Rihanna called out after posting topless photo wearing pendant of Hindu deity

Rihanna called out after posting topless photo wearing pendant of Hindu deity

This isn't the first time the singer has been criticised for disrespecting other cultures, religions.
17 Feb, 2021

Oh RiRi, you’ve done it again. US-Barbadian pop star Rihanna is back in the news and facing accusations of cultural appropriation and religious insensitivity after posting a picture of herself wearing a pendant with an icon of the Hindu deity Ganesha.

In the photo, she’s topless and covering her breasts with her hand. She’s also wearing a pair of lavender boxers from her Savage X Fenty lingerie line. Around her neck is a lavender pendant of Ganesha.

Users have been calling her out under the post for appropriating their culture and misusing their religious symbol.

One user pointed out that someone with the resources like Rihanna shouldn't be making mistakes like these and we agree. Rihanna is one of the richest people in the world. You would think she could hire someone to teach her how to respect other people's religious symbols.

Another said Rihanna wearing the necklace was okay as long as she respected Hinduism.

Indian nationalists have begun reporting Rihanna to the authorities and filing complaints against her for the post.

This isn't the first time Rihanna has made headlines for poor choices and cultural insensitivity. In 2013, she was asked to leave the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi after she held an "inappropriate" photoshoot there.

A photo posted by Instagram (@instagram) on

People criticised the pictures and said they were too "suggestive" given the location the photos were taken.

In October 2020, she apologised after using a song for her Savage X Fenty fashion show that included Hadith in it. The song was titled 'Doom' by artist Coucou Chloe and used part of a Hadith about the day of judgement.

Photo: Rihanna Instagram Stories via BBC
Photo: Rihanna Instagram Stories via BBC

In her apology, she called it an "honest and careless mistake". But how many mistakes does it take for someone to get a clue and do a basic information check before posting pictures or using songs.

She also made headlines in India last month when she became one of the first international celebrities to highlight the farmers' protests. She received immense backlash from the Indian government and many Indian people, who accused her of interference. Actress Kangana Ranaut, who backs the ruling BJP, called her out on Twitter and effigies of her and teen climate activist Greta Thunberg were burnt during a protest in Delhi.