The name Rihanna has been synonymous with the word, "badass" for quite some time now. Maybe it isn't Webster official yet, but it will be, just you wait. But, it's not just because she doesn't take anyone's crap and has become a music mogul by the age of 27 that she's so cool. (Though, let's be real, that's a huge part of it.) Also take into consideration that her badassery also has to do with the fact that a healthy amount of Rihanna's anthems also double as empowering statements for women. Really catchy, mood lifting, universally loved empowering statements, mind you.
Sure, some of her songs may not seem overtly inspirational on the surface. And I don't think that's what they're meant to be, either. They're just more about her doing her thing, being true to herself and her wants and needs, and doing so completely unapologetically. And there's encouragement for listeners to do the same, which is always an added bonus. So really, anytime you listen to Bad Gal Ri Ri, and subsequently spread a girl power message via an off-key singalong, you're doing yourself and your fellow women of the world a huge favor.
Here are nine Rihanna lyrics that are actually really empowering for women:
1. "Dem Haters"
They keep evil thoughts in their hearts (what you don't know)/You can't let them knock your hustle/Not letting them know how much you struggle
The title of the song is pretty self-explanatory, but I think that reiterating the message is important: There are always going to be naysayers, but the important thing is to not listen to unwarranted and unhelpful criticisms, because you are getting to where you want to be in your own time and in your own way.
2. "Breakin' Dishes"
I'm kicking ass, I'm taking names/I'm on a flame, don't come home babe
You know, it's important to assert yourself every once in awhile.
3. "Good Girl Gone Bad"
You better learn how to treat us right/'Cause once a good girl goes bad/We die forever
Demanding deserved respect was never, ever a bad thing. Ever.
4. "Cold Case Love"
Release me now cause I did my time/Of this cold case love/My heart's no longer cold and confined/I've had enough
Knowing when enough is enough and cutting out negativity in your life, whether it is a romantic or not, is not only incredibly brave, but good for the soul.
They can say whatever/I'ma do whatever/No pain is forever/Yup, you know thisTougher than a lion/Ain't no need in tryin'/I live where the sky ends/Yup, you know this
This is the figurative way of flexing your muscles.
6. "Rockstar 101"
Rocking this skirt/Rocking this club/Got my middle finger up/I don't really give a f*ck
This song could be renamed: Confidence.
7. "Cheers (Drink To That)"
Life's too short to be sittin' round miserable/People gon' talk whether you doing bad or good, yeah
The message here is to live for yourself. Don't live to please.
'Cause I may be bad/But I'm perfectly good at it/Sex in the air/I don't care/I love the smell of it
It's OK to be sexual and proud of it.
9. "Winning Women"
Gonna win it no limit, strong women we are
My new mantra, tbh.
So, if you want to give a feminist boost to your day, give Rihanna's discography a listen... Or two.
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