After 30 million albums sold, over 100 million digital tracks downloaded and countless live performances, pop sensation Rihanna seems pretty well known. After all, she weathered highly publicized domestic violence at the hands of ex-boyfriend Chris Brown and turned it into chart gold with “Love the Way You Lie.” No one could argue that the Barbados native is shy, what with that “S&M” video, right?
Now the singer, just 23, is releasing another new video, and she’s not leaving much room for interpretation with “Man Down,” the literal gunning down of an abusive guy. But none of the above can compare to her new candid interview in the July issue of Cosmopolitan magazine, where a softer “RiRi” is opening up about her struggle to be emotionally available.
“For me, it’s tougher to be vulnerable than to be tough,” Rihanna tells Cosmo. The R&B star admits that the time after her 2009 domestic-violence incident was a “very aggressive and defensive” period. “There was definitely something subliminal happening,” she says. “It was coming out in the way I dressed, the way I did my hair, the way I talked, the way I took my pictures, the kinds of pictures I wanted to take.” The desired effect was a harsh attitude meant to keep everyone at bay.
As you can imagine, with the longer, softer hair and floral prints replacing black leather, a more confident, self-assured, and vulnerable Rihanna has come forth. Which means, she’s opening herself up to relationships in her personal life, and with her fans via Twitter.
“I was so against Twitter,” she admits in the article. “I couldn’t understand how people were supposed to care about what I was doing at any given moment. Then I started to figure out you can treat it like a giant chat room” and give people a “sense of who you are.” Which is a lot more complicated than any video could portray.