Half Rude
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Half Rude

The Phenomenon of Rihanna’s Pregnancy Pictures

Why are we so excited about this?

Photo Credit Miles Diggs

Before I dive into the op-ed about the Rihanna pregnancy announcement phenomenon, I want to summarize it in one sentence. A comment below the post of the photographer Miles Diggs who took the pictures and first announced it, read: “More excited about this than my own baby I’m having next month!”

Nothing spells out the sensation of Rihanna better than that comment. People being excited for her more than themselves, huge celebrities reposting her pregnancy pics on their stories like fans, why is this happening? Why, exactly, is Rihanna so universally loved?

Rihanna was always an occurrence to me. An event. I studied her and wrote about her many times. I almost don’t even think about her as a person, more as a movement. A project, a rare experiment, that somehow worked.

Besides being unreasonably beautiful, talented, cool, my interest in her was more tailored. I wondered how is she so loved by absolutely everyone, and how did she manage to achieve so much for someone that doesn’t really have a sunny, agreeable personality? Rihanna is a bad boy. Short-fused. Direct. Honest. Assertive. Dominating. Those traits are not as lovable to the general public, and especially not to talent makers who expect you to nod at their ideas of your art.

Was she too valuable to mess with, was she so profitable that men around her, men on positions “allowed” her to not be agreeable, because she was so valuable (read: profitable)?

Right now, absolutely. Today, we are all aware of her talent, power — she is too valuable. But before we knew the Rihanna of today, when she was just a young, talented up-and-coming singer, trying to make it; was she the same assertive, no-nonsense force of nature, that patriarchy hates? How did she manage to climb her way to world domination and global adoration, by being the total opposite of America’s Sweetheart?

There lies my fascination with Rihanna. She will flip a photographer. Leave a reporter mid-sentence if she doesn’t like the question. She will give you a dirty look if you’re acting a fool. She’ll be called out as Jay-Z’s mistress in countless mediums and instead of explaining herself, she will give you silence and continue with her business, bothered to put your noisiness to ease. You don’t deserve it.

Her aloofness about not having the time or energy to clear the rumor of possibly being a home-wrecker, a man stealing seductress — was my all-time most favorite moment in pop culture and I was a part of it in the ground zero of New York and Los Angeles in the late ’90s! The fact she was so unbothered with possibly upsetting the “minivan majority” and they somehow did not get upset — is the biggest, never decoded phenomenon of this woman.

“Minivan majority,” is a female demographic that reads Fifty Shades of Grey and sides with Jennifer Aniston over Angelina Jolie — and wields huge consumer influence. The term is coined by legendary Lainey Gossip.

Rihanna is the other side of the coin that is Angelina Jolie. Yet one is universally loved to the point we’re more excited about her future child than our own, and the other is adored by some but passionately hated by so many.

How is this explainable in simple logic?

This woman is bulletproof!

I’m very assertive. My fuse is short. I can’t stand most of the fuckery people pull daily. 70% of the people that have met me will tell you I’m rude. I call people out. For not communicating properly. For not texting on time while having their phones in their hands. For assuming things before asking. For being disrespectful.

The list is endless.

Calling people out on their faults for the purpose of wanting to work them out, hence calling it out, won’t solve anything in most cases; what will happen is — you will get labeled rude.

If you haven’t gotten the memo: rude is calling people out for being shitty people. But being a shitty person is not rude!

My no-nonsense character and the way I am did not help me much in life. In fact, it did the opposite than help me, on many occasions. In trying to get the work done, or even having the opportunity; I had to pass countless obstacles in the form of people, who would try to stop me from getting there. And succeeded more times than not.

How does Rihanna do her sorcery? She had to go through so many people deciding things, in order to get where she is now.

Men standing at the bridge of opportunities, jobs, careers you have to pass to get to the next level of the video game called life, often, if not 95% of the time will not let you pass if you are not agreeable, sunny, with a permanent smile cemented on your face.

I didn’t stroke any feathers to pass certain levels. And I never passed them. I’m not agreeable, I don’t play games, I’m intense. And a woman should not be all of those things if you want to pass each level of the video game called life (read: you should definitely be all of those things!).

As I mentioned before, Rihanna is not an American sweetheart type. She’s a punk at heart who has no patience for fuckery of any kind. She’s not trying to be pleasant. She’s painfully herself. The male-dominated society likes to punish women like Rihanna by not granting them access to so many opportunities. Yes, maybe they’ll let you slide some fame, success, wealth — but the total and utter power? World domination? There’s nothing that is more feared in this world than a woman with enormous reach and power.

Her domination with Fenty Beauty didn’t surprise me. People who are called rude are usually the total opposite of rude; those who don’t want to be accountable for their actions like to label them as such. I found many people that are extremely nice on the outside, actually terrible, self-centered people trying to fake their niceness to advance in life.

Many people who are called rude are just people who are honest, and not trying to be liked so hard. They are usually the most empathetic people.

It totally makes sense Rihanna was a person sensitive to the exclusion of the beauty industry; so much so she created a beauty brand with the main premise: inclusiveness. Fenty Beauty is a true champion at its game. Her creativity knows no limits. If she never did anything else in her career or recorded another song, she already did a great deal for the culture.

But what cemented her status of absolute, undeniable power was signing a deal with French luxury giant LVMH, a company that owns the world’s most high-end luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Dior, Fendi, Givenchy, Bulgary, Sephora, and so on; to form FENTY, the first high-end luxury fashion brand that LVMH launched from scratch, since Christian Lacroix.

Rihanna is the first woman to start the original brand for LVMH and the first woman of color to do so. With no artistic limits. No investment. But holding the CEO and Creative Director position. I don’t know how much you know about the business of fashion, but that right there is the success of unexplainable proportions.

The brand was halted due to a “pandemic putting many fashion brands in peril”, as analyzed by Forbes magazine, but take a look at Rihanna’s deal with LVMH.

This is the real gem in the story, and the best showcase of why is Rihanna who she is today, and why is everyone so excited about every single aspect of her life.

Rihanna was a 49.99 % shareholder in the deal. LVMH invested 30 million euros in the deal, and Rihanna, get this, didn’t invest a penny, but — invested “her time”. Rihanna valued her time to be worth 30 million euros in contributions to the deal. Not just lend her name. Not invested money so someone designs something in her name, Rihanna invested 30 million WORTH OF HER TIME. She monetized her time and her reputation to the value of 30 million, she did not throw in any actual cash because SHE IS CASH.

Lainey Gossip explained this phenomenon better than me:

“What I’m excited about is that we don’t often hear the figures laid out like this, particularly where women are concerned. Women’s value is usually measured in feelings, which don’t pay for things. Women don’t often tell us what their value is as measured by a number next to a dollar sign because, of course, we’ve been conditioned to place more value on our feelings which has been a way to keep us away from the f-cking money.

Rihanna has feelings for sure. She’s just made sure to tell us that her feelings are worth something. Lots of things. Lots of money things. Her feelings, her ideas, her WORK is now worth turning her name into a brand new high-end fashion label!”

There hasn’t been a more boss move than this in I don’t know how long. This woman of color did all of that in a luxury market dominated by European men, with complete creative control, without investing a penny.

She did all that by being unapologetically herself, not an agreeable woman who will take direction from rich white men and make money for them. She is as powerful as they are, a powerhouse equal to their own luxury house. Or maybe even more? After all, they needed to invest 30 million of real money, while she had to invest 30 million of her time, reputation & feelings.

And since we’re talking about feelings, I gotta finish with feelings. This is why this woman is God. Remember Drake professing his love for her on the stage at the 2016 VMA’s? And everyone going ga-ga over it? Yet she wasn’t going ga-ga over it? Yes, they got some matching tattoos after it, but she was never really into it.

He kept announcing his love for her everywhere he went. People expected they will start dating any second now, but that never happened. Everyone wondered why is she not hopping on this train, I mean “Drake is so loved, a great decent man, successful, nice…” what is wrong with her?

At that moment, I knew something must be wrong with him. There is a reason why she’s not “returning” the feeling. I just knew it, it has to be something, and he must not be what we all think he is.

And what happened? A few years later it came out, the realization Drake is not so nice and wholesome as everyone thought; having kids with porn stars, fighting with everyone left and right — she knew. Before we all knew.

And A$AP? I met him on two occasions, once at the Coachella Revolve party and once at the Samsung launch after-party in Los Angeles, where he performed. If anyone on this planet matches the magic, realness, and excitement that is Rihanna, that’s A$AP Rocky, in the male form.

All hail, Rihanna. A God of many, many things.

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Miranda Vidak

Miranda Vidak

Making sense of the world, one article at a time. Connoisseur of human folly. Mostly my own. Elsewhere / mirandavidak.com