Rihanna and I Both Started 2020 With Pimples on Our Chins (and Neither of Us Put Out a New Album, Either)

Rihanna arrives for the AFI Opening Night Gala premiere of “Queen & Slim.”
Rihanna arrives for the AFI Opening Night Gala premiere of “Queen & Slim.”
Photo: Frederic J. Brown (AFP via Getty Images)

If there were a “stars—they’re just like us!” moment we expected to kick off the new decade (after Beyoncé kicked off awards season by bringing her own champagne—carried by her bodyguard—to the Golden Globes), we for sure didn’t think it’d come from Rihanna. After all, in 2019 she was named the world’s wealthiest female musician, with multiple successful empires in play and a cadre of execs, influencers and employees at her fingertips—which means all we presumably have in common with the self-proclaimed bad gal is blackness, womanhood and “work, work, work, work, work, work...”


But in lieu of another red carpet glamour shot, an equally glamorous not-so-candid capture in some exotic locale, or (God forbid) her upcoming cover art, Rih opted to keep it real for us in her first selfie of the year/decade. On the Monday-est Monday ever to Monday (otherwise known as Jan. 6, official post-holiday back-to-work day), Rih let us know she’s not immune to holiday stress (or maybe even holiday indulgences), showing off a lovely new zit on her otherwise still-glowing fresh face.

Perhaps I love this selfie because I am currently in possession of a matching zit on my chin (which is not nearly as cute as Rihanna’s and therefore won’t be photographed and shared with the world). But of course, a pic is never just a pic in the celebrity world, so Rih’s followers instantly looked for signs—with the new album still being dangled beneath their open noses, could this selfie be a tease for the rumored launch of Fenty Skincare on the horizon?

“Rihanna’s putting this pic with a pimple and some months later she will release Fenty Skin and prove how it cleared this pimple,” wrote a follower (h/t Refinery29) “A smart businesswoman, I stan.”


If it’s simply another crafty tease, we’re here for it (I mean, when is a Rihanna tease not entertaining?), but as much as we’re eager to find out the secrets behind Rihanna’s perpetual glow (and whether she has a treatment for these pesky hormonal zits), maybe there’s a simpler explanation:

Rihanna has a zit, still feels cute, and decided to show us that her pores are not, in fact, platinum-plated...and maybe, we can take a cue from her in this new year, and be a little more accepting of our so-called “flaws.” (Okay, now who’s reading too much into it?)


“In 2020 we don’t cover our pimples, we let them shine,” wrote another commenter.

Or maybe, in 2020, we just adopt Rihanna’s legendary IDGAF attitude and focus on our hustle. Empires don’t build themselves, you know.


Maiysha Kai is managing editor of The Glow Up, host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast and Big Beauty Tuesdays, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door. May I borrow some sugar?



On my face it’s a pumpkin sized tumor. On hers, it’s a friggin’ beauty mark.

It’s not even fair.