If you’re on Twitter, you’ve probably heard the “news”: Rihanna is pregnant! Or, at least, that’s what everyone is saying. But we did some digging into why the internet thinks Rihanna is pregnant, and, uh, calm down, guys. Once again, people are trying to project their desires into existence on Twitter, and openly picking on other women’s bodies in the process. On behalf of women everywhere, we’ll just say this: No matter how badly you want your favorite celebrity to have a baby, it’s never your place to try and take over how and if these women want to announce their family planning decisions.
So, let’s break down these rumors. At last night’s Diamond Ball in NYC, Rihanna chatted with Essence, and made general, proud statements about being a Black woman. “I’m a Black woman,” the star said. “I come from a Black woman who came from a Black woman who came from a Black woman, and I’m going to give birth to a Black woman.” That is the statement that set Twitter ablaze, convincing the world Rihanna was, in fact, currently with child. It seems obvious that Rihanna was speaking in hypotheticals, though, extending the idea of lineage and her power.
Rihanna’s quote from a moment later supports this view: “That’s who I am. It’s the core of who I am, in spirit and in DNA,” she told Essence. “[Black women are] impeccable — we are impeccable, we’re special, and the world is just going to have to deal with that.”
The unfortunate thing about Twitter is that, once an idea is off the ground, many people will believe the trend without looking further. So, it only took a few people misinterpreting Rihanna’s comments for the internet to believe it en masse — even though outlets including TMZ were quick to debunk the idea. But Twitter hasn’t quite given up. Even if RiRi’s comments have been dismissed, many have taken the opportunity to scan her body for a “bump” and post their findings to the social media site.
“[W]ellllll that’s definitely not a FOOD BUMP,” one user wrote. “Congrats baby @rihanna.” No matter how “innocently” it may begin, all roads of speculating on a celebrity pregnancy lead to this: The continued monitoring and constant commentary on celebrities’ bodies, and the reckless enforcement of our ideas on what they “should” look like, are not OK. We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again: There is no one way for a body to appear while pregnant. There is no one way for a body to appear while not pregnant. That is all.
If Rihanna ever does become pregnant, it’s her place and her place alone to announce it. Otherwise, we rob these stars of a moment they deserve to frame as they wish. Or, as the internet did in this case, we can wantonly spread misinformation and body-shame a celebrated artist in the process. PSA: Just leave Rihanna alone.