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Rihanna’s Raunchy Image: “That’s Not Me. That’s A Part I Play”

Tiffany Lee
Stop The Presses!

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From hip teen, to glamorous star, to full-blown dominatrix, Rihanna has had her share of image revamps--some vamp-ier than others. In the latest issue of British "Vogue," the singer attempts to explain the motivation behind her choices.

The singer has been under fire a number of times this year for her racy and/or violent music videos that have in-so-far has included tying up and torturing reporters and shooting an abusive lover. Rihanna told "Vogue" of her performances, "That's not me. That's a part I play... It's a piece of art, this all these toys and textures to play with."

Is this a case of Sasha Fierce? Chris Gaines? One of Nicki Minaj's countless alternate personalities? Rihanna hasn't made any clear difference between her "artist" self and "true" self to distance herself from dissenting critics, including, watchdog groups and angry parents.

Rihanna continued, "See, people--especially white people--they want me to be a role model just because of the life I lead." Surely her position as a top celebrity--and a victim of domestic violence--could be a powerful platform to do good for young women. But so far, it's been a platform she has chosen to step down from.

The issue with Rihanna wanting to be provocative, to be controversial, is that she ultimately began as a teen star and still carries that segment of the market at 23 years-old. While other artists, say, Eminem or Metallica, can go on about violence and destruction because their fans have expected it from the beginning. Rihanna's current racy image could be an attempt to shed her teeny bopper audience and gain an older, more mature and open-minded fanbase.

Ultimately if Rihanna wants her audience to know that her work is all for entertainment, perhaps she needs to make a stronger distinction between Rihanna and her "real" self, Robyn Fenty.

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