Chili and T-Boz accused her of taking the easy route by selling sex. "We sold and became the biggest girl selling group of all time, with our clothes on," T-Boz said. "That says a lot." Rihanna's response? A choice Twitter banner:

Advertisement

3. She’s doesn't shy away from difficult subjects in her music.

View this video on YouTube

youtube.com

Instead of shying away from her own experience with domestic violence or trying to make it palatable, Rihanna has made the messier elements of her personal life central to her art. Every album since 2009's Rated R has featured songs that deal explicitly with the effect and appeal of toxic relationships.

1. She's not perfect and doesn't try to be.

Christopher Polk / Getty Images

Rihanna is beautiful, talented, and extremely successful, but she's also human. She's made mistakes and she's made them publicly. It's part of her appeal — watching someone struggle and find their way is inspiring. Flawed role models are the best kind.