For this shoot, I was inspired by the one and only Rihanna. So instead of the usual post, I reached out to Kelso Lee Kennedy to talk about the relevancy of our favorite bad gal. Kelso first popped up in Masc4FemBitch and the commentary is A1. So here’s some even more insightful look into Rihanna:
“There’s no debate that Rihanna makes everything she does look effortless and completely badass. Whether it’s an iconic mixing of designers or drinking wine while wearing a Vetement’s sweatshirt, Bad Gal Riri is one of the most relatable pop stars out there. The reason why her fans, the RiRi Navy, are so loyal to her is because although music mogul Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty is the image of millennial opulence she remains herself. Rihanna may not be one of the greatest vocalist, but her rawness is what is so appealing in an industry so filled with reproduction. She remains genuine calling out fuckboys and making continuous bops.
“As an island gal Rihanna still remains a carefree spirit. Some fan favorites moments, like wearing Swarovski crystals on her breast or her constant toying with Drake’s emotions, are great because her radiant personality is so authentic. This likeability is reflected in her craft. Rihanna’s music is the essence of pop music. With fourteen number ones under her belt, the Barbadian singer is currently creeping up behind Mariah Carey who holds the number one spot. Her unique voice and sound appeals to the masses, but it is not all she’s good at. The multifaceted superstar’s partnership with Puma has placed the company back into the mainstream, and her countless editorials and covers have plastered black beauty in a white industry.
“Her unapologetic charisma or “bad gal” attitude is what’s so admired by her fans. As a black woman Rihanna has many achievements and has shattered glass ceilings without even breaking a sweat. Her flawless approach to living is what is what’s most associated with Rihanna. She serves as a beacon of hope for those hoping to make it in an industry, controlled by suits that just see artists as money bags, without losing themselves. Rihanna’s Bitch Better Have My Money music video, which is based on her accountant’s misuse of her money, can attest to that.
“Aspiring to be like Rihanna is not about drinking to that, or pouring it up or even about shining bright like a diamond. Aspiring to be like Rihanna is mostly about staying true to your Unapologetic self, even if it’s Rated R and putting in all the work, work, work, work, work, work, needed to make it big. She also shows us that once everything is done you can get Loud and remain professional. The Bad Gal attitude is about not worrying about the critique of others, no matter your identity, and just being who you wanna be.”
I love and agree with everything that Kelso said and how he said it so poignantly. To close, I figured I’d highlight the inspired look – which is different from what I’m used to: American Apparel tank and slim slacks (redone by yours truly), FUCK sweatshirt, Topman cape, custom Nike Airmax (Rihanna isn’t the only one who can design shoes), topped off with a Chicago Bull’s snapback. Very different look, but I’m sure Ri would dig it.
Photography by Kelsey Quartuccio