Rihanna Accused Of Cultural Appropriation For ‘Princess Of China’ Magazine Shoot

Harper’s Bazaar China magazine’s latest cover featuring Rihanna has sparked controversy, as fans have criticized it for possibly appropriating Chinese culture.

The pop star graced the August 2019 cover donning a vibrant blue dress with bell-shaped sleeves. Her hair was fixed into a bun adorned with mini paper fans.

In one of the photos from the shoot, Rihanna wore a white dressy shirt with extremely long nails that were accessorized with butterflies and flowers. Shot by photographer Chen Man, the pictures were riddled with elements of Chinese culture.

Harper’s Bazaar China magazine explains that the concept of the shoot was “a Western style icon meets Eastern aesthetic.”

The shoot has left social media users divided, as many argued that Rihanna shouldn’t have dressed with Chinese elements as they were not part of her heritage. Some brought up that celebrities like the Kardashians were often called out for appropriating culture, and questioned how Rihanna managed to get away with the same level of critique.

For context, Kendall Jenner once sported an afro on the cover of Vogue magazine, while Kim Kardashian got flamed for naming her shapewear line Kimono.

On the other end of the spectrum, social media users defended Rihanna because the magazine’s China-based editorial team was the one that planned her outfit, explaining that the visuals were conceptualized by Chinese creatives, who were credited accordingly, and meant to be seen by the Chinese audience.

Check out more responses below.