After Rihanna stripped down for a topless Instagram photo on Feb 16, criticism is piling up. And no, it has nothing to do with the topless nature of the photo. Fans are upset with Rihanna's topless Instagram because of the necklace she wore in it. The singer is being accused of cultural appropriation because her necklace is a symbol which depicts the Hindu god Ganesh.
Riri was seen repping her Savage X Fenty clothing line in her post, wearing a pair of lilac purple shorts. She quoted Jamaican artist Popcaan in her caption, writing, "When @popcaanmusic said 'me nuh wan ya wear no lingerie tonight fa me girl.'"
Rihanna looked drop dead gorgeous in her new photo, but fans were less than thrilled with her accessory choice. Her large chain necklace featured a pendant which Twitter was quick to point out was actually a religious symbol. Tweets started pouring in about the controversial necklace, many saying it was insensitive for Riri to sport the Hindu accessory when she doesn't practice Hinduism (to their knowledge).
"Super offensive wearing Ganesha like that. My first god, a holy sentiment to millions of people celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi every year. Sorry RiRi, you disappointed me and others," one person tweeted.
Another pleaded with Rihanna to stop using religious symbols as a fashion accessory. "Rihanna !! stop using my religion as an aesthetic !! that ganesh figurine at the end of the chain :( is a holy and sacred figure for us hindus," they tweeted.
"I love u but the ganesha necklace really," yet another fan said, adding an eye roll emoji to the tweet.
This isn't the first time Riri has landed herself in hot water for her use of religious material in her work. In October 2020, she faced backlash for religious appropriation when she included a song by English producer Coucou Chloe in her Savage X Fenty Vol. 2 fashion show. The song included lyrics which referenced a Muslim text known as a Hadith, and fans felt the singer should have known better than to use an Islamic verse as audio in her fashion show.
Rihanna later apologized for the incident on her Instagram story.
"We understand that we have hurt many of our Muslim brothers and sisters, and I'm incredibly disheartened by this! I do not play with any kind of disrespect toward God or any religion and therefore the use of the song in our project was completely irresponsible! Moving forward we will make sure nothing like this ever happens again. Thank you for your forgiveness and understanding," she wrote.
Rihanna has yet to speak out about the latest religious appropriation controversy she's facing.