Rihanna for River Island: Oh Na Na

It may be 2013, but the fight for women’s equality still strives on. Never has there been so much conversation stemming from a woman’s right to live a happy, healthy and safe life doing what she wants to do, without the fear or shadow of a man looking over her. Refuge continue to launch hard-hitting campaigns that bring to life domestic violence; the ‘no more page three’ crusade is set to halt the every-day sexualisation of women in such a casual way; Stylist magazine empowers women to be just as successful (and equally paid) as their male counterparts. There really hasn’t been a better time to be a woman: which is why I utterly detest Rihanna and everything she stands for. A popstar is a modern day icon that holds a huge amount of responsibility on their shoulders; young girls (and boys) look up to them and follow their lead in terms of behaviour, dress and aspirations. Rihanna, as one of the world’s most famous faces and successful musical artists, knows this very well but yet decides to use her power completely irresponsibly. If you want your daughters to think it’s ok to wear clothes that show off your nipples and bum crack, that it’s cool to take pictures of yourself naked and post them all over the internet, that it’s perfectly acceptable to forgive a man for beating you black and blue, that S&M should be taken as lightly as a sherbert dib dab and that taking drugs is something to be bragged about, then buy them a Rihanna CD for Christmas. I’ve not made my dislike of this woman a secret over the last couple of years, but now she’s teamed up with one of my favourite high street brands my anger has boiled over. What better way to endorse a celebrity and everything they stand for than by giving them free reign to design and launch their own collection? River Island launch their Rihanna range in store on March 5th and it contains everything I feared it would: skintight lycra, see-through material, bra tops, skirts with huge slits and absolutely no creativity whatsoever. If you could bottle her arrogance and sexualisation and turn it into a core clothing range, then this would be it. Not only is it boring, completely unwearable and about as classy looking as Bianca Butcher’s market stall, but it screams to Rihanna’s young fans that you should be getting as much flesh out as possible in order to be as successful as her. This is not a collection for fashionistas or the press, this is a collection for Rihanna’s fans (and undoubtedly one they’ll rush out to buy in the thousands.) The images below are the most conservative I could find, but even still the collection screams to me: dress with as little clothing as possible and you will get the lads, the success, the money and the booze. I spend an utter fortune with River Island, but this has been a complete disappointment to me; I totally understand why they’ve teamed up with the most controversial woman in pop (hello news coverage, PR buzz, fans twittering and a rush through the cash tills,) but in my opinion playing it safe with someone a little less controversial would have got them a lot more fans. What do you think of this collaboration and the new collection?



  1. Georgia
    February 17, 2013 / 10:22 pm

    I agree with EVERYTHING you've just put in this post! I respect because I honestly wouldn't have the guts to write a post like ths. Fabulous job. Georgia xx

  2. Helen
    February 17, 2013 / 10:32 pm

    I've never been a massive fan of River Island clothing – I find that they cut their clothes to suit certain shapes and that doesn't always encompass me. I think that their collaboration with Rihanna is a huge coup and they've done well to actually get her to commit to something other than be a bad influence on today's youth. I like her music (when I'm drunk and fancy a dance about) but thats as far as it goes really. This collection will be a short lived phenomonon (is that the right spelling?) hopefully will fizzle out as fast as it came into being.

  3. ladybudd
    February 17, 2013 / 10:59 pm

    And once again…the gal that has blatently,bravely,and without hesitation or reservation,completely voiced my thoughts,opinion,disgust and feelings of dismay. And that's putting it mildly.Because I am also a mother of a teenage girl,and to see a gal like Rihanna glorified,idolised,and adored by not only young,impressionable and somewhat still na├»ve girls,but by the media,the corporations,and now a clothing company that caters to the same impressionable young women.Girls(and boys too) that we yearn to raise up,and to instill the morals and values NEEDED in todays society,and to have it undermined continuously by corporate greed on all sides(and both sides of the pond now)is beyond shameful.It is the very hell that we adults do everything in our power to minimise,but often feel helpless and frustrated,and battle it daily to protect our children. Yes,my daughter knows my thoughts on Rihanna,her music,her antics and her moral-less,soul-less behavior,and I am lucky to have raised her with such ingrained values,that she agree's. But I am one of the few lucky ones. And my heart goes out to the parents that have now just had another battle added to their already righteous and necessary war. Thank you LBQ for being a voice for us,for your brave and courageous words,and for bringing one more general to our army of people against the loss of morality and values,and helping us to fight the apathy and greed of those that would continue to destroy a decent society. It is with words like yours that will bring others to our side,and hopefully,with perseverance,we will still stand a chance to someday crush this very real threat and destruction.May Karma smile on you with much sunshine. Namaste' Ladybudd

  4. Just me, Leah
    February 17, 2013 / 11:21 pm

    Well said. I think she's an awful example for young people. I think she's a bit narcissistic, everything about her is focussed on the sexual and she comes across as being totally in love with herself. I don't follow her on Twitter but I see photos of her online and in magazines. Does she post anything other than photos of herself almost naked? I get sex sells and everyone knows she's sexy but does she have to shove it down everyone's throats 24/7? What is she trying to prove? Taking Chris Brown back after what he did to her (and after that God awful tattoo on his neck) just sends out the wrong message, that it's OK if someone beats you up as long as they love you. It makes me want to barf and River Island should be making a huge donation to women's shelters for this bullshit they've pulled. Ugh. xx

  5. DidYouFallFromHeaven?
    February 17, 2013 / 11:25 pm

    Well said!!

  6. Roisin Elizabeth Keats
    February 18, 2013 / 12:56 am

    I agree with everything you've said here – I had an issue of teen vogue I got when I was 13 or 14 and it was at her Pon De Replay stage with long hair and less of sexy and more of a pretty, girly image. I totally fell for her but over the years she's just lost any interest from me, and I hate the idea that any younger cousins take her as a role model, or just young people in general. She's a ridiculous example to put out there and I really dislike it when anybody decides to embrace her – be it a magazine putting her on the cover (I won't buy it, no matter what it is) or a high street brand letting her design a collection. (Again, I won't be buying it).

  7. Katherine
    February 18, 2013 / 8:15 am

    I saw a girl on Friday night on Oxford Street wear nothing but a lycra bodysuit and big heels .. It was really disturbing! Her friend was not much better … bodysuit with a peplum. I don't see this as fashion and I agree with your view on Rihanna for River Island! Thanks for the post! (@Tweetikaz)

  8. Caroline Hirons
    February 18, 2013 / 8:48 am

    Best post you've ever written H. You had me at 'detest'.Amen.

  9. Anonymous
    February 18, 2013 / 9:07 am

    Wow, what a powerful post!I completely understand what you mean – I never liked Rihanna and the fact that she's setting such a bad example for fans – whom many of which are young women – absolutely angers me. When I saw the pictures I was very irritated, not only are they totally unwearable, but as you said, it sends out the mesage that revealing as much skin as possible is the way to get ahead in lifeI've fallen in love with your blog, you have yourself a new follower! :)findingyourinnerbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

  10. Jade Marie
    February 18, 2013 / 9:13 am

    At last someone who agrees with me!! The woman is held as a saint but she's just a train wreck leading young girls to destruction. Can't stand her! Considering what she puts on her body, I can't say I care what she thinks I should put on mine! Eurgh.Jade xxbeadsof-jade.blogspot.co.uk

  11. Hana
    February 18, 2013 / 9:44 am

    I totllay agree the collection is friggin horrendous! I think theyve given themselves a bad image now she is a bad role model and i wont be buying any of her music!!!

  12. Glitterish Allsorts
    February 18, 2013 / 9:46 am

    I want to not be judgemental but I can't abide her anymore. I think she went from feisty and edgy to trashy and irresponsible. And that's even before I mention the C word!

  13. Glitterish Allsorts
    February 18, 2013 / 9:47 am

    I want to not be judgemental but I can't abide her anymore. I think she went from feisty and edgy to trashy and irresponsible. And that's even before I mention the C word!

  14. gleepface
    February 18, 2013 / 9:55 am

    YES TIMES A BILLION. I have ranted on about my erm, extreme dislike of Rihanna a couple of times in the past off my blog. I could not agree with you more. I remember watching her on Jonathan Ross a few years ago, whenever the whole Chris Brown thing happened, saying one of the main reasons she left him was because she owes it to her fans to set a good example and show that this kind of thing is completely unacceptable. Obviously she decided since then to set a very different example indeed. It's like a complete betrayal. Especially considering even I quite respected her back then. I enjoyed her music, too. Now anybody mentions her, or I hear that blasted awful Diamonds song that I have literally never heard one person say they like, and I start bubbling over with rage. I will not be buying anything from this collection on principal. http://www.gleepface.com

  15. britishbeautyblogger
    February 18, 2013 / 10:03 am

    Amazing feature Hayley.. you're spot on in every possible way.

  16. Helen :)
    February 18, 2013 / 10:13 am

    I was literally nodding with agreement whilst reading this! For a while I have been saying that I can't stand Rihanna, not because of her music (which is utter garbage to me) but because of the influence she clearly has on young girls. I often feel that she doesn't understand how her actions have an impact on people that see her as a role model. There are so many better women for girls to look up to yet she seems to have such a focus these days. Also her whole relationship with Chris Brown is just saying that domestic violence is okay which is definitely isn't! Great feature, i'm glad i'm not the only one who feels so strongly against her.

  17. TheOtherSideofCool
    February 18, 2013 / 10:16 am

    I can't stand the woman. Her music is catchy but nothing timeless. But as a person she is just shambolic and shameful and she does not deserve the position she is in. Think of all the good she could do, promoting the cause to end domestic violence, show young girls you can be powerful without being slutty and trashy. But instead she condones sexualisation of everything, violence, drugs, all the worst things in life. All brands and companies should be careful who they endorse and collaborate with. Is a quick buck really worth ruining your image and reputation?Visit The Other Side Of CoolTweet me! @othersideofcool

  18. Lora Day
    February 18, 2013 / 10:30 am

    Absolutely agree with this post! X X X Loralovessequincoats.blogspot.co.uk

  19. Mademoiselle Lala
    February 18, 2013 / 10:35 am

    I like her music, but I have to agree – she is one of the worst examples young people can have nowadays. The collection is utter rubbish and aimed only at teenagers, there's literally nothing for my shape. I won't be rushing to River Island for sure.mademoiselle-lala.com

  20. The Style Rawr
    February 18, 2013 / 10:42 am

    I LOVED her until I went to see her at a secret gig in London & she was 1hr 30mins late, I had to leave after 10 mins to catch the last train home. Why was she late? Who knows, she'd been in London all day. The constant half-naked/weed pictures are too much, she's a beautiful girl but someone needs to censor her tweets.Like most fashionistas, I can't stand this collection, you're right, it's just not wearable. *SIGH*. Oh RiRi.As for the whole Chris Brown thing – don't get me started! I feel for her because she's obviously so blinded by love…I just get the feeling it wont end well.Tara The Style Rawr!xoxo

  21. Sheree Milli
    February 18, 2013 / 11:12 am

    Great post – but I just LOVE her. I went to the show and afterparty and my friend (who walked in the show) said she was smoking weed CONSTANTLY! LOL. She's hardly a role model but I love her music and style. It's a bit of fun!XX

  22. Lauren Chadwick
    February 18, 2013 / 1:52 pm

    What a lovely amazing blog post! xlookinglikeamillion.blogspot.co.uk

  23. @distract_me
    February 18, 2013 / 6:37 pm

    Agreed, but it doesn't just stop at Rhianna. She's representative of a whole culture where women have to be sexy to sell their music, and where it's acceptable for 12 year old girls to dress like adults. I could go on… Liz xxdistractmenowplease.blogspot.com

  24. Shell Senseless
    February 18, 2013 / 8:42 pm

    I very much agree with this- well said x

  25. Amy McCann
    February 18, 2013 / 8:47 pm

    I've never been a massive fan of hers but seeing this collection has just ruined any liking I had for her to be honest. Not only is every single item of clothing probably the most hideous thing I've ever seen. It is unnecessarily revealing and like you say when she knows young people see her as a role model its a disgrace!! You have probably chosen three of the nicest and least revealing items and they're still bad.

  26. Zoe Dubs
    February 18, 2013 / 9:07 pm

    I completely agree – shes glamourising self destruction and being rewarded for being irresponsible, disgrace.Great, honest post H!Love Zoe xwww.facevaluebeautyblog.co.uk

  27. Raspberrykiss
    February 18, 2013 / 11:50 pm

    I 110% agree with everything you said. I can't believe the way she acts and the fact that she's been given her own collection is ridiculous, she might as well just tell her fans to be half naked door mats! Fab post! xo

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