Rihanna took it all off for GQ‘s “Obsessio of the Year” issue, and explains how she came to release what being a “sex symbol” means. (We guess might be something to do with being a hot pop star who takes her clothes off.)
“I was a lot more naive about the way I moved and the way I was being perceived” she says of the era shortly after she was first discovered by a vacationing music producer in 2003. The more you hear people talk about ‘Oh, you’re a sex symbol,’ it just makes you think, ‘Why are you saying that?’ And I figured it out.”
The reason for the confusion? A difference of culture. Rihanna comes from Barbedos, where the female body isn’t considered to be a “shocking” like it often is the U.S.
“That comes from my culture. That’s just the way it’s always been, and I think that for people, especially in America, they make it like the forbidden fruit, but that only makes kids more curious.”
Rihanna also addressed the Chris Brown-Drake fight that was rumored to be over her: “There’s no proof of that being for my love. That’s my answer to that question.”
She did several revealing photos for the mag that really showed off a few of her more than 15 tattoos. Here’s a guide to what they are and what they mean:
1. Chest tattoo: This winged tattoo in the middle of her chest is a giant Isis for her GranGran Dolly.
2. Right wrist tattoo: Rihanna got this Maori-inspired geometric tribal tattoo in 2008 in New Zealand. She said at the time ““It’s tribal. It represents strength and love. It’s their traditional way of tattooing. I always wanted [one]… [But] it hurt like hell!”
3. Hip tattoo: This is an “incorrectly written” passage from the Hindu scripture Gita that’s supposed to mean “forgiveness, honesty, suppression and control.”
4. Gun on right side ribcage near the breast: She got this one in 2009, and originally wanted it on both of her shoulders, but ultimately decided to put it somewhere more discreet because of her Cover Girl contract.
5 Stars on her back: Rihanna’s got a pattern of stars on her neck running onto her back, but who knows why. Because she’s a star, because stars are pretty? Rihanna also has a star in her ear.
Rihanna’s seventh studio album Unapologetic drops November 19.