RihannaRihanna has posted yet another controversial social media photo. This time around, it is a picture on Instagram of her with an adorable toddler sitting on her lap.

But far from displaying her maternal instincts the image has sparked criticism from her loyal fanbase because she writes “My lil n***a” in the caption.

In response, her followers are begging her to stop using the n-word on her Twitter account.

One person wrote, “The word is derogatory. If some cultures aren’t allowed to say it, no-one should.”

Another said, “So I love the hell out of her but that word I hate.”

Celebs need to read carefully

Still, the “We Found Love” singer has made it a hobby to keep herself in the spotlight with provocative and titillating photos. No doubt the Barbadian songstress believes playing up to the cameras keeps her relevant.

Though, Treavion Davenport, a Los Angeles-based PR expert and celebrity publicist, who helped launch the careers of Gucci Mane and Chrisette Michele, says celebrities need to tread carefully when using an unfiltered social media tool like Instagram.

“Unfortunately many celebs get caught up in the moment and the common folk norm of posting thoughts, observations, and candid photos; that they underestimate the potential negative and far reaching impact,” says Davenport.

April Love, a celebrity publicist and brand strategist in Atlanta, agrees.

“I advise clients that social media can be our best friend one day and our worst enemy the next,” says Love, who has worked with the likes of Monica, Cee-Lo Green and the media personalities from the Real Housewives of Atlanta.

A visual backstage pass

Instagram, a quick and easy way to share photos, was launched just two and a half years ago but has quickly gained popularity, with more than 100 million active users a month. In fact, it has become a favorite among celebs to showcase their extravagant lifestyles and give fans a “visual” backstage pass.

“The pure nature of social media such as Instagram gives fans, and foes, that instant gratification to connect with and feed off of the celeb in question,” says Davenport.

“It is another way to feel in tune and as if they have an up close and introspective view into the psyche and private lives of the object of their cyber-stalking.”

Vivia E. Armstrong, a marketing and social media strategist from Atlanta, says when used properly, Instagram can be an effective tool for marketing and creating brand awareness. “It allows people with few words to make their life more of a collage.”

Nevertheless, if things go wrong the possibility of it going viral is high, she says. “It can be damaging for an image or brand, which can last for a few days, weeks or months, or even be difficult to ever come back.”

When Instagramming goes wrong

Indeed, R&B songstress Fantasia Barrino learned this life-lesson the hard way.

Last year she posted anti-gay marriage sentiments on Instagram and there was uproar.

Barrino quickly backtracked and her management was forced to issue a damage control statement. Later she attempted to say her words were “taken out of context.”

(Continue Reading @ The Grio…)

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    oh god……

  • Yb

    Her “bad girl”, “thug life” persona is going to come back to bite her in the ass. It’s extremely fake and contrived. Her new attitude is a result of music marketing and image manufacturing in America. I highly doubt when she was in Barbados she was calling her friends “nigga”and that she even understands the history of the word. It takes a special kind of person to call a baby “nigga”.

    Rihanna is a beautiful woman with a spark of talent (voice lessons would do her wonders). It’s sad that in order to be a successful music artist she has to resort to embrassing herself and coming of as an uncouth heathen.

  • http://gravatar.com/chanela17 chanela17

    yes. i absolutely HATE when ghettoass parents call their child “lil nigga” it’s terrible!

  • Fantastico

    I hate when people call black children lil/little niggers/as. It’s gross and I believe it robs them of a true childhood. There’s this weird thing where black children get treated as little adults not children in need of protection and respect.

    Yuck! It makes my skin crawl every time I see/ hear a child get called this.

    Adults have a choice, but children should be OFF LIMITS.

  • Fantastico

    As for this comment below it reflect the attiuse that most ppl have when it comes to black ppl:

    If I cant have everything, then you (black people) can’t have anything.

    “The word is derogatory. If some cultures aren’t allowed to say it, no-one should”

    To clarify I think individual black adult people should be able to decide if they want to be referred to as a nigger by friends. I personally don’t want any body calling me that.

  • The Moon in the Sky

    I can’t stand to hear parents refer to boys of all ages as ‘little man’.

  • talaktochoba

    Rihanna, you have a call…it’s Goodyear;

    if you can extricate yourself from invertebrate punks like Chris Brown, they’ll pay you $1000/hr (> twice your going rate) to tether yourself over a stadium this summer…no, NASA said their experimental seats are all filled by simians who tested higher than you stacking letter blocks and matching balls with round holes on the big geometric floor board…

  • Anthony

    My hard headed fifth grader has better judgement than Rhianna.

  • Lisa

    I’m a 21 year old college junior and I don’t have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any kind of social media. Students my age seldom use discretion when it comes to posting pictures, videos, and statuses, and when it comes to employment time this will bite them in the ass. Every time I meet someone from a social club to the club club the minute I mention I don’t have a twitter or Facebook I get looked at like a one-eyed monster. “How do you know what’s going on the weekends,” is normally a common phrase. Just like the majority of other 20-somethings I know, I do go to parties, hang out with guys, have friendship drama, drink occasionally, and I’m not going to lie I have worn some risque outfits… The thing is although I know that, my prospective employers don’t need to and I’m not going to risk a 3.6 GPA for thirty seconds of self-gratification and vanity.

  • Lisa

    According to the Huffington Post nearly 40% of employers check Facebook http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/20/employers-use-facebook-to-pre-screen-applicants_n_1441289.html

    for my little part-time job I have here at school my manager confessed to me that she checks Facebook while before picking the people she wants to interview, if they can do that for a little $10.50 an hour job at Ralph Lauren I can’t imagine what they’d do for hiring someone who is actually going to represent their company

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Bingo! Her caption is no different than the caption in the other post concerning the corner store that wrote “he is in a gang already…” under a black child picture. She marginalize this cute little baby already. I have when people talk and say any kind of thing in front of children especially black children because for some reason people think they shouldn’t use filter around kids. Rihanna for all her success needs to grow up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/weebey.brice.94 Malik Hemmans

    Rihanna is………just forget it

  • Lynne

    I think we ask a bit too much from celebs. Not only are they “just human,” but many come from some questionable backgrounds. Remember when Rihanna’s own father suggested her Chris Brown beating was no big deal?

  • http://www.thinkaboutit-knowaboutit.com/ Danté

    Wow…it’s admirable that you’ve managed to stay away from this culture of social networking. I know I regret ever having gotten sucked into it. I’m sure I’m not alone. It’s gotten so bad that people without social media are considered strange. But honestly, and forgive me if this sounds naïve, but how do you manage? How have you avoided it all?

  • tina

    I would be livid if that was my child.

  • Rob

    Rihanna has always been a joke to me and she will continue to be a joke. The only reason why Rihanna sales because she’s always willing to take off her clothes. My daughter DO NOT AND WILL NOT LOOK UP to her.

  • KKay

    Good for you. I’m a supervisor at a major natural gas company, and my manager has taken to googling and checking facebook before we interview people. Most people don’t take the time or know how to implement the security setting so normally most profiles are open to the public.

    A friend of a friend recently lost a job because of what he had on his Facebook. Another friend deleted his profile entirely because he said he’s too inappropriate in real life at times, so he can’t imagine how he comes across in cyberspace.

  • EL

    Uggh, she’s vile in so many ways.

    As someone said earlier, her “bad gyal” image is sooo fake. I would be so angry if this was my child.

  • http://www.gallimaufry.ws T.

    I highly doubt when she was in Barbados she was calling her friends “nigga”

    I don’t know about that. Barbados is a wonderful place but there are ignorant and uncouth people there too, just like everywhere else. And I say this as a proud Bajan.

  • http://verityreign.com Verity Reign

    I guess I’m the only one, but I just don’t see the big deal. The N-word is used on a regular in urban culture, from song lyrics to everyday lingo. Because she’s Rihanna, an international icon, people want to make it an issue and use it to stir some kind of social movement. It’s not that deep. We really have to except the fact that it’s a word that’s not going anywhere. People have taken away the negative connotations and incorporated it into their regular vocabulary. If you choose not to use it because of historical context, cool. If you choose to redefine what it means and use it as a term of endearment to those close to you, cool. I don’t think it’s much deeper than that. Chill, people. Everything isn’t worthy of a march on Washington. Just my opinion, sorry. *ducks head and dodges bullets* lol.

  • Amber

    I’m with you.

  • Red State Liberal

    Me too but know these type of thing bring out the high horses on Clutch.

  • texaschainsawlovin’

    Ok so if say someone called your 5 year old cousin little nigger that’s ok? You would be fine with someone calling a baby nigger. A cheap and unworthy person. Like when Quvenzhané wallis was called a cunt by a reporter. It’s just a word. Why so serious?

    I don’t know my if someone called my kid that. I would probably punch the living shit out of them. But when we act non-chalant about it. It gives reason for many people of all nationalities to give afro-americans side eye, with this topic. When someone says it’s a word that is not going anywhere, so people need to get over it.I always want to ask them to go to an Italian restaurant and call the waiter a Wop what would the outcome be. It’s just a word, why so serious?

    I see what you are trying to get at, nothing is going to change so why bother, but to me it feels like a cop out.

  • LMO85

    @Yb, I agree. But also, I can’t help but feel like this “tough,” “bad-gal” type ish didn’t come about until after the CB beat down. Age plays a factor as well but it seems like she wanted to prove how tough she was after that mess happened. She appears to equate self-empowerment with selling ‘sex and drugs’ without realizing that it really shows how vulnerable and weak she really is…

  • http://VerityReign.com Verity Reign

    I respect your opinion & I understand it, but I just don’t agree. It’s the context in which it’s said that should be taken into consideration. The Wallis situation was different because it came from a racist, malicious place. At this moment, Rih wasn’t saying this with intention to degrade. Neither was she saying it to some random waitress she didn’t know. Your comparisons are very extreme. When people are around close family & friends we let our guards down & talk casually. I remember my great aunts calling my cousins and me all kinds of things growing up. It was all love, fun & games. We’d laugh it off & continue playing. We knew there was a time & place for certain language & who we could & could not say certain things to. It just wasn’t that deep. If you choose to not call your child or dear ones certain things, then that’s wonderful. But for those who do, I don’t think it requires our judgement.
    Is the issue that she used it in reference to a child? Or do you have an issue with the word in general?

  • Red State Liberal

    If the child’s parent doesn’t mind then you shouldn’t either. There are people who use the term as a term of endearment.

  • http://zazzle.com/robleedesigns Rob

    Term of endearment HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND !!

    Everytime one of us use that term members of the KKK must be laughing their a$$ off.

  • http://gravatar.com/mbm1ame mbm1amesa

    I’m not a fan of rihanna and I first heard about this story and read about it on the British Daily mail website, (some of the comments there were awful) I have never uttered the N word and I don’t like to hear it. What struck me was that, most the commenters were more angry that she was allowed to say it at all and get away with it, but if it was a white person all hell would break loose.
    If that was was my child I certainly would not want anyone calling them the N word. If for example, people who choose to use the word because they are comfortable with it, completely stop, or had never used it in public like they do now. Its sting would be more powerful or painful today, if used by someone on twitter to insult for example President Obama.
    Not condoning Rihanna’s actions but there is some logic in some Black people using the word quite regularly, (apparently to take back the power of the word) and some who don’t because it maintains a balance and demonstrates that the word is not to be messed with by say people people of another race, but its not powerful enough to cause pain.

  • Lynne


    I cannot understand why so many think this is all an act. I think Rihanna truly is tawdry, trashy, and cheap.

    Did you see her interview with Oprah? Sorry, but I see nothing ladylike about Rihanna.

  • Playwitit

    Yup thats pretty much where I’m at on this issue. EVERYONE says nigga nowadays and playing nigga police is exhausting so I’m over it.

  • Playwitit

    How is that a cop out? Maybe if i got paid to go off on everyone that says nigga, it would be worthwhile. However thats not the case. As I said to the op its exhausting and I’m over it. People can say whatever they want but they don’t get to decide how I feel about it.

  • http://www.gallimaufry.ws T.

    Those things have been discussed to death, though, and in the end most people have heard both sides of the argument and have established their own particular opinions on the use of the word and they’re entitled to those opinions and to express them. At this point, feel the way they feel about the use of the word and I highly doubt that hermeneutical discussion is going to change anyone’s mind one way or the other.

  • kelly

    Im so done with Rihanna. Whether its nigger or nigga. It all came from the same negative place and origin.

  • Lisa

    It doesn’t sound naive at all, trust me I get it all the time! As far as social activities go my sorority sisters, friends, and family normally know to shoot me a text or email whenever anything is going on so I’m in the loop about most things. Avoiding it all wasn’t really too difficult. I consider myself a boring person and I have no idea what I would post about. When it comes to communication I use
    emails and text messages so I haven’t missed out there. The only thing I sometimes wish I had was an Instagram just because it would be nice to conveniently get the pictures from my sorors. Then again I’m private and don’t like the idea of randoms being able to access my pictures whether it be through a Google search or someone who follows me letting them see it so the cons outweigh the pros for me personally. Lastly I’ve seen a lot of fights get started over a ‘subtweet,’ and I know at least in my sorority they normally go straight to Instagram or Twitter during recruitment and check for crazy club pictures. When I’m at the club I occasionally will ‘wild out’ like all the other girls, I just don’t want to have the electronic trail behind me as proof of it. Although its not right, I’ve seen a lot of qualified girls get passed on because of a crazy picture or a Twitter rumor got started… I just don’t want that girl to be me.

  • http://gravatar.com/thequietvoice152 Alyssa

    So we’re done with Rihanna but not Jay Z and Beyonce and the host of other high profile celebs that use “nigga” consistently. Ok.

  • http://gravatar.com/thequietvoice152 Alyssa

    Yea but that’s probably not widely used there. I grew up in the Caribbean and I never heard that word used at all. Now maybe because some Caribbean countries are more americanized but back then, doubt it.

  • http://gravatar.com/keimia Kam

    I don’t say it. Never said it never will.

  • http://www.gallimaufry.ws T.

    I grew up in the Caribbean too (proud Bajan, as I said) and still live in the Caribbean, and I have definitely heard people (mainly young men) calling each other ‘nigga’, as a term of affection or camaraderie. Even 10 years ago, which is about the time Rihanna left Barbados, you’d get guys throwing the word around, trying to sound “cool” and Yankee-fied (it’s definitely an Americanization thing) and ending up just sounding stupid. I’m not speaking for the whole Caribbean, though, I’m just talking about Barbados, and I’m not saying its use is widespread even in Barbados — I’m just saying that the word does get used there in certain contexts.

  • Pema

    I don’t say the n-word ever. I do wonder, however, why Rhianna is being singled out for ths comment. All of the Hip-Hop R&B entertainers use the word. Now it’s a problem because she uses it? Give me a break.

  • http://gravatar.com/oshanae oshanae

    I don’t like that either as well let them be a kid

  • Bajantothebone

    One thing not taken into consideration here is that Rihanna is not African American, she is Afro Caribbean and the Caribbean has a very different relationship with the words n*gga and negro than in America. In Barbados, kids being referred to as ‘Lil n*gga is not uncommon because the word doesn’t have the same sting there. (there is only about a 4% white population in Barbados. So she is using a term of endearment she grew up hearing that doesn’t have the same social stigma as in the US

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