Once upon a time, women having children in the entertainment industry meant career suicide. Work opportunities dried up and many were put out to pasture. These days that is no longer the case. Megastar moms like Beyonce, Cardi B, Jennifer Lopez, and countless others have redefined what it means to be a mother and continue to check off career milestones. From headlining The Super Bowl to dropping some of their most critically acclaimed projects, these women have helped shift the stigma behind children being the end of your career. Forever trendsetter Rihanna is taking that a step further as she redefines the post-baby body and fights back against “snapback” culture.
Beyonce’s post baby body after Blue Ivy was so juicy. A woman!!! pic.twitter.com/zv9E5sO5fD— Sisa (@TheTitanBaddie) June 2, 2022
Almost as quickly as we accepted female entertainers having children, we also excepted the notion that these women had to make glorious post-baby comebacks with flat tummies and sexy new bodies. One of the most iconic women to cement this idea is Teyana Taylor, who was spotted sporting abs only a few weeks after giving birth. The new mom then flaunted her toned physique in the video for Kanye West’s “Fade.” Beyonce and Ciara also made epic bounce-backs after their numerous pregnancies, showing off their bodies in music videos and live performances. Cardi B famously opened up about her baby makeover following her first child, getting work done to reclaim her pre-baby figure.
Rihanna had an empowering relationship with her body well before becoming a mom. Over her decades-long career, RiRi has embraced all the changes in her weight, going from super slim during some album cycles to a more full-figured body in the latter half of her trajectory. She took this a step further, creating a successful lingerie empire and make-up brand that embraced marginalized bodies. People were so shocked by her embracing herself at a larger size, some blogs even asked, “Is Rihanna going to make being fat the hot new trend?”
At the time, she responded saying, “It’s important young girls know that it’s okay to eat the things they like, and that’s why body shaming makes me so angry. It doesn’t really worry me personally, but I hate the message it sends.” She carried this energy into her pregnancy with her first child, a boy she shares with rapper A$AP Rocky. Rihanna defied pregnancy norms by sporting very revealing and sexual clothing for all her magazine shoots and red carpet appearances while with child. She even rocked a sheer red lace body suit on the cover of Vogue Magazine. Rihanna gave birth this past May.
The singer has begun to resurface, and many are shocked to see that she has not continued the same trend as her pop star contemporaries. Rihanna is still fully figured and embracing the weight she gained while pregnant. She was photographed in New York, rocking a RZA shirt and looking thick and beautiful. “Rihanna in NYC. LOOK AT MOTHER!!” tweeted one fan. Many thanked her for embracing her body and sending a positive message to other women. Some pointed out that what she chooses to do with her body should not be up for debate in the first place. “Saw a Rihanna tweet applauding her for not feeding into “SnapBack culture” after having a baby & I think we should just stop commenting on women’s bodies, period. A simple “she looks beautiful” would suffice.”
Rihanna looks AMAZING pic.twitter.com/9fJVVJvSd1— Fenty Cop (@FentyCop) August 12, 2022
Most fans praised the singer in the comments. However, there were also fans who didn’t even realize she gave birth and considered her overweight. Many sites have run stories on the post-baby snapback and how toxic this mindset is for many. Some women are so worried about the pressures of getting their body back to “normal” after pregnancy that many are opting to not even carry their kids. Kardashian sisters Kim and Khloe have opted for surrogates so that they do not have to put their bodies through the wringer again and have to redo years of hard work. The Every Mom ran a story that pointed out how women should be more kind to themselves and understand that not everyone can do a post-baby snapback like their favorite celebrities who have money and access to trainers, nutritionist and surgeons. “From hormonal shifts to internal and external body change during pregnancy, are women really expected to look a certain way during the postpartum stage?” For Rihanna and many women, that answer is no.