The Real Reason Rihanna's Nude Photo Is Causing A Controversy

When celebrities hop on Instagram to share a photo of themselves, they might be showing off an expensive new outfit or they might want to give their followers a look at their dreamy (and sometimes controversial) vacations, as well as their customized cars. Stars might also post about their families, tease details about their next project, or get the word out about their various charitable efforts. They might also share a nude photo in all of its flesh-baring, buzz-worthy glory.

In fact, as Seventeen notes, when it comes to famous figures who like to show off their, well, famous figures, "Some celebs are more into the bikini pics, while others lean the hell into being nude AF." Indeed, there are certain "celebs who bared it all on Instagram. And we mean topless, bottomless, and even full-on nude." Just take a look at the various levels of nakedness that have popped up on the IG accounts of Lizzo, Bella Hadid, and Lady Gaga, not to mention Ashley Benson, Bella Thorne, and Liam Payne. And perhaps the most famous nude social media posters of all are the Kardashian-Jenners. Marie Claire even claimed that "the Kardashians and nudity are more or less synonymous at this point."

Of course, Rihanna is another star who isn't afraid to strip down and pose for a picture. However, when she posted a nude photo of herself in February 2021, the image stirred up controversy that had more to do with what she was wearing as opposed to what she didn't have on.

Rihanna was accused of cultural appropriation

On Feb. 15, 2021, Rihanna took to both Instagram and Twitter (as well as her Savage X Fenty account) to post a revealing photo of herself. According to Page Six, Rihanna was "in a pair of purple Savage X Fenty boxers and matching jewelry..." While Rihanna can be seen without a top or bra and is covering her breasts with her arm and hand, the lack of clothing isn't what upset some people. Although RiRi's look was topped up with large earrings, a chunky bracelet, and a massive ring, she was also wearing two necklaces. One of those necklaces was a pendant of the Hindu god Ganesha, an "elephant-headed deity, known as the god of beginnings and the remover of obstacles," per Page Six.

While plenty of Rihanna's followers praised the pic, others weren't so impressed. "Are we not going to talk about the cultural appropriation?! Wearing a Ganesh necklace whilst naked seems very disrespectful to Hinduism," one social media user wrote. Someone else felt the same way, tweeting, "I lost all my respect for Rihanna. How can you wear the Ganesha necklace and think it's ok to pose like that?" While many others were just as offended, a third person added, "My religion is not an aesthetic lol, I'm so f**king tired."

Although Rihanna hasn't addressed the issue as of writing, she may want to reconsider her accessory game in the future if she wants to avoid this kind of backlash.