If there was one thing we thought we’d never see, it was Rihanna dressed up as a toddler in a tiara. But, alas, surprises happen every day—and Rihanna really, really loves shocking surprises, whether that means collaborating with Kanye West and Paul McCartney, dropping one of the most violent, NSFW music videos of the year, or adopting a puppy whilst intoxicated. Now, ladies and gentlemen, bear witness to Rihanna’s new fragrance campaign and prepare to gasp. Rub your eyes all you want, but that is Bad Gal Riri, dolled up in big, Texas hair, pink bows, and pearls, and airbrushed to a Kardashian’s content.
While the image itself is stunning—she’s serving us beauty pageant Barbie, replete with doe eyes that seem to stare blankly right into the depths of your very being—it is problematic to see Rihanna, a figure that has very much established herself at the forefront of the “IDGAF, I’m doing me” feminist movement, Photoshopped to this extent. Her skin is lightened and her features heavily contoured, signaling that there may be a bit of whitewashing involved. Sure, this version of Rihanna is infatuating, but we miss our Bad Gal.