TIME Magazine has named Rihanna, the wallpaper-y popstar who recently collaborated on two sexy songs with the man whose savage beating of her face resulted in injuries police called "horrific," one of 2012's most influential people.
According to the magazine's own description, the annual Time 100 list is comprised of "the people who inspire us, entertain us, challenge us and change our world." They are "breakouts, pioneers, moguls, leaders, and icons."
Designer Stella McCartney wrote Rihanna's blurb. Here's her attention-grabbing lede:
"I can't remember when Rihanna and I first met, but I think it was near a dance floor and one of her tracks was playing. The thing I remember was her being a normal person…"
She goes on to note that Rihanna is "one of the coolest, hottest, most talented, most liked, most listened to, most followed, most impressive artists at work today," and adds that the popstar "works hard, very hard."
Then there's this:
"Rihanna, 24, goes out of her way to support the people she believes in."
And that, right there, is sort of the problem. As mentioned above, Rihanna recently went out of her way to support the man who, when he thought she had summoned police to report he was beating her, responded by yelling "Now I'm really going to kill you!" and then came damn close.
One of the tracks on which the two collaborated was a remix of cute little ditty called "Birthday," which is about cake but, like, grown-up cake. Her assailant's first line on the track is "Girl, I wanna fuck you right now." Grown-up cake.
A few weeks ago, Rihanna spoke to Elle Magazine about the vehement backlash against her very public reconciliation with Chris Brown. She was unfazed.
"I'm still going to do what I want to do."
It's unclear why TIME chose Rihanna, whose occupation the magazine gives as "superstar," over, say, Beyoncé (also nominated), who, like Rihanna, is very cool, hot, talented, liked, listened to, followed and impressive.
Was Rihanna chosen because she challenges us to give second chances to those who don't deserve them? Because she entertains us by dancing topless in a field? Because she inspires us to say "Fuck the haters—You are all haters and fuck you for that; I do what I want"? Because she changes the world by speaking out on behalf of victims of domestic violence?
Definitely not that last one. And, while she can't be faulted for declining to take on a role as an advocate against domestic abuse, she certainly can be criticized for rolling her eyes and saying she's not a role model anytime someone implies that she, a record-breaking, Grammy-winning artist, and member of TIME's list of the 100 most influential people in the world, might be someone young girls look to as a role model.
Of course, maybe the fault lies with TIME itself.
McCartney concludes her Rihanna blurb with the enthusiastic but confusing assertion that "she's the Barbados ambassador for youth and culture, and she's coming to a town near you."
Last year's list of influencers included Gossip Girl actress Blake Lively.
Sounds like they need a better vetting process, all-around.
[Image via Getty]