beauty

Rihanna's weight has fluctuated and the world has gone mad.

In case you missed it, today the internet is awash with headlines like ‘Rihanna Gained Some Serious Weight’ and ‘Rihanna’s Weight Gain: She’s NOT Pregnant — Why She Put On Lbs’.

While it pains me that those are real headlines from actual publications, the 29-year-old is by no means ‘big’ – but she is a little bit bigger.

I do not say this to be mean; I say it as an objective fact. I also say it with a triumphant urge to yell ‘BLOODY GOOD ON HER’ at the top of my lungs while shaking a maraca and my tatas in the air.

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For someone who has existed in the public eye – who has had her skin, hair, boobs, and butt under an unforgiving microscope of scrutiny for the last 14 years – surely it’s a good thing that Rihanna is living a life like so many other women around her. A perfectly healthy and fulfilled life where weight might fluctuate across the months, but is no longer a prison that determines our worth.

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I don’t know what Rihanna’s lifestyle choices have been in the past, but if we’ve learned anything from celebrities, it’s that their taut bodies are very rarely ‘natural’. Almost always, they’re a product of sweat and hunger and money, not blessed luck or genetics.

Take Beyonce’s ‘Master Cleanse Diet’, for instance – the meal plan that requires participants to eat nothing and drink six to 12 glasses of lemonade mixture daily, as well as a nightly laxative tea, for a minimum of 10 consecutive days at a time. The pop star has publicly admitted she employed the ‘cleanse’ in the lead up to big events when she needed to look her thinnest.

Then there’s Gisele Bundchen, who eats an organic-only diet of 80 per cent vegetables, and has completely banned coffee, milk, sugar, alcohol forever.

There’s Gwen Stefani, who at the peak of her career reportedly exercised for a “minimum” of 105 minutes a day; Natalie Portman who went through a period of “barely eating” and working for 16 hours a day; Mila Kunis who had a tiny daily intake of 1200 calories and chain smoked; Anne Hathaway who detoxed on nothing but radishes and hummus; Khloe Kardashian who drinks five to six litres of water a day to suppress her appetite, and finally, her supermodel sister Kendall who painted her living room wall a very specific shade of pink to achieve the same outcome.

If Rihanna has defied the weight reins that seem to be duct-taped to every woman’s hands at birth; if she’s stopped fighting the unwinnable war every woman wages against herself; if she’s gained a dress size or two, then bloody good on her. 

In a world where it feels like every celebrity ‘role model’ has washboard abs and shadowy collarbones, Rihanna’s slightly softer body is one many of us own, but never see.

She’s now representing the women who might jiggle a little bit when they run down the stairs, the women who might struggle to buy jeans, the women who watch red carpets on the telly and wonder, ‘Where’s my place?’

Rihanna's slightly softer body is one many of us own, but never see. (Image: Getty)
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This is just another thing those women - who have long revelled in Rihanna's incredible musical talent, her wit, and her unique brand of feminism - can turn to the pop star for.

Sure, it's just a celebrity's body I'm talking about here. This is no world-changing, cataclysmic event that will change how any of us operate day to day. Rihanna's body has minimal impact on my - or your - life.

Her weight gain is not ground-breaking, but it is meaningful.

Another woman existing in the public eye at a size bigger than extra-extra small might make one more girl click out of Instagram feeling like she's represented and accepted.

And I find it very hard to see that as a bad thing.

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