Rihanna on growing up in Barbados, her love for reality TV, and being part of the new Dior campaign
Shine bright like a diamond
From late night cartoons to mac and cheese, Nellee Holmes discovers some surprising truths of pop's biggest superstar
What was it like growing up in Barbados? Did you always aspire to be a singer
When I was younger I would just listen to music - Mariah, Celine, Whitney, Destiny's Child - and I wanted to sing. I wanted to make music that could be heard all over the world, and I believed it so much that it happened. It was so far from reality, but then it did not seem far. Only now in hindsight, I look back and that was a really big dream for a little girl from a small island.
They say it's lonely at the top. Can you relate to that?
What is the top? I think you are never there. If you ever feel that you are on top, you only have down to go and I don't ever want to feel comfortable enough to say that.
How difficult is it to be a strong woman in this day and age?
I think women are way stronger than they know. I'm really inspired by the strength that women of this generation and young girls have. I was very blessed to be born into a family that I was born into, because my mother is so strong and my grandmother is so strong, so I think I was lucky to have women like that in my life.
Tell us about how your image and performance as a singer has changed.
I feel like my image evolves as I evolve as a woman. With growth, there's change. My style is a reflection of my mood and my attitude. You can see how it's evolved since the beginning of my career and even in my videos. Style is a huge part of that attitude, of the visuals, and of what I have to say.
How does it feel to be in the Dior campaign?
Dior is just class. It speaks of class and timelessness. It's beauty, it's elegance, and even to be acknowledged by them in those eyes, I feel very special. Not just as a woman of color, I think that's brilliant as well, but as a woman, to be acknowledged by Dior is very special.
How was the experience of being in Paris and shooting the campaign?
I mean this time it was especially memorable because I went to the Palace of Versailles, which is incredible, so much history there. Just to be lying on a couch looking at the beautiful paintings on the ceiling, it was so surreal and awesome.
You seem to live a very glamorous life. But what's the biggest misconception about you and your home life?
At home I just watch TV. I am so boring. I just want to watch TV and lay on the couch. But outside of that I am so spontaneous. I love to get out and travel. The world has so much to offer and there's never enough. I love exploring, trying new things and listening to different types of music, stuff like that.
Is there anything that you love to watch on TV?
Reality TV that is awful. And movies, I love documentaries. Late at night, I only watch cartoons because I don't want to get scared.
What are your fitness and beauty secrets?
Well I eat tons of mac and cheese. No, really I do. But I am really getting back into working out and eating cleaner. I hate vegetables, but I am learning how to incorporate them one by one into my diet and drown them with other things. I am getting better at it and I am getting better with my training. And my face? This is Mila Morales, my make-up artist. I take no credit for this. I don't have a regime. I just moisturise, use make-up wipes and wash with water.
How did you react to the photos recently of the woman who tattooed your face on her body?
You know what? I met her a while ago and she asked me to sign her arm, and the next day I saw her again, and she had it tattooed. That was years ago. I hadn't seen her much since then, so I guess she just never stopped.