The words “Rihanna” and “too sexy for children” go together like “Drake and Rihanna” and “inevitable Drake heartbreak.” So, it should come as no surprise that the risqué chanteuse is courting controversy once again, this time with a perfume ad that the UK ad authority has deemed just too sexy for display in some places.
The ad in question is for Rihanna’s Rogue perfume. It doesn’t show any of Rihanna’s naughty bits, but it features the R&B singer wearing nothing but some heels and a come-hither stare.
Rihanna’s poster was a bit too much for the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority, which handled a complaint saying that Rihanna’s ad was “overly sexual and demeaning to women,” saying that it “featured a sexualised and provocative image, which was inappropriate for children to see.”
The company responsible for the ad, Parlux Fragrances, countered by saying that – Duh! – Rihanna is known for “her provocative songs and persona.” Further, Parlux argued that the ad showed Rihanna not in a demeaning light, but in a position of power, as indicated by the name “Rogue.”
The ASA found that Rihanna’s expression in the ad was “one of defiance rather than vulnerability” and that “the overall impression of Rihanna created by the ad was one of confidence. The ad, then, was “unlikely to be demeaning to women or to cause serious or widespread offence.”
So… y’know… moral victory.
The ASA did decide, though, that Rihanna’s perfume ad was too sexy for kids… because it’s a Rihanna perfume ad:
“We noted the ad was not given a placement restriction and had appeared in a number of places where it was likely to be seen by children. While we did not consider the image to be overtly sexual, we considered that Rihanna’s pose… was provocative. Because of this, and the fact that Rihanna appeared to be naked… we concluded that the ad was sexually suggestive… ”
So, the ad can still go up, but only with placement restrictions that reduce the possibility of it being seen by children. You know, the same children whose parents are probably buying them Rihanna albums.
Rihanna is set to release – of all things – a concept album tied to a DreamWorks children’s movie, but the singer hasn’t released any other full-lengths since 2012. So the tabloid focus has been on Rihanna’s body, as opposed to her body of work. But it’s not like she’s been shy about showing off the former.
Most recently, she appeared this week at the Council of Fashion Designers of America wearing a super-sheer dress made of Swarovski crystals. Rihanna wore the Josephine-Baker-Meets-Bedazzler getup in order to accept the Style Icon Award, and she told the crowd what fashion meant to her coming up:
“[Fashion] was always my defense mechanism,” Rihanna said. “Even as a child, I remember thinking, ‘She can beat me but she cannot beat my outfit.'”
Lead image via Crystal Candy Makeup.