Rihanna has been met with accusations of cultural appropriation after sporting a religious pendant in her latest Instagram offering. The singer and entrepreneur, 32, posed topless in a post promoting her lingerie range, Savage X Fenty.
"When @popcaanmusic said 'me nuh wan ya wear no lingerie tonight fa me girl' @savagexfenty [sic]," she captioned the snap.
She wears two necklaces, one of which appears to bear a depiction of the Hindu god Lord Ganesha, and her fashion choice has since raised questions among some followers.
"Why is she wearing a Hindu idol on a semi-nude pic?" one followed asked.
"Rihanna, wearing an Indian deity is not a fashion, it's not a trend," another wrote, "It's about respecting Indian communities."
A third commented: "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.
"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?"
"My religion is not your aesthetic," a fourth penned.
Lord Ganesha is highly revered in Hinduism, and is meant to be worshipped in temples or at home shrines. While some Hindus do wear a Lord Ganesha pendant as a symbol of their faith, they are not intended as fashion accessories.
Rihanna is yet to respond to the criticism, and The Mirror has contacted her representatives for comment. And despite the backlash from some, the boxer shorts she wears in the photo have since sold out online. It's not the first time Rihanna has been accused of cultural appropriation.
In 2019, a cover shoot for the Chinese branch of a popular magazine, she was pictured wearing a range of outfits that featured references to Chinese culture. The accusations of cultural appropriation came despite the magazine making clear that their intention had been to create a "Western style icon meets Eastern aesthetic."
Meanwhile, she's been met with a pushback from the Indian government after a tweet expressing support for protesting farmers in the country over new farm laws. India's external affairs ministry told earlier this month that the parliament had passed "reformist legislation relating to the agricultural sector" after a series of debates.
"The temptation of sensationalist social media hashtags and comments, especially when resorted to by celebrities and others, is neither accurate nor responsible," the ministry added.
Rihanna had tweeted an article about how internet had been cut around New Delhi as the protesters clashed with police.