By MIA FREEDMAN
A few months ago, I saw this image that Rihanna posted on her Instagram account and I was overcome with a deep sense of despair:
‘Badgalriri’ is Rihanna’s official Instagram feed where she posts pictures of herself. And for those who don’t speak gangsta, what Rihanna is saying in the caption above is that she’s grateful to Prada designer Miuccia Prada who sent her the crotch-high boots as a gift. The photo was taken in the popstar’s bathroom.
Understand? Instead of a handwritten card or even a quick text to say thank you for the boots, Rihanna sent Miucca a photo of her bare arse, via the world.
It’s really, really hard to write this post without sounding like a nana. A wowser. A killjoy. A prude. Or even a hypocrite. It’s really hard to avoid accusations of slut-shaming or moral panic or hysteria over a ‘harmless’ photo. Look, it’s Rihanna’s bum, therefore it’s her absolute right as a woman….as a FEMINIST to Instagram it, bare, clothed or bejazzled, yeah?
Well sure but this isn’t actually about Rihanna’s bum. Not for me. For me, it just felt like the final straw, one of those moments where you say “stop the world, I want to get off.” Because do you know where my mind instantly went when I saw this photo? To my daughter. She’s 7.
She doesn’t yet have Instagram or internet access and I’ve become one of those parents who don’t allow magazines in the house but I know it’s only a temporary reprieve. I know it’s only a matter of time before images like this will become the visual wallpaper of her life, just like it already is for my nieces and my god-daughters.