Robyn ‘Rihanna’ Fenty is recognized all over the world for her impact on the fashion and beauty industry, from her own billion-dollar skincare and makeup lines ‘Fenty Skin’ and Fenty Beauty’ to clothing line ‘Savage X Fenty’. From the early stages of her career to evolving into the global icon she is today Rihanna has remained a fashion role model for many, her daring and bold expressions of art through clothing constantly differentiating her from stereotypes and societal normalities.
However, the recent announcement of her pregnancy with partner ASAP Rocky has sparked global media attention, as many question whether her maternity style is appropriate for the public eye. In attendance to multiple prestigious events, the global icon made the conscious decision to allow her bump to be at the core of her outfits, from the sheer Valentino turtleneck paired with a mini skirt and bandeau worn to Jay Z’s Oscar after-party, to the vinyl bandeau and headdress set worn for the Gucci Autumn/Winter 2022 show at Milan Fashion Week.
Despite receiving praise for the messages of confidence and body positivity portrayed through her maternity style, Rihanna has also received a significant amount of backlash for her “indecent outfits”, with critics stating that “pregnancy must come with a sense of modesty”, and “how dare she be this naked and pregnant”. In a recent interview with Vogue Magazine, Rihanna explained “…that dress is actually the closest thing to maternity clothes that I’ve worn so far… I hope that we were able to redefine what’s considered decent for pregnant women. Because why should you be hiding your pregnancy?”.
Her maternity style has “single-handedly rewritten the rules of pregnancy” and has destroyed the sense of taboo surrounding a woman openly displaying her maternity bump through the clothes that she wears. Rihanna has not only created an innovative way to express the importance of her pregnancy journey but has also given women all over the world newfound confidence to be proud of their bodies through pregnancy, and to embrace the changes that come alongside the new journey of life. It is this fearlessness and bold nature that reflects why the global icon has been able to maintain the ‘industry role model’ status throughout her career, possessing an ability to hold an influence over the societal perception of fashion that can be upheld by no other.