“You know who is the best who ever did it? Princess Diana. She was like – she killed it. Every look was right. She was gangsta with her clothes. She had these crazy hats. She got oversize jackets. I loved everything she wore!”
So said RiRi in an interview with Glamour magazine this month. When Vogue’s Facebook page reported the news, Diana fans amassed and spat in disgust in the comments section (interestingly, despite Vogue’s relatively intelligent content and reputable name, commentators on their Facebook are often akin to those who grace the bottom of the MailOnline Showbiz pages) with insightful views such as: “Dianna made her mistakes yes, but she didn’t sell herself out like Rhianna who grabs her crotch every thirty seconds….”; “Shes just a complete mess really all that money an she looks old an done in diana was a beautiful person an this pic does not resemble her one bit [sic]”; and my favourite: “Rihanna is a disgrace !!! Does she even know who Princess Diana is ?”
Yes ‘Daniela Likoska’, of course she knows who Princess Diana is. Indeed, quotes such as this are pure testimony to how intelligent Rihanna – and her PR team – really are. Through all her stunts and shenanigans, risque Instagrams and bad boyfriends, she is demonstrably characterizing herself as someone who is paid for shock value. This ain’t new: Madonna did it, Betty Page did it, Mozart did it.
The hilarious part is that what she actually said in this particular interview is so not outrageous that the backlash from Diana fans can only be put down to their already heightened tension this week: Naomi Watts has assumedly taken a big shit all over their idol and they are now baying for blood. Rihanna never drew a comparison between herself and old Di. She didn’t even infer that they dressed similarly, or that she takes inspiration from her wardrobe. She merely said that she liked what she wore, because she always looked good. So for some bizarre reason, it must have been the mere mention of Diana’s name from Rihanna’s dirty, nasty lips that had an entire fanbase up in arms. WWP, however, thinks it shows a brilliant amount of fashion-consciousness – God knows how difficult it is to appreciate wardrobe collections that you yourself would rather die than wear.
Diana fans, you’ve fallen right into Ri-Ri’s PR trap. Perhaps it is a lesson to all of us present in the user-generated-content universe: read carefully before you hit that ‘comment’ button.