Rihanna And Miranda July Talked To Each Other, Are (Maybe) Best Friends

Divisive public figure and twee, curly-haired moppet Miranda July got two goddamn hours with Rihanna for this T Magazine cover story, which is hopefully the beginning of a slow press windup towards the release of her latest alum, Anti. July’s profile of Ri is a curious little piece of journalism, and really, it leaves us with more questions than answers.

Why was Miranda July selected to interview Rihanna, you ask? Who knows! She’s known for her work as an artist, and more recently, a writer and actress. Anything she writes, whether it be a profile, fiction or a text, sounds inexplicably like Miranda July. She can’t shake it. As a reader, you’ll either take it or leave it. Instead of maintaining the traditional, journalistic distance present in most celebrity profiles, Miranda July does what she does best (or worst, depending on your view), which is write a strange, rambling short story that reads like fiction at times, about a lunch date she had with Rihanna.  In this profile, Miranda July becomes best friends — in her mind, in her soul — with Rihanna. Rihanna, for what it’s worth, appears to do the only thing she knows how to do: be herself, without a filter, jubilantly without care.

Rihanna’s fans are legion. They are as dedicated as Beyoncé’s Beyhive, but their queen gives them more to work with. Her unabashed joy in being herself on Instagram feeds the hunger that fans have for authenticity. We know what we’re getting with Beyoncé from the jump  — a cool and calculated version of her best self, the one that she’s looked at with her team and decided is right for us to view. With Rihanna, we can see the seams and the scars.

She’s appealing because you can picture being friends with her, texting her, laying out, smoking a blunt. She’s real. As Mary H.K. Choi writes, in this absolute banger in the FADER, “I have discussed, at length, over drinks, whether or not she works out. How many phones she has. If she ever gets sick. If there exists a man who could date her and, more importantly, who we’d want that man to be, because surely we deserve a vote, because stars are just like us, and of all stars, Rihanna feels the most real.”

And she seems to be in the exact same place as a lot of women are today, mentally. She’s looking out for number one: herself.

What better embodiment of #goals, squad and otherwise, than Rihanna? It’s one thing to sing about running the world and gathering your gals to help you shoulder the burden of being a woman, but it’s quite another to cast aside the trivial pettiness of many relationships and the general fuckery of men in lieu of your work.

‘‘Guys need attention,’’ she explained. ‘‘They need that nourishment, that little stroke of the ego that gets them by every now and then. I’ll give it to my family, I’ll give it to my work — but I will not give it to a man right now.’’

Tattoo it on your forearm. Bring this on first dates, typed on an index card, and slide it across the table. Make it your Tinder bio. Remember, at the end of the day, all you’ll have left is yourself. Dedicate your energy to the places that matter. Channel Rihanna however you must, but let this be a part of your homage.

[The T Magazine]

[The Fader]