In her article published in The Daily Mail, columnist Liz Jones called Rihanna a poisonous pop princess. She called her toxic. She said lots of things.
Referring to the below picture, which the singer posted on twitter, Jones writes, "Photographed with two giant, phallic spliffs in her red-lipsticked mouth..."
In the caption of a photograph of Rihanna wearing a ring that reads "Bad," Jones says, "even her jewelry is the opposite of feminine: it is hard, costly and combative."
She didn't, however, have anything to say about the songs Rihanna sings, she just attacked Rihanna's personal life, habits, style of clothing, hair, tattoos, nails, et cetera. Jones posted over a dozen unflattering pictures, including one taken after Rihanna had been the victim of assault, writing line after line of things like this: "...she promotes drug-taking, drinking and the sort of fashion sense on stage that surely invites rape at worst, disrespect at least."
Rihanna responded by posting this picture of Jones on her Instagram and attached the comment below:
LOL!!!! My money got a bad habit of pissing people off!! If you sincerely wanna help little girls more than their own parents do, here's a toxic tip: don't be amateur with your articles, you sound bitter! What's all this about hair and nails and costumes and tattoos?? ....That shit ain't clever!!! That shit ain't journalism! That's a sad sloppy menopausal mess!!! Nobody over here acts like they're perfect! I don't pretend that I'm like you, i just live... My life!! And I don't know why y'all still act so surprised by any of it!! "Role Model" is not a position or title that I have ever campaigned for, so chill wit dat! I got my own fucked up shit to work on, I'll never portray that as perfect, but for right now it's ME!! Call it what ya want!! Toxic was cute, Poisonous Pop Princess had a nice ring to it, just a lil wordy! And P.S. my first American Vogue cover was in 2011...APRIL!!! #ElizabethAnnJones
Is it just me, or did Rihanna just shut that article down while being kind of polite? The worst thing she said was "That's a sad sloppy menopausal mess," and it could be argued that this particular sentence was about the journalism, not the author herself, which is more than we can say about Liz Jones' piece.
This attack, which might be the most relentlessly puritanical thing since Tipper Gore got so upset at Prince all those years ago, didn't stop at Rihanna herself.
One of the most controversial quotes from the article, aside from blaming wardrobe for rape, is when Jones wrote this little nugget of fried gold:
"Is it fair that we berate female stars for being bad, when we don’t admonish men in the same way? Yes, it is fair. Because young women are far more impressionable than young men.
They want to be Rihanna, have her lifestyle, her clothes, her men, her habits."
Girls are more impressionable than boys? Most journalists cite sources when they have outlandish news nobody has ever heard before. And even if you're right, the responsibility of monitoring the content that gets to children does not belong to the artist. It belongs to the parents of the children in question. Which is why my parents don't let me read articles written by Liz Jones.
The original Daily Mail article is here.