As one of the most visible women on the planet, Rihanna deals with criticism from all angles. Her musical output, the clothes she wears, and who she hangs out with are all fodder for discussion, even if she's just trying to enjoy a casual night out to dinner.
Lately, that has included her weight. A since-deleted post at Barstool titled "Is Rihanna Going to Make Being Fat the Hot New Trend?" took aim at what it claimed was some recent weight gain from the pop star, and the post was so bad it forced a statement from the site's founder and led to the suspension of the post's author.
Rihanna doesn't seem too fazed, however, and she took a break from owning the NBA Finals to lean into the critique by posting a hilarious Gucci Mane meme on her Instagram page.
A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on Jun 5, 2017 at 11:02am PDT
The pop star has always been comfortable living her life and shrugging off criticism from detractors, and this situation is no different. Rihanna doesn't have to remain silent in the face of trash talk from the supermarket store-brand version of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and using Gucci Mane as a comparison also highlights some of the inherent sexism in this situation.
As a female pop star, Rihanna is judged by standards of beauty other artists are not susceptible to, and her appearance is wildly over-scrutinized. It's a battle she and other women have been fighting for years.
We all have our own standards for beauty, but that doesn't mean we have to pass those on or force them on others. Sharing the before and after picture of Gucci is a much shorter way of making that statement for Rihanna, and it sends a powerful message about body image. Never let anyone tell you how you're supposed to feel about the way you look.