Yesterday photos of Rihanna at Carnival in Barbados hit the web, and as soon as I clicked on them I knew they’d cause a controversy.

TheYBF  labeled the pictures as NSFW (not safe for work), even though they weren’t, and Distilled called her “Drunk ass Rihanna.”

The photos showed RiRi, dressed in a bikini, fishnets, red headdress and sipping on a drink while reveling in Barbados’ Kadooment Day parade. Many of the photos caught the Bajan singer at—let’s just say—unflattering angles. Some, taken while she was clearly dancing, were shot from below (I’d argue on purpose), while she danced, ok, grinded, on men. Those photos, predictably exposed her crotch, further driving up the shock value quotient.

While I didn’t find the photos especially “shocking” (for years I lived within ear shot of NYC’s huge West Indian Day Parade), many people did and blew up the comments sections of blogs calling her everything from “trashy” to a “whore,” and even joked about rape as it related to her “Man Down” video, saying things like “I wonder if she will cry rape after this.” Not cool.

Although I didn’t see anything wrong with the photos of Rihanna getting it in while she was back home, a friend of mine did. He thought the photos were too raunchy and could possibly damage the singer’s brand. I argued that Rihanna’s brand is sexy, envelop pushing, and she generally exudes the “I don’t give a f—k about what others think” mentality, so these photos just play into that image.

But what do you think, Clutchettes and Gents. Do these photos damage the way you view Rihanna or do they just show a young woman enjoying herself and having fun? Are people just too hard on her?

Let’s talk about it!  

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