Yesterday, the Washington Post put out an article detailing the "Summer of the Rihannabes," and it raised a lot of interesting points. For one, it tragically reduced Selena Gomez's music to a poor imitation of my girl RiRi, which is a shame because I was juuust coming around to Selena. However, they had a point — we're seeing pretty much every girl pop star who isn't working their own specific shtick try and get on that Rihanna spot, and it's working for a lot them. Why? Because, as I have suspected for a long time, there is so much we could learn from Rihanna, both as pop stars and as people.
Things Rihanna Can Teach Us All
1) Stop Giving So Many Fucks
Because Rihanna does not give a single one. One of the most constantly amazing things about Rihanna is that she is 100 percent doing her own thing, be that smoking weed, dating Chris Brown, or getting into nasty Twitter fights. Although we might not always agree with her choices, she is one of the few pop stars who unrepentantly does her all the time, and we eat that shit up. She works so hard, producing music and touring and Twittering and Instagramming, if she wants to be naked, hardcore, or just seriously stoned, we kind of just allow it because she's RiRi, and she does what she wants.
2) Make Artsy/Sexy Videos
The whole, "I'm naked and rolling around on top of a model but it's alternative, not slutty" thing is classic Rihanna. If you haven't watched the "We Found Love" video and meditated on that exact point, you've been missing out.
But the amazing thing about it is that it genuinely looks better on her than other people. When watching Selena Gomez in her video for "Come and Get It," she looks beautiful and her clothing is fierce, but the whole thing reeks like the lovechild of the video for RiRi's "Umbrella" and Nicki Minaj's "Starships." The fact is that no one writhes like RiRi, because, in my opinion, no one commits to it as much. Check out Selena's field writhing:
No commitment there. She's just doing choreographed dance moves, whereas RiRi gives it everything. Say what you will about her, but she works face and body hard. Selena is putting herself outside her comfort zone to be aggressively sexual, Rihanna just ... is. So we could all take a page from that sexy book — if you're going to even attempt to writhe, or dance or eye-fuck the camera, don't half do it. Be like RiRi, and get that damn camera pregnant.
This is genuinely Rihanna's biggest coup, her ability to pull in the fans via Twitter, Instagram and interviews. Rihanna is not the girl you might've been best friends with in high school, but the level to which she lets the public in seems to be, in large part, the cause for her success. As much as people throw shade at her nudey Instapics, we sort of love them. Because if I looked like Rihanna, I wouldn't just be posting pictures of my bod from time to time, I'd be showing up on red carpets buck naked and I'd be pelvic thrusting Ryan Seacrest every time he tried to ask me a question.
Also, RiRi is right in there with her fans, in her best and worst moments. She posts pictures posing with blunts, pictures of her in thigh-high heels, videos of twerking with friends, and she leaves us to make judgment calls. She's no Beyoncé, she hasn't cultivated an image to fit a brand, and if she has, it's so subtle we haven't noticed it yet. Which kinda rocks.
Aaaaaaand, lest we forget, Rihanna actually makes some of the best damn pop music on the market these days. RiRi knows how to turn it out, and whatever formula she's using, we've been hitting Pon de Replay since she started out.