Rihanna: ‘I won’t compromise my image’

Singer shrugs off poor role model criticism and insists she wants to stay faithful to her music

Rihanna has shrugged off criticism that she is a bad role model for young women and insisted she was unwilling to change or compromise her image.

The ‘Talk That Talk’ star has been attacked by several people in recent months for her sexualised persona and controversial videos, but told BBC Breakfast that she wasn’t interested in meeting “society’s standards” when making music.

Earlier this month (March 8), the singer found herself under attack from Will Young, who claimed that her lyrics were “not empowering” for young women and that her racy videos, such as the promo for her single ‘S&M’ which features shots of her kissing a girl, were overly salacious.

Previously, meanwhile, the video for her single ‘We Found Love’ was described as a “disgrace” by anti-rape campaigners after it showed her being spanked by male model Dudley O’Shaughnessy, while US pressure groups called for the video for her single ‘Man Down’ to be banned after they claimed it promoted murder, although she insisted it could help “give a voice to victims”. The video portrayed her shooting an attacker after being raped.

Rihanna, however, countered by saying: “Music is art for me. I really just want to make a great song, so when I make a video it has to stay true to the song,” before adding:

I never want to compromise my art. It may offend some people, it might not be perfect for society’s standards, but it’s OK for me.

Earlier this week, Rihanna admitted that she used to suffer from body-image problems until she became comfortable shedding her clothes and baring her flesh. “The more I got naked the more comfortable I felt. I just had to face my fear,” she said. ” It was just knowing my body is the way it is no matter what that helped me. Knowing that it is what it is under clothes or outside of clothes.”

Rihanna, who released her last studio LP ‘Talk That Talk’ in November last year, is set to headline BBC Radio 1’s Hackney Weekend event – a huge outdoor festival set to take place this summer to celebrate the 2012 Olympic Games. Rihanna will headline the event’s second night (June 24), with Jay-Z closing the show on the event’s opening evening (June 23).