In the land of models, movie stars, and pop singing sensations, there’s a philosophy insisting that the skinnier you are, the more likely that you’ll be received favorably by your adoring public. Unfortunately, such is the case with popular songstress Rihanna, whose startling weight loss has wags wildly speculating and gossip rags atwitter. The pop diva herself recently told “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest that part of the weight loss is related to her diet and penchant for working out, but also let it slip that she continues to lose weight despite efforts to gain it back.
Rihanna’s interview with Seacrest also included sound bites about her dissatisfaction with the size of her breasts and butt, which she described as being completely gone. Though she attributed some of her weight issues to the crazy new routine brought on by her latest tour, she admitted that she has no real idea why the pounds continue to drop.
Meanwhile, websites and journals have glorified the singer’s sudden weight loss, completely ignoring the fact that weight reduction such as the kind Rihanna is experiencing – which is most likely due to stress – doesn’t exactly paint her as the picture of health. And these same sources have been heartily criticized for suggesting that rigorous body cleansing in order to lose weight fast doesn’t set a fantastic example for Rihanna’s impressionable fans.
Rihanna insists that her efforts to gain the weight back have included eating ice cream and McDonald’s, all to no avail. In order to balance some of the less healthy foods she ingests, the singer also drinks a large amount of coconut water.
Rihanna, who catapulted to fame with songs like “Umbrella” and “Disturbia”, has found herself the subject of much gossip over the past few years. Originally from Barbados, Robyn Rihanna Fenty moved to the U.S. when she was sixteen to become a star. By 2006, she had achieved her goal. But fame came with a hefty price. The very public 2009 dissolution of her relationship with fellow pop star Chris Brown grew even uglier when Brown was accused of assault. TMZ.com, the infamous celebrity gossip site, fanned the flames when they leaked photos showing the vicious injuries to Rihanna that the public had only previously heard about.
Adding insult to injury, Rihanna and Brown paired up barely three years after their original altercation to record “Birthday Cake” on her newest album. Critics scolded her as setting a bad example for young girls or anyone else who has suffered domestic abuse.
Now the beleaguered singer finds herself at the center of yet another controversy. This time, however, Rihanna seems to be the victim while the press continues to glorify her weight loss even as she expresses her concerns. Rihanna should be celebrated for her attempts to lose weight in a healthy fashion via the Five Factor Diet, which features a healthy caloric intake and regular, non-damaging hours at the gym.
What does the media’s reaction to Rihanna’s weight loss signal to impressionable audiences? By next week, another celebrity snafu will undoubtedly snag the limelight, but until then, the Barbadian beauty will continue to find herself front and center.
Evan Fischer is a freelance writer and part-time student at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, California.