She’s arguably one of the sexiest women in the world and her Instagram name is @badgalriri, but in a new interview with Elle magazine, Rihanna focused on a more innocent time in her life. The magazine asked a few of the singer’s friends and fans to share questions they’d like Rihanna to answer. David Copperfield offered to make her disappear and reappear anywhere in the world, asking, “Where do you want to go, and why?” Rihanna said she’d go to “Ten minutes before I lost my virginity… and I’m holding you to that offer. LOL.”
The interview is featured in Elle’s October issue, which features Rihanna on the cover (right in time for the release of her Spring ‘18 Puma x Fenty collection) and only a few quotes from it are currently available online. The full issue comes out on September 19, so we’ll have to wait until then to see if she ever answered the “and why?” part of Copperfield’s question. While I see the appeal of crowdsourcing interview questions from other celebrities, the downside is that we don’t get any follow-up questions. After Rihanna mentioned her interest in revisiting that time in her life, I wanted someone to immediately ask an open-ended question like, “Can you tell us more about why you picked that moment?” Her answer leaves so much unsaid, and the LOL on the end makes it even more confusing. Is she actually joking? Or is the LOL just an attempt to lighten the mood after choosing such an emotionally-fraught moment?
Rihanna didn’t mention when it was that she lost her virginity, but in 2014, she told Teen Vogue that she was a late bloomer. She had a flat chest and mosquito-bitten skin, and she wasn’t allowed to date. She said, “At 13 my mom would tell me, 'You can have a boyfriend when you’re 16.’ And then at 16 she’d say, 'I never said that—and as a matter of fact, it’s 40!’“
Now that she’s an adult and those awkward teen years are long gone, Rihanna works to protect and empower young women. She recently donated bikes to provide girls in Malawi with access to education. She can’t go back in time and change her past, but there’s still time to inspire and strengthen the next generation of girls.
As a performer, philanthropist and entrepreneur, Rihanna comes across as an unstoppable creative force. It’s hard to picture her as anything else, but underneath it all, even RiRi is human—and she’s allowed to have regrets.