Although we're not going to link to them, a bunch of naked and semi-naked photos allegedly featuring (and photographed by) Rihanna are making their way around the web this afternoon.
First off, let me just say, having examined the pictures, I'm not buying. None of the nude pictures reveal her face (or her tattoos), the physical proportions are off and the pictures that do include her face have it partially shadowed. Furthermore, the decor in the non-nude pictures that look the most like her doesn't match that in the photos without a face, and the layout of the rooms in the two photographs are strikingly different.
That said, what's more striking than the fact that the pictures aren't definitively Rihanna is the timing. For the first time since Chris Brown reportedly beat the shit out of her, Rihanna has been publicly out and about: She made two appearances in New York this week, looking beautiful, poised and anything but miserable. And then: these pictures. It certainly looks to me like someone - perhaps a certain woman beating turdmuffin we all know and hate - is trying to shame her back indoors, away from the cameras and out of the spotlight. I hope it doesn't work. But here's the thing: even if they're not real, some damage has already been done; how is Rihanna supposed to "prove" that she doesn't appear in these snapshots if certain unquestioning and influential bloggers are saying she does?