Continuing the trend of using her Instagram account to send messages, coded or otherwise, into the world, Rihanna got nothing less than super angry at Daily Mail columnist Liz Jones Tuesday morning for an article the journalist wrote criticizing her for not being a good enough role model to young girls. You say I need a "government health warning"? I'll just call you a "sloppy menopausal mess."
Jones' piece was going to be a hit immediately, due to its catchy headline "Pop's poisonous princess: Glorying in drugs, guns and sleaze, Rihanna's toxic role model for her army of young fans", despite the fact that her argument is old news. In it, Jones accuses Rihanna of wanting to get on the cover of Vogue too badly, exposing too much underboob, "pretending to ram a jewelled microphone into her nether regions" too often and – that old nugget – going back to Chris Brown after he abused her.
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It's fitting that Rihanna chose to respond to Jones on her Instagram, given that Jones' article is adorned with numerous photos from the pop star's feed, only with new captions, featuring almost-pithy scathing remarks written by Jones (as is the Daily Mail way).
The actual body text of the article argues that Rihanna's fans are becoming a "disturbing mimicry of adult sexuality" by trying to emulate her, made even worse by the fact that Rihanna's only in it for the money and she'll do whatever it takes to get it:
"Is it fair that we berate female stars for being bad, when we don’t admonish men in the same way? Yes, it is fair. Because young women are far more impressionable than young men."
Jones also says – point blank – that Rihanna is encouraging young girls to dress provocatively which will get them raped:
"I don’t care if she has the voice of an angel and is self-made, feisty and confident.
All these qualities pale to nothing when we know she went back to her abusive boyfriend, Chris Brown, who pleaded guilty to assaulting her in 2009; that she promotes drug-taking, drinking and the sort of fashion sense on stage that surely invites rape at worst, disrespect at least."
This isn't the first time Jones has devoted her space to calling out women; worrying about role models is basically her trademark. In January, she criticized amateur British jockey Clare Balding for riding horses because it was a mistreatment of the animal, writing that the world doesn't need "more rights for women with bad dress sense" but "animal rights, and human rights in general." Last year, Jones called out TV host Holly Willoughby for posting a photo of herself where she claimed to be make-up free, writing that "We all need help, don’t we? To deny this is to denounce womanhood itself. It is arrogant, over-confident one-upmanship."
Unsurprisingly, Rihanna took issue with Jones' characterization of her life (she's long argued that she's not trying to be a role model for anyone), and used Instagram to post an incredibly unflattering photo of the columnist with a long caption, in which she fact-checked the piece and argued that she'd never painted herself as a role model, something she's done before (emphasis ours, though it's sort of pointless to try to emphasize any of this over the rest):
"LOL!!!! My money got a bad habit of pissing people off!! If you sincerely wanna help little girls more than their own parents do, here's a toxic tip: don't be amateur with your articles, you sound bitter! What's all this about hair and nails and costumes and tattoos?? ....That shit ain't clever!!! That shit ain't journalism!That's a sad sloppy menopausal mess!!! Nobody over here acts like they're perfect! I don't pretend that I'm like you, i just live... My life!! And I don't know why y'all still act so surprised by any of it!! "Role Model" is not a position or title that I have ever campaigned for, so chill wit dat! I got my own fucked up shit to work on, I'll never portray that as perfect, but for right now it's ME!! Call it what ya want!! Toxic was cute, Poisonous Pop Princess had a nice ring to it, just a lil wordy!And P.S. my first American Vogue cover was in 2011...APRIL!!! #ElizabethAnnJones"
In writing her piece in such a purposefully offensive manner, Jones demolished the chance she'd ever convince anyone that Rihanna's actions are having a demonstrable effect on young women. And in her response, Rihanna proved yet again that you shouldn't "phuck" with her, but unfortunately for her, didn't convince anyone that she doesn't care. So for that, I suppose congrats should be sent along to one Ms. #ElizabethAnnJones.