Chris Brown wasn't the only topic discussed during Rihanna's sit down interview with talk show queen Oprah on Sunday night's "Oprah's Next Chapter." Rihanna opened up about her road to fame and being "stifled" by her record label.
Since her debut in 2005, Rihanna has undergone the most dramatic style transformations. Releasing a new album nearly every year since her first album, the Bajan pop star has rocked a new look for each. She went from" island princess" to "R&B diva" to "gothic" to "provocative" to "gangsta" to now her own personal style. The ever-changing fashionista finally explained her chameleon-like image.
"It started off really...claustrophobic. I feel like I was really really protected. Really guarded with myself," said Rihanna. The singer moved from her homeland Barbados at the tender age of 16 to fulfill her dreams as an entertainer in America. After one audition with L.A. Reid and Def Jam president Jay-Z, Rihanna was signed within a day. At the time, Rihanna never imagined that her record deal would lead to international superstardom. She also never imagined that her fame would come at a cost of losing herself.
"I feel like they [Def Jam] were giving me the blueprint and I couldn't get with that," she admitted timidly. She continued speaking at a slow pace, as if she was making sure to choose her words wisely. "They had a brand, they had an idea of what they wanted me to be without figuring out who I was and then working with that." She added, "I felt stifled because I don't even know who I am at 16 and 17 years old." Throughout her career, Rihanna tried her best to discover and show her true self. "I was uncomfortable with that. The only way I could do that was by bursting out of it."
As she transitioned into her truer style by experimenting with different trends and hairdos, Rihanna recognized her sexy. The 24-year-old was recently honored as the "Sexiest Woman" by Esquire magazine. "I do not think about things like that...I don't really even understand that. It's flattering. Inaccurate, but flattering," the starlet said of her new title. Perplexed by Rihanna's disregard for her own sex appeal, Oprah asked how the star exudes that amount of raunchiness without feeling sexy. "I had to fake it till I made it. That's what I had to do. I had to pretend that I was as comfortable. I really was not...I just felt like I had to fake it. I had to just go for it," Rihanna explained.
No longer the squeaky-clean pop star, Rihanna is now a badass style icon who sings racy lyrics and tweets racy bikini photos. She began to operate on her own without the help of the marketing machine. Rihanna's current style is very street inspired. She mixes high-end with high-street, flaunting her devotion to authentic style versus being just another label hoarding celebrity. With her love of affordable pieces like Jordans sneakers, TopShop items, and ASOS goodies, Rihanna makes one of the greatest fashion influential leaders of the street-style world.
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