Rihanna has been accused of cultural appropriation after positioning topless in an Instagram shot, using simply silk boxers and a pendant including the Hindu god Ganesha.
The singer and designer was promoting her underwear line Savage X Fenty, but has outraged some fans by selecting the religious divine being as part of her fashion garments.
Ganesha, or Ganesh – who has the head of an elephant – is one of the best-known Hindu gods and is worshipped for his knowledge and association with success.
Nevertheless, her pairing of the white beaded pendant with just a bare chest, tattoos and pants resulted in a backlash on social media, with one fan calling it “disrespect 101”.
Another composed: “Dear Rihanna, plz stop this nonsense. Super offending using Ganesha like that. Our first god, a holy belief to millions of people celebrating Ganesh Chaturthi every year. Sorry Ri, u disappointed me & others u have crossed d limits [sic]”.
While a 2nd commented: “You’re wearing a deity pendant and a Murthi [the image of an idol] of my culture that’s already been culturally appropriated enough. How is this OKAY when an individual has sufficient resources to at least learn the meaning and significance of the chains and the pendant around their neck?”.
Someone else questioned: “Why the Ganesh God pendant for selling lingerie?”.
Others felt that Rihanna was using the religious icon for shock value, commenting: “First having an underwear campaign in a temple. And now this … at this point she’s simply doing it on purpose.”.
It’s not the very first time the 32-year-old has actually been accused of cultural insensitivity.
In October last year, Rihanna apologised to the Muslim neighborhood for her “accidentally offensive” use of spiritual texts throughout another lingerie style show, after using a tune featuring a sample from Islam’s spiritual Hadith texts.
After online criticism, she thanked fans for highlighting the problem, calling it an “truthful, yet reckless mistake”.
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Previously this month, Rihanna stepped into the political arena to reveal her assistance for Indian farmers opposing in New Delhi over brand-new farming laws they say will destroy their livelihoods.
The star’s tweet, shared with her 101 million fans, outraged the Indian federal government, who later on criticised stars backing the cause on social networks, claiming they were neither “accurate nor responsible”.
Sky News has actually called Rihanna for remark.