Some Bajans riled at Rihanna’s image

(Barbados Nation) RIHANNA’S “good girl gone bad” image isn’t shining a positive spotlight on Barbados as of late, say some Barbadians on social media.

Although she is known for controversial antics and a devil-may-care attitude, it seems that a recent stunt by Ri-Ri has caused some of her fans, and even international media, to speak out about her role as an ambassador for young women.

And some of the comments made by a United States talk show host have upset local folk.

Using her Twitter account to announce any and everything, she recently posted a picture with the caption: “This nug (nugget) look like a skull or am I just (hallucinating) . . .?”

Followers immediately started attacking her for setting a bad example for young fans, with one saying, “Wow, wat (what) a good influence you are on young girls . . . not,” while another added, “I don’t understand what she (is) tryin’ to prove through pics of drugs every day.”

Another angrily posted: “Wow, that’s great. What an awesome message. Get lucky, get discovered by Jay Z, then use your fame to promote pot. Awesome !!!!”

But one fan was singled out to feel the venom of the superstar when she compared the Bajan singer to the late pop icon Whitney Houston who passed away over an alleged drug overdose. The fan, going by the name @grecyaa, tweeted: “And she is going to end like Whitney . . ..”

An annoyed Rihanna fired back: “Yeah, cuz Whitney overdosed on a joint!!” “**** outta here you weak *****!!”

To add injury to the already sensitive nature of the issue, the co-hosts on The Talk, a chat show on CBS, on January 7, brought up the marijuana issue, the fan’s say and Rihanna’s reaction and used a photo of Rihanna smoking what appeared to be a big blunt. One co-host, Sharon Osbourne, publicly said on national television: “It is understandable because she is from Barbados and everyone there smokes marijuana.”

An irate Facebook user, Nicole C, responding to the comment said: “Oh is that so? I must not be from Barbados then . . . .”

Sharon B, another Facebook user, posted: “This from a woman whose husband is practically senile from drugs?”

A letter writer to THE NATION, identifying herself as Mrs Searles, said she also watched the programme and was offended.

“In all my 60 years I have never smoked a cigarette, let alone pot, and I am very angry and hurt that this country was seen in this light because of one girl who is giving it a bad name, and a weak Government who named her ambassador.”

Rihanna has always been provocative, and it seems that has pushed fans and sponsors away and may have cost Rihanna her Nivea endorsement. The skincare company broke ties with her last August, and Stefan Heidenreich, new head of the company, told the German media: “The advert starring Rihanna was a no-go. . . . I do not understand how to bring the core brand of Nivea in conjunction with Rihanna. Nivea is a company which stands for trust, family, and reliability.”

The Barbados Government has gotten lashes from locals who said the ambassadorship should be taken from the five-time Grammy winner as her image is tainting the image of Barbados. Constantly scrutinized and criticized even more since getting the title, her risqué behaviour has also drawn the ire of the clergy.

In a report carried last year in THE NATION, Bishop Vibert Lowe said, based on what he had been reading and hearing, he was very concerned about Rihanna’s life choices.

“From all the reports received, she parties too much and she seems to be drinking a lot, drinking hard . . . . I don’t want her to go like many stars have gone – sometimes almost to the end, to lose everything to then come back to Christ. I don’t want that for her and that is why so many people have been praying for her. I, too, have been praying for her a lot,” he said.

His comments came four months after criticism of a much harsher kind from another man of the cloth – Bishop Dr Marlon Husbands, who, during a service, accused the international star of “always doing foolishness” and called her unworthy of being an ambassador.

Last year the Bajan singer, in an interview with British Vogue, said the C-word was offensive to everyone except Bajans.


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