How do you describe a superstar like Rihanna? “Singer” doesn’t fully encompass how the Barbadian bombshell has ruled the pop charts since her teens. “Designer” doesn’t illustrate how she consistently slays on the red carpet with her boundary smashing sense of style.
Rihanna is not just an entertainer, she is a hurricane of talent, style, and creativity. But her path hasn’t been easy. Her abusive relationship with Chris Brown has been well-documented and picked apart by the media, but even before that, a young Robyn Rihanna Fenty had to cope with the fallout from her mother’s divorce from her crack addict father.
Through it all, Rihanna has never let herself become the victim. After the Chris Brown incident, she got a tattoo of a handgun as a “symbol of strength,” a statement to the world that nobody puts Rihanna in a corner.
Her thick skin is something she’s had since day one. It’s the quality that has guided her through her lowest points and helped her come out on top. Rihanna talks about it in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar:
“This skin has been developing since my first day at school. It didn’t happen after fame; I couldn’t survive fame if I didn’t already have it.”
Rihanna’s tough attitude has played a big role in her success. People follow her every move, not only because she’s talented, but because her fearlessness is exciting to watch. Whether it’s showing up at the 2015 Met Gala in a heart-stoppingly gorgeous yellow coat, or jumping into a crowd of her fans in Paris, Rihanna simply gives no fucks and we love that about her.
But just because you’re tough-as-nails doesn’t mean you can’t be sensitive. For Rihanna, it’s all about knowing the right place and time to express your softer side.
“Yes, I do have a vulnerable side. I think a lot of people have a misperception of me. They only see the tough, defensive, aggressive side. But every woman is vulnerable. They have vulnerability. So of course I’m going to have that side. It’s not a major part of who I am, but it’s definitely there. I just don’t like people to see me cry-I don’t like to let them know when I’m bothered. You know? I just prefer it to be all about business, and then whatever I’m dealing with, let me deal with that alone, because I don’t want it to affect anything in my professional life.” – Rihanna, Interview Magazine
Success isn’t easy. Whether you’re a superstar at Rihanna, or simply trying to get ahead in your career, there will always be critics and haters who want to see you fall. The key to being a badass is not caring what other people think. Just live your life.
Rihanna, Interview Magazine profile by Kanye West
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