Rihanna’s Photoshoot with Harper’s Bazaar China Gets Accused of Cultural Appropriation

Rihanna has been accused of cultural appropriation after gracing the cover of Harper’s Bazaar China’s August 2019 issue.

The magazine, available from July 15, shows the “Work” singer in an accordion-pleated, metallic blue gown that billowed up over her arms and showcased a plunging neckline.

 

Providing a pop of color is an oversized, bright red sash tied to a bow on one side and embellished with a silvery, rhinestone-encrusted bird brooch.

The look was also completed with traditional Chinese hairstyle and makeup, as well as a sheer, circular fan with golden details as a prop.

The 31-year-old, who already fronted Harper’s Bazaar China in 2015, took to Instagram to share her new cover on Tuesday.

The magazine also posted more photos of the Fenty Beauty founder, showing her in various other looks referencing Chinese culture, involving a dragon, dragonflies, butterflies, lotus flowers and a shih tzu dog.

“There is always a brave truthfulness on Rihanna,” Harper’s Bazaar China wrote. She doesn’t care about judgments from others, justing [sic] keep in [sic] doing what she loves.”

“After four years, Rihanna is back to be our cover star and again shows when [a] Western style icon meets Eastern aesthetic.”

Despite the magazine’s message, the spread has drawn criticism from some netizens who accused Rihanna of cultural appropriation.

Meanwhile, others defended the photoshoot and pointed out that its creative team is all-Chinese, as listed in both Rihanna and the magazine’s posts.

This is not the first time, however, that Rihanna has been accused of cultural appropriation. In 2017, she also faced backlash after channeling Egypt’s Queen Nefertiti for Vogue Arabia.

Featured Images via Instagram / @harpersbazaarcn (Left and Right)

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