A Requiem for Rihanna's Dead Instagram Account


Loss is defined as the state or feeling of grief when deprived of someone or something of value. Rihanna’s Instagram account was priceless.

“Badgalriri” contained multitudes. Not only did it detail the blunt-smoke clouded adventures, champagne-soaked forays, and bikini-clad antics of the peripatetic pop star, it dispensed wisdom, jokes, advice.

But on Monday, May 5, Badgalriri ceased to exist. It sputtered before dying; disappearing at around 10 am, coming back briefly at 1:15 pm. At some point before the day ended, it was gone again. Days passed, and it did not return. At first there were reports that it had been disabled. Instagram confirmed it had been temporarily incapacitated. But it soon became clear that something was very wrong: “On Monday we briefly disabled the account by mistake and restored it quickly,” an Instagram rep told MTV News. “But I can confirm that we have not deleted the account subsequently.”

This could only mean one thing: Rihanna killed Badgalriri.

Badgalriri is dead.

How can you describe the magic that was Badgalriri? What are the words? Sparkling, enigmatic, coy, triumphant. Badgalriri was full of joy, pain, surprises. There was tenderness — Rihanna’s young, tattooed, bejeweled hand holding an older, wrinkled hand, as the star lost her grandma Dolly to cancer. There was jubilation: A thoroughly documented New Year’s Eve, complete with dinner — Rihanna assisting in the food preparation while wearing a bustier — and dancing — Rihanna arriving at the club cocooned in a plush fur. There was relaxation: A trip to Brazil, with lush green foliage serving as the calm, meditative backdrop for blunts and bikinis; frolicking in the snow and hottubbing in Aspen. And there was also titillation: Last March, for instance, Badgalriri briefly featured the bare breasts of a fan who may have also been a stripper. Caption: I’m a fan of all my fans! They left the concert and went to #WERK #VIPtix #diamondsworldtour #magiccity #stillgotmymoney #likeibephuckinbored. Titillation was a hallmark of Badgalriri, and the most recent nipple kerfuffle may have been the tremor that finally caused the entire palace of promises to come tumbling down, but provocative nudity was not the heart and soul of Badgalriri. The nudity was never the point, never gratuitous — and if it were, so what? If there was nudity, it was because nudity was a part of her life. Like beaches, and weed, and champagne. She shared it all. And that was the core of Badgalriri. It was about the sharing.

Some celebrities are loathe to offer even a tiny glimpse of their private lives. Badgalriri was an open invitation. Come with me. See what I see. It’s all so beautiful. Through Badgalriri, any teenager trapped by youth and carlessness or any dejected, cubicle-dwelling slob could dream, hope, wish. Find love in a hopeless place. Vicariously experience what it looks and feels like to be a svelte, wealthy, jet-setting, famous 26-year-old singer and cannabis enthusiast. One who not only embodies the very definition of joie de vivre but who has elevated the art of living well. Badgalriri was not about complaining — and it could have been; the woman is hounded by paparazzi, gossiped about constantly, and this video in which she is swarmed by fans is terrifying — Badgalriri was a celebration, a constant feast, in which life itself was the appetizer, main course, dessert and fireside brandy. Lick your fingers, drain your drink. Enjoy.

Here’s the thing about loss: Grieving properly involves having something to hold on to. Mementos, tokens, talismans with which it’s possible to imbue the spirit of the lost. Even the most meaningless object can become priceless when it’s associated with someone you’ll never see again. Having just a piece, something to touch, something to see — the object is on an invisible thread, rooted inside you, gently tugging on your heart. The senses connect, the heart aches, the heart heals. But with Badgalriri, it’s just… gone. Deleted. Almost nothing left behind. Oh, you’ll find selfies on Tumblr, sure, but what of the hashtags? What of the 420 jokes? What of the excitement, the anticipation of what a new day might bring? It’s gone. Close your eyes and try to remember. It’s already all a blur. Shimmering in the distance. Yachts and swimsuits and swirls of smoke. Out of focus, out of reach.

Not really sure how to feel about it.
Something in the way you move
Makes me feel like I can’t live without you.
It takes me all the way.

I want you to stay.

Farewell, Badgalriri.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Share Tweet Submit Pin