Rihanna: An Icon

By: S. Easley

—>Link to my video on Why I Love Rihanna

Rihanna is an innovative, iconic, and trendsetting woman. We all love and draw inspiration from her.  She made the list for Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2012 so it’s safe to say that she plays a big role in pop culture. The moment she posts a new picture on Instagram or steps on stage we’re all drawn in. She’s a fashion icon, businesswoman and most of all just herself.

Rihanna’s fashion sense and style is one of a kind. I always find myself scrolling through her Instagram or through her fan pages on Tumblr getting so much inspiration on clothes to wear or a different hairstyle/color to try out.

She’s gone long, she’s gone short, and has even worn bantu knots. She wore her hair wrapped up in bobby pins and that made headlines. She went topless on the cover of Lui magazine in 2014. Rihanna makes herself hard to look over.

In 2014, Rihanna received the Fashion Icon Award at the 2014 Council of Fashion Designers of America. From Bubble coats to fur bralettes anytime she steps out her outfit always has everyone talking. Rihanna definitely has a lasting impression on pop culture

There’s so much more to Rihanna that doesn’t get enough attention and praise. The Barbadian singer is so carefree, confident and most of all ambitious. The media mostly focuses on her choice of clothing and who they think she’s dating. I mean so what Drake got her a billboard to congratulate her on receiving the Vanguard award (Just kidding. That’s actually a big deal lol). Rihanna is an inspiration not for just her looks, but for what she does and has accomplished all these years in her career.

As a teen Rihanna decided to follow her dreams, she dropped her first album Music of the Sun when she was 17 years old. She started her music career as a teen and well the rest is history. She has won numerous awards. So far she has won 8 Grammy Awards, 12 Billboard Music Awards, and on August 28, 2016 she received the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. She has sold over 200 million records worldwide, which makes her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. In 2015, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) had announced that Rihanna had surpassed more than 100 million Gold & Platinum song certifications. Most recently, her single “Needed Me” was certified 2 times platinum by the RIAA and her other single “Work” was number one on the Billboard’s Hot 100 for 8 weeks, which tied her with The Beatles for 59 weeks at number one. Honestly, the list goes on when it comes to Rihanna’s accomplishments as a music artist.

As a businesswoman, Rihanna has collaborated with Puma, MAC cosmetics, Stance and Manolo Blahnik. She has her own lipstick color with MAC called Riri Woo.

 2015 was a good year for Ms. Fenty she became a co-owner along with other various artists in the music streaming service Tidal, she became the first black woman to represent the popular French fashion brand, Dior and later on in 2015 revealed she has her own sock line with Stance. Earlier this year, she became a creative director and collaborated with Puma. Rihanna now has her own Puma collection, which consists of the popular fur slides, creeper shoes and Fenty trainers. Also, this year she has worked with Manolo Blahnik, the famous Spanish fashion designer. Fenty and Blahnik teamed up to create 6 limited edition styles of denim boots and heels which were released in May.

Rihanna is also a philanthropist. In 2006, she created her Believe foundation for children who are terminally ill. In addition, Rihanna and other celebrities/public figures designed clothing with H&M for H&M Fashion Against AIDS line in 2008.  Also, in 2008, Rihanna performed a series of charity concerts that were entitled A Girl’s Night Out to benefit the Believe Foundation she created. The charity concerts were made free for the public. The money that came from sponsors and advertisers were to donated to provide medical supplies, school supplies and toys for the children.

In 2012, Rihanna founded the Clara Lionel Foundation, in honor of her grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. The current programs of the Clara Lionel Foundation are the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados.

The foundation even has education programs. There is an annual Diamond Ball held as a fundraiser event. In 2014, the first ball raised over $2 million and the second ball raised over $3 million. After Hurricane Sandy hit, Rihanna donated $100,000. In January 2014, Rihanna was part of the MAC Viva Glam campaign, which benefits and women, men, and children living with HIV/AIDS.

Rihanna is an empowering figure.  A couple years ago Rihanna was a victim of domestic abuse, but she never played the victim or used that as a ploy for attention. She went through that situation and grew from it. She didn’t let that situation turn her into a damsel in distress. Rihanna is someone that I think a lot of young girls and women can look to as someone to draw so much inspiration and courage from. She has been driven and focused on her career all these years. People may obsess over who she’s dating, but she has remained obsessed with her work. Going on numerous tours, consistently dropping albums, designing shoes, becoming the newest creative director at Puma and still she somehow finds time to spend time with her family and friends. She’s been through a lot and accomplished a lot. Robyn Rihanna Fenty is an iconic, inspiring, and innovative woman.

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