Rihanna for Lui Magazine - a work of front cover art?
Okay. As much as I feel indifferent to Rihanna, her new cover shoot for Lui magazine made me pause...because I actually liked it...at first glance but then it got me thinking conflictingly or analytical...whatever the explaination you'll choose to settle for after reading my thoughts.
In this particular photo, Rihanna body appears to be a figure of art rather than just a sexual body to be objectified, desired and lusted after. Between her two breast rest beautifully her Isis tattoo, her sitting pose is strong, relaxed and assertive and upon closer observation, one is able to see that she has a screw nail as decoration for that nipple of hers (how creative!). I feel it's one of the few images of the singer where the male gaze is somewhat lost and the female gaze ambiguously present though ironically, 'Lui' is a men's publication. The magazine seems to embrace the female body or is in brief, admiringly obsessed with breasts - to the extent where one may have trouble deciding whether or not their female subjects/features are being sensualised or sexualised. Which ever the case may be, is it really offensive?
However, the other explicitly and typically, tasteless as well as predictable images from the shoot reinforce an opposite argument making it clear that the male gaze is indeed present, that she is being objectified. This is view is unoriginally illustrated to the reader by the terminology used to described the singer on the magazine's website as it refers to 'bombe' (bomb (shell))
Rihanna, bombe parmi les bombes, s’est déshabillée pour Lui.
Rihanna, (the) bomb (shell) amongst other bomb (shells), got naked for 'Lui' (Him)
...I couldn't help but pause (again), giving the images a sympathetic 'shake my head' (smh) notion and exit the page. She's done it again but this time around, it seems she has succeeded in having her instagram suspended. Yay(?!) Not so sure...
Having said all of this...I need to get my hand on the copy of the magazine. The plan is to kill two birds with one stone, get to fully appreciate this intriguing front cover and to keep up with my reading of the French language.
What are your thoughts?