Once again, popular Barbadian-American singer and businesswoman Robyn Rihanna Fenty has been singled out for cultural appropriation and religious insensitivity, according to CNN reports.
This was fueled after a post of a topless image of herself wearing a pendant that signified the Hindu god, Ganesha this Tuesday on Instagram. She shared the photo of herself topless with nothing but her Fenty satin boxers for her lingerie line ‘Savage’, which sold out.
Despite the success of her latest release, there is massive outrage from the Hindu community in India. Some internet users expressed their displeasure online on seeing the singer rock a large pair of earrings and a diamond-studded carving of the elephant-headed deity.
“You’re wearing a deity necklace and a Murthi (image of a deity) of my culture that’s already been culturally appropriated enough in the past few years,” one user commented, a reply to the post followed and has been liked over 5,000 times on Instagram.
“How is this okay when a person has more than enough resources to at least find out the meaning and significance of the chains and pendant around their neck?”
Lawmaker Ram Kadam, a member of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP), was not having it either:
“It’s appalling to see how @Rihanna shamefully mocks our beloved Hindu God #Ganesha,” he wrote. “This exposes how #Rihanna has no idea or respect for Indian culture, tradition, and our issues here. Hopefully, at least now (opposition politician) @RahulGandhi and other Congress leaders will stop taking help from her.”
Ganesha represents wisdom and success and is utilized by Hindus when they wish to begin a new business venture. Worshippers pay massive respect and reverence to its paintings. Rihanna has a history of taking the heat for issues such as this.
In 2019, she was heavily criticized after posting a picture wearing Chinese clothing and ornaments for the cover of Harper’s Bazaar China. Last October, Savage X Fenty had to release an official apology for a song that contained sacred Islamic verses during its lingerie fashion show.
Recently, this February it has been announced that Rhianna’s clothing Line ‘Fenty Fashion House’ will be shut down, leaving only her lingerie line (Savage X Fenty), beauty and skincare lines (Fenty Beauty and Fenty Skin).