Rihanna Has Been Accused Of Cultural Appropriation Again
A couple of days ago Rihanna posted a sexy tittay Instagram pic to show off her new Savage X Fenty satin boxers. You may be thinking, “Rihanna being sexy on the ‘gram? And this is news… why?” Well, RiRi was wearing a necklace featuring the Hindu god Ganesha. And commenters have called her out for cultural appropriation and being “mad disrespectful.” Ganesha is one of the most worshipped Hindu deities. He has the head of an elephant and traditionally represents success and wisdom. Clearly, wisdom was not the thing running through Rihanna’s head when she chose to pose topless with the pendant.
Here’s the post, which is still up:
And here are some of the comments (via the Guardian):
“You’re wearing a deity necklace and a Murthi [image of a deity] of my culture that’s already been culturally appropriated enough,” wrote one commenter. “How is this OK when a person has more than enough resources to at least find out the meaning and significance of the chains and the pendant around their neck?”
“I hope she returns the necklace because she clearly doesn’t know how to wear it because it’s mad disrespectful.”
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed also spoke out (via Toronto Sun):
“Lord Ganesha is highly revered in Hinduism and is meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines, not to be used as a fashion statement to push a sexy lingerie line or become a tool for sexy fashion,” he told WENN.
“The inappropriate usage of sacred Hindu deities or concepts or symbols or icons for commercial or other agenda is not OK as it hurts the devotees… It is deeply offensive to trivialize Lord Ganesha in such a manner.”
Commenters discussed the reasoning behind Rihanna’s decision. Was she only wearing the necklace cuz the lavender pendant matched her lavender boxers (which are very cute, btw)? Or was it some kind of statement after angering the Indian government by speaking out about the farmers’ protests? The answer is unknown.
This isn’t the first time Rihanna has been called out for cultural appropriation, specifically orientalism. Just last fall she apologized after being called out for including a song that sampled Islamic text in her Savage X Fenty fashion show.
Based on a lazy Google search, it seems that Ganesha isn’t the Hindu God to pray to if RiRi’s looking for forgiveness. Nope, forgiveness and compassion are Lord Vishnu’s thing. So she should start with him!