Rihanna Reveals the Inspirations Behind Her Epic Cover—and the Trouble with Being 'Thicc'

We can only imagine how fun it might be to get an in-office visit from Rihanna, but to do so surrounded by couture? We’re swooning, just at the thought. But British Vogue editor-in-chief is a much cooler customer than we could ever hope to be, greeting the megastar mogul like the the old friend she is when she arrives at Vogue House to discuss her history-making appearance as the first black woman to cover the publication’s famed September issue.


As one would expect from a powerhouse like Rihanna, she had quite a bit of creative control over her cover story, personally approving the wardrobe and choosing her photographer, Nick Knight. “He makes magic,” she tells Enninful. “He always pushes it to the limit, and I enjoy that.”

And those retro, razor-thin eyebrows Rih rocks in the spread? As it turns out, they were also her idea, adding a provocative punctuation in an already striking story. Of the controversial choice, she tells Enninful, “[It’s] just such a beautiful [look]—like, very ladylike, but it’s still punk.”

But refreshingly, what’s not razor-thin is Rihanna herself; the star has been open about “the pleasure of a fluctuating body type,” telling fashion site The Cut last year that she dresses her body on a day-to-day basis.

I really pay attention every day when I go into the closet about what’s working for my body that morning. I feel like that’s how everyone should go after fashion, because it’s an individual thing. And then, if you take it further, it’s like: What week are you having? You having a skinny week? You having a fat week? Are we doing arms this week? We doing legs this week? We doing oversized?


But as reported by E! News, she admits in her Vogue interview that all those luscious curves come with a caveat. When Enninful asks her how it feels to be such an enviable and desirable woman, she responds:

OK, you’re asking the wrong person. I don’t know, maybe it’s because I’m ‘thicc’ now. I don’t know. I’m about to get back into the gym and stuff, and I hope I don’t lose my butt or my hips or all of my thighs. I’ll lose some but not all. And I think of my boobs, like, ‘Imma lose everything, everything goes!’ But, you know, it comes with a price. You want to have a butt, then you have a gut.


Ahh, yes—we all know all too well, Rih. But thick or tight (or both), we also know that there are very few stars who are as expressive, inventive and individualistic as Rihanna.


“Fashion is one thing, but style is a completely different thing,” she tells Enninful. “It’s how you express yourself through fashion, and that’s what I enjoy about it—in fashion and makeup—it’s just so many textures and colors and vibes that you can create.”

The Glow Up tip: Rihanna’s history-making September issue of British Vogue hits newsstands Friday, August 3.

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?