“I Can’t Really Say I’m A Role Model”: Rihanna Comments On People Who Criticize Her Lifestyle

January 31, 2014  |  


If you’ve ever taken a peek at Rihanna’s Instagram account, you would find out what most people already know–she kind of doesn’t give a you-know-what. She’s often snapped in her bikini, beer in hand, blunt burning, half-naked having the time of her life. But in an interview with USA Today recently to promote her Viva Glam lipstick and lipglass collaboration with Mac, she says what people see is not really what she’s all about. It’s just how she behaves in “the moment”:

“I think they think I’m drunk all the time. I think they think I am always partying, that my house is probably a party all the time with tons of people and tons of music and no clothes. I think that’s what they think. I’m actually very laid back. I love watching TV on a big old couch by myself. I love to swim in the ocean or the pool.

It’s in the moment. Even sometimes I go back to my Instagram and I’m like, ‘Did I really post this?’ I never know. One day I would never post this type of picture. A week later, I like this post. It’s when I’m bored. It’s in the moment.”

She does say, however, that she acknowledges that she’s not a role model, and really, that’s not what she’s trying to be. She just wants to live her life, her way, with no restrictions. So for those who judge her, she’s not hearing it.

“I don’t like to use that word because people have their own opinion on what that means to them. I can’t really say I’m a role model. I’m not perfect. I’m not trying to sell that,” she says. “I want people to have fun but be responsible, protect themselves and be in control of your life. You can never judge people. I always made that a point. You never know what someone is going through.”

So what do you think when famous celebrities who are seen everywhere doing everything say that they don’t want to be a role model? Is it something that comes with the territory? Or should people stop letting their kids idolize famous folks who have flaws and don’t want to be looked up to anyway?

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  • Bettye Neely

    she sounds so immature and statements are conflicting.

  • KH

    Unfortunately, when you choose a high-profile line of work, you’re a role model, whether you wanna be or not. Occupational hazard.

  • Dangerous Lee

    I love her.

  • GO Rihanna!!!

    Exactly! She is living HER life the way she wants, the #1 reason why I love RiRi. She doesn’t put up a front, she says what she means and means what she says, that should motivate more people to simply “Do them”. Live by your rules because at the end of the day it is your life and you don’t need to live up to someone else’s standards except your own… period!

  • provokethought

    She’s not.

  • chanela

    ….. PLEASE go back to that interview she had with 20/20 right after she got beat up by chris brown. she said WITH HER OWN MOUTH ” i want to be a role model for young girls.” that was she said about her feeling bad after being seen jet skiing with chris brown a few weeks after the incident.

    She should have never said that. now shes mad when people say something about her being a role model. she said it herself.

    • just sayin’

      She was referring to being in a bad relationship…

  • MuscleMansWoman

    Some of these parents are pathetic. Why do they look to these “stars” to be role models for their children? It’s one thing to find enjoyment in some entertainment, but it’s quite another to look to those who entertain as the ‘be all end all’ of success.

    • PREACH!

      fa reals! I remember my mom listening to lil kim and watching music videos, foxxy brown, trick daddy, trina, etc. that didn’t influence any of us and there are 5 of us. Goes to show who had the biggest influence in my life…and we’re all successful…funny how none of the “raunchy stuff” affected my upbringing…Big ups to my mom <3

  • guest

    If anything, she needs some role models in her life. Especially when it comes to men.

  • Madam

    Why would Rihanna be a role model for my child? I’m raising my child based on my rules and values.

    • yayyyy we do exist

      one of the smartest comments I’ve seen all day! it’s called taking responsibility of your actions! well said!

  • OKay MN I’m going to need you to restrict pics of women with their legs gaping open to just one per your main page. Please and thank you.

  • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

    & she doesn’t have to be a role model…she’s an entertainer all she has to do is entertain.

    • well….

      T H A N K Y O U !!!!!!! i was just about to say that. Honestly I believe it’s no ones responsibility to be a role model unless you’re the parent of that child, or adolescent. For grown folks, we’re GROWN, we do what we do, why look up or down to someone about THEIR lifestyle…that doesn’t makes sense to me and never will….

  • Trisha_B

    How can you make a young person in their 20s be a role model when they are still learning about themself? How can she guide others when she may not even be at a place she’s fine with? You can’t be a role model if your still growing IMO. This topic is old & redundent. How many times they gonna ask the woman the something. She doesn’t want to be a role model. Leave it alone

  • CC

    I agree with her. Your parents should be your role models at best. Whomever you choose to be your role model is your choice, not the celebrity (or anybody you designate). I believe people do what they want to do all the time regardless of what other people think and celebrities are no different. They’re human just like we are the only difference is basically money and high profiles. Personally, I don’t have a role model, no one is perfect enough to have that responsibility to me. My life is my life, my choices are my choices regardless. A role model would only be someone that would determine if I’m living my life the way that they live theirs and that’s impossible to carry out and senseless to attempt. I do find some people that are very inspirational. Some people can even be inspirational in an counter-intuitive sort of way. Their “bad” choices” or “wrong-doing”, can lead you to steer clear of that type of activity as a positive impact on yourself. Well said, Rih. Tell people to stop blaming you for their decisions (good or bad lol).

  • Chelley

    I feel like women receive more pressure to be role models than men. Not very often people complain about the behaviors of male celebrities. I get that parents are concerned about who their kids look up to, but at the end of the day, celebrities are adults and they’re gonna do what they want to do. These parents should be focused on celebrities who WANT to be role models instead of worrying about individuals like Rihanna who never asked to be a role model in the first place. And if your child wants to behave like Rihanna, that’s not Rihanna’s fault. She’s not raising your child.

  • hollyw

    This is a bit off-topic, but this greatly reminds me of a recent viral video of Jack Gleason (King Geoffrey, Game of Thrones) describing the origins of “celebrity”, and how in hunter/gatherer days, it was a status to indicate which people in the village were the best hunters so that people could learn those skills. Celebrity and role-model were interchangeable. In the process of studying the hunter’s behaviors, though, naturally other unrelated habits were picked up, like the way they cleaned their blade, or a ritual they’d perform beforehand.

    Fast forward to today, we do the same thing, like in addition to admiring a celebrity’s skill, we also try to see what shoes they wear when they dunk, or what they drinking on before going into the studio…none of which makes them a better athlete/artist lol.

    All that to say, all I hear when a celebrity tries to reject the role-model title is, I only want people to love me for all the good so I continue to profit, and ignore the bad so there are no repercussions. However, they are readily willing to transform themselves into whatever cookie-cutter mold they need to when they first come out, tho =| Anyhoo, I’m too old for role-models.

  • Cleveland Cutie

    I don’t look to entertainers to be a role model for my child. But when most of the parents are trying to be Real Housewives, what do you expect their children to do. Ethics, morals, and priorities are all screwed up these days…

  • Just saying!!

    I like her for this. It makes a difference really. Celebrities tend to get critiqued more when they claim to be doing something meaningful while they’re doing the same things she’s doing. I think that’s why Beyonce is receiving so much backlash now, because she’s taking the same things Madonna and Rihanna do and saying she’s using it to claim this is what empowerment is about. Rihanna knows she’s an entertainer and she doesn’t attempt to make something out of it just to get people talking lol. She’s a free spirit really and it shows. It isn’t just a stage persona for her, that’s just who she is.

  • boonevincent .

    That smoking an drinking will catch up with her, she already sounds like a goat that’s been shot.

  • PleaseDOBetter

    Role models can be positive or negative. Regardless of her not seeing herself as a role model, she still is one (although not a positive one).

    • hollyw

      I agree, in a societal perspective. Role models aren’t volunteers, they are naturally selected b/c of their talents and skill.

      I don’t even think she knows what she’s saying, regardless, b/c if that’s how she really felt, then she’d drop all of her endorsements and just be STRICTLY a musician like mad other artists who avoid the media and fanaticism lol…

  • BabyBlue

    Are the youth that desperate for a role model?

    • Truth Be Told

      seriously! I dislike it when I see parents or other individuals bashing her or any celebrity, and telling them they need to do better…no Bish you need to do better, no one should be responsible of being a “Role Model” except their parents…

      • BabyBlue

        Exactly! Lazy a** parents. I’ve always admired certain celebrities growing up but I never said they were my role models. It’s never that serious

    • Bettye Neely

      yes they are. Go to some juvenile deterntion, local jails, counseling programs and then ask.

      • BabyBlue

        Parents and family should be role models.

  • Angela Bryant

    I’m glad Ri-Ri has come out and said she’s not looking to be a role model. She’s a young woman whose more concerned with, as she said, living her life. She’s an adult, and can act as she pleases. Now, do I agree with everything she does, H-E-Double Hockey stick NO, but it’s her money, her life. Let it be!

    • Katrina Anderson

      Exactly. It’s her life; she can do what she wants. Maybe I’m lost on why anyone would expect a celebrity to be a role model anyway. And more, what’s Rihanna done that’s so bad (aside from the Chris Brown thing)? She partied a little? Smoked a little weed? What’s the problem??

      • Ugonna Wosu

        there’s nothing in a singer’s job description that says “must be a role model too”, lol. Ridiculous.

      • MH

        exactly…if anything she needs props for her consistency…she’s authentic and to me that is the most valued than what she does…I embrace her realness 🙂