“Usually when I’m on the red carpet, my tummy’s a little big. It’s a problem.”
Last month, Rihanna announced she is pregnant with her and boyfriend A$AP Rocky’s first child.
The couple revealed they were expecting with a joint photo shoot in New York on Jan. 31, which saw Rihanna’s floor-length coat unbuttoned to reveal her baby bump covered in nothing but jewels.
Over the next few weeks, the singer continued to make a bunch of public appearances with her bump on display, including on the red carpet at the Fenty Beauty Universe Event in Los Angeles last Friday.
During the night, Rihanna — who wore a shredded green backless top — opened up about embracing her body during pregnancy, after previously feeling insecure over exposing her stomach.
“Usually when I’m on the red carpet, my tummy’s a little big. It’s a problem,” she told Terri Seymour of her insecurities before pregnancy.
Terri replied jokingly, “Now you don’t have to hide it,” to which Rihanna responded, “Crop top season, let it all out.”
Much like at the Fenty Beauty event, Rihanna’s recent outfits have strayed far from stereotypical clothes designed for pregnant people.
Opting for tighter and more revealing outfits, Rihanna has continually ensured that her bump — which she’s also often accessorized — is on display.
And while Rihanna isn’t the first celebrity to openly embrace her baby bump during pregnancy, fans have taken to social media to praise her “liberating” approach.
“Rihanna is def giving me flower child with an edge by walking around with pregnant stomach exposed and I love it… I am sure it feels very liberating for her,” tweeted one person.
“one thing about rihanna – she’s GOING to show that bump and i love it,” another user wrote.
“Rihanna’s maternity outfits are FUCKING FIRE,” one fan added, alongside four photos of her various fashionable looks. “Rihanna is SLAYING with her baby bump,” another tweet read.
Many fans have even credited the Fenty Beauty founder with “inspiring” people, pregnant or otherwise, to embrace their bodies “at all stages.”
“Rihanna’s consistent rejection of maternity clothes is inspiring,” one tweeted.
Rihanna’s consistent rejection of maternity clothes is inspiring. Belly out always. 😂 https://t.co/Mnem3VwBoM
— ▪️▫️▪️ (@JaszeeB) February 15, 2022
“Rihanna inspiring women to embrace their bodies in ALL stages is a beautiful thing,” another added.
Rihanna inspiring women to embrace their bodies in ALL stages is a beautiful thing. That being said everyone does not have to do it. If you don’t want to then don’t. It’s that simple.
— BrettBrett (@NappyRhetoric) February 13, 2022
“I think more pregnant women should show skin like Rihanna,” read one tweet, which received over 56,000 likes in agreement.
I think more pregnant women should show skin like Rihanna
— Tracee Ellis Sauce (@Return2Mars) February 12, 2022
And several users went so far as to honor Rihanna for “redefining maternity fashion” as a result of her “bold” and “daring” clothing choices.
But, while Rihanna’s supposed new style has been receiving tons of praise, some fans pointed out that her looks are no different from those she’s worn throughout her career.
Fans of the star will know that as a renowned style icon and fashion industry mogul, Rihanna has long been dressing in revealing and striking outfits.
However, it seems that Rihanna is now using her striking approach to fashion to subvert the expectations of traditional pregnancy style.
“i feel like rihanna has beeen dressing like this , y’all just view maternity wear a specific way . like you’re looking at the bump and not the actual clothes,” one person tweeted.
i feel like rihanna has beeen dressing like this , y’all just view maternity wear a specific way . like you’re looking at the bump and not the actual clothes ..
— tswanajawn (@oneeleng_) February 15, 2022
Another user echoed, “Can we just appreciate @rihanna a bit more for showing us that pregnant women are not restricted to maternal attire and you CAN show your belly (and titties) freely and unapologetically during this time.”
Can we just appreciate @rihanna a bit more for showing us that pregnant women are not restricted to maternal attire and you CAN show your belly (and titties) freely and unapologetically during this time.
— cma (@_carmyy) February 10, 2022
And while it may seem obvious that pregnant people are free to wear whatever they wish, it’s pretty rare for celebrities to expose their baby bumps in the public eye.
In fact, historically, many stars making public appearances during pregnancy have taken to the red carpet in longer dresses and looser fits, often avoiding showing their bumps at all.
Kim Kardashian’s famous 2013 Met Gala dress, Beyonce’s one-shouldered gown at the 2011 MTV VMAs, and Jennifer Lawrence’s recent floor-length number at the Don’t Look Up premiere are just a few examples of outfits that — while certainly embracing the form of the pregnant body — have covered baby bumps entirely from view on the red carpet.
But with Rihanna doing things differently and refusing to hide her bump, fans have praised her for “setting trends” and reworking the current beauty standards in play for pregnant people — which is only to be expected, given that she’s previously enlisted several pregnant models to walk in her Savage X Fenty fashion show.
Meanwhile, another celebrity who’s straying away from age-old stereotypes at the moment is Shay Mitchell, who’s expecting her second child with partner Matte Babel.
Since announcing her pregnancy, Shay has stepped out with her baby bump — also accessorized — on full display, receiving praise for her nonconforming approach.
Shay has also openly embraced parenthood in different ways. Back in 2019, following her first pregnancy, she was commended by fans for sharing a picture of herself breastfeeding her little girl.
The stunning photograph of Shay and her daughter captioned “Breast friends” was quickly flooded with an array of supportive comments.
“This is absolutely wonderful. Breastfeeding needs to be more accepted as norms of life. Bravo for putting this beautiful image out in the world,” one Instagram user wrote. “To the ppl saying cover up and put the cameras away… breastfeeding is a completely normal thing,” another echoed.