Just as every square is a rectangle but not every rectangle a square, sometimes women feel fine about their bodies without ever having to learn to embrace them. You wouldn’t know this after reading Rihanna’s media coverage of late, which seems determined to position her as some kind of body positivity icon, simply for existing while having the body she has.
The latest example comes to us from an interview with British Vogue, snippets of which were released on Wednesday. Rihanna’s on the cover of the September issue, making her the first black woman ever to appear on the cover of the mag’s biggest issue of the year, which…isn’t really a cause for celebration considering what year it is…but we digress.
When asked why women like her so much, Rihanna said, “You’re asking the wrong person… I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m ‘thicc’ now.” She continued: “[Having a butt] comes with a price. You want to have a butt, then you have a gut.” Butt? Gut! Butt? Gut! Simple as that. That’s the first (and only) rule of butts and guts!
Rihanna’s rather straightforward explanation about how body fat works is already being spun into some kind of aspirational, self-acceptance gold. People aggregated the quote on Wednesday calling Rihanna “the body hero we need,” saying that she “fully embraces her curves.” InStyle was similar quick to christen her “a hero” on account of her “curves, stretch marks, an occasionally [unshaven] legs.” Rihanna got spun into a similar media narrative after saying similar things about her body in American Vogue’s June issue, which says so much more about how we feel about her body than she does. Why do we keep assuming that it was hard for her to learn to love her body or that she even had to learn to love it in the first place?