03/06/2014 10:15 BST | Updated 03/08/2014 06:59 BST

Rihanna's See-Through Dress Just Undermines Her Strength as a Woman

Rihanna has always very categorically stated that she's not a role model and doesn't market herself as such, which is probably a savvy move considering most stars who promote themselves as holier-than-thou almost always end up falling off their pedestal.

But this CFDA photo, where she is photographed wearing a see-through dress while picking up her Fashion Icon award, is the straw that broke the feminist's back.

This feminist's back, to be precise.


Such a dress would be fine in the pages of Vogue, much harder to keep off the smartphones of schoolkids.

This dress, judging by her 'I dare you to say something' stance in the photo, is a statement. Yet it tells you nothing about her brain, what she's thinking or her achievements - this just reduces her to her body parts, and that I do have a problem with.

Some of the defence may be that she gets away with it - Jezebel congratulated her on for being so confident to pull it off.

The latter may be true, but you don't see people handing German naturists awards for being body confident.

If I sound like I'm skirting around the issue, that's because there's no way of saying 'Rihanna, please put some clothes on' without sounding like an utter prude.

Rihanna's confidence and don't-care-attitude is one of the things I love about her, so I think what pains me about this photo is that it's really hard to respect this. That she looks stunning is not called into question - of course she does, she's beautiful and she's Rihanna.

But at what point does confidence bleed into the bloody stupid?

While Rihanna - like other women - shouldn't pay attention to online trolls or perverts - it's a bit baffling that she continues to post pictures of herself semi-nude while people - literally - offer to jizz on her face.

And it's hard to not lament the fact that this confidence and bolshyness isn't harnessed in a better way. In the same way that Beyonce finally took up the mantle of feminism and became an advocate for equality, can you imagine how powerful it would be if Rihanna did the same for self confidence?

Perhaps I should just lighten up.

But there's nothing spontaneous about this choice of outfit - it was chosen for an event honouring her and so was most likely (and depressingly) carefully considered by herself.

So it makes me wonder: what is Rihanna thinking?