Rihanna sparks outrage over topless image featuring Hindu deity

It's the second time this month the hitmaker's social media posts have generated controversy

17 February 2021 - 13:30 By Khanyisile Ngcobo
Singer and designer Rihanna has faced backlash for a pendant featuring a Hindu deity. File image.
Singer and designer Rihanna has faced backlash for a pendant featuring a Hindu deity. File image.
Image: Caroline McCredie/Getty Images for Fenty Beauty by Rihanna

A sultry image of US singer Rihanna wearing a pendant featuring a Hindu god has sparked outrage and accusations of “cultural appropriation” against the music star. 

The drama started on Monday when the Umbrella hitmaker posted a topless image of herself, with the pendant, including the elephant-headed god Ganesha, hanging loosely about her neck.

Also part of her garb were shorts from her Savage x Fenty line and a matching bracelet, earrings and necklace.

According to CNN, Ganesha traditionally represents success and wisdom and Hindus call upon the deity when pursuing business ventures. 

While some celebrities and fans complimented the singer on her look, many others took to posting their disappointment and anger over the inclusion of the god.

This is the second time Rihanna, real name Robyn Rihanna Fenty, has received backlash regarding her social media posts.

Earlier this month, the designer created a flutter in India by wading into the issue of months-long farmer protests against Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's agricultural reforms.

Rihanna shared a CNN article on the government's reaction to the protests, sparking backlash from notable Indian personalities.

- Additional reporting by Reuters