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Rihanna has been around for 14 years, so she was bound to have people who claim to be her doppelgänger. But which is the best Rihanna look-alike, and who has the photos to prove it? The Barbadian-born singer has been around since 2005, when she released her debut single, “Pon De Replay.” Since then, she’s released eight albums, countless more songs and transitioned her successful music career into fashion and beauty with her makeup brand, Fenty Beauty, and lingerie line, Fenty x Savage. Rihana is the true definition of a boss, and of course, there will be fans who want to emulate her.
Some of these look-alikes are Rihanna super-fans; others are everyday people who became lucky in the genetics department and were born with Rihanna-esque looks. Whatever their stories, there’s something about these RihRih look-alikes that’s made them go viral at one point or another in their lives. Of course, there’s only one Rihanna, but there’s no doubt that some of these women look pretty close. But we’re not the ones to decide that. Only the Rihanna Navy can decide on who can be deemed a real Rihanna doppelgänger. Check out these uncanny AF look-alike photos below and decide for yourself.
When it comes to Rihanna look-alikes, Lara is the supreme. She’s a twentysomething woman from Boston who has been told that she looks like the “Umbrella” singer for pretty much her entire life. “The moment I step out anywhere, everyone starts staring and whispering before I get bombarded by strangers asking to take their photo with me. ‘This happens every day—It doesn’t matter what I do. I can’t go 24 hours without hearing Rihanna’s name,” she told the Daily Mail in 2014. “I know I could happily give up my part-time job and studies to have a career as a Rihanna lookalike.”
The comparisons started in high school when a friend held a magazine cover with Rihanna next to Lara’s face. She didn’t see the resemblance at the time, but she’s it’s undeniable now. “he comments started in my sophomore year. My friend had a magazine with Rihanna on the cover. He held it up to my face and was like “You look like her!” she said. “Personally, I never realized I looked like Rihanna. I do see some resemblance but not as much as everyone else I think.”
After Rihanna’s 2010 album, Loud, was when the comparisons really started. “People began approaching me in the street asking if I was her and I would see photos of myself going viral on social media. Literally, people mistake me for her all the time! I only have to step out of the house for an hour before I hear someone say, “Oh my god, is that Rihanna?” she said. “At first, I thought it was funny to take a picture with someone who believed I was her and then make their day. But as Rihanna gets even more famous, the attention just intensifies.”
She continues, “Some people follow me into stores or as I’m driving. Other times fifteen people will swarm at me all at once to take a picture with me. Ido think the attention I get is cool but there have been some scary occasions when some super-fans have followed me on my way to work everyday. And I must admit there have also been moments when I couldn’t face taking a photo with yet another Rihanna fan. But it really makes their day to think they met RiRi. I’ve never denied anyone a picture.”
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Sertalf’s viral moment came in 2019 when she tweeted two selfies and was flooded with replies from fans who thought she was Rihanna. “You look like you want me to make you feel like the only girl in the world,” one fan tweeted.
“It’s been happening since I was 15 or 16. The first person to say it was my uncle, who told my mother back when I cut my hair,” she told BuzzFeed. “Because I’m a little shy I’ve never used it voluntarily, but it’s true that it’s easier to get into a club or to be offered a drink.”
Though Sertalf wishes that people could appreciate her for her and not her Rihanna-esque looks, she confesses that the comparisons are amusing. “I’ve heard it for a long time and sometimes people ask to take pictures with me when I go out. But in my personal life, it can be a bit complicated because I never know if someone is speaking to me for my personality or because they think I look like Rihanna,” she said. “So when I talk to a guy, it’s often, ‘You look like Rihanna,’ and he’s happy to show me off to his friends, and I often wonder if we can move beyond the looks. But outside of that I find it all pretty funny.”
Kujur is an Indian model who was once discriminated against because of her skin of color. She explained to the Hindustan Times that designers often lightened her skin with photoshop or makeup. However, that all changed when people started pointing out that Kujur looked like Rihanna.
“Photographers would tell their clients that I resemble Rihanna,” Kujur told the Hindustan Times. “That way, it was easier to convince them. No one could deny that Rihanna was beautiful. That sort of worked in my favor. Those who had called me kaali and unattractive had to take back their words.”
Though she didn’t agree with the comparisons at first, Kujur thanks Rihanna for helping her modeling career. (She even named her Instagram handle, @badgalrene, after the singer.) “I laughed off the Rihanna part. But soon, everyone was saying the same thing,” Kujur said. “With such a deep-rooted prejudice in people’s mind, it would’ve been very tough to get work. The Rihanna factor turned out to be a blessing. Rihanna has already convinced people that she’s sexy and beautiful, and the West is crazy about her. If I resemble her, how can I be unattractive? That’s how our mind works. I don’t know where I would’ve landed without Rihanna.”
Shania Ruedas Bernal
Though technically not a “look-alike,” Bernal, a teen from Anaheim, California, had a viral moment in 2016 when she dressed as Rihanna for her school’s Celebrity Day. For the day, Bernal re-created Rihanna’s ANTI cover and subsequently went viral, with many thinking that she was the “Work ” singer herself. “I THOUGHT THE FIRST PICTURE WAS ACTUALLY RIRI FOR A GOOD MINUTE,” one fan tweeted. “Obviously Rihanna looked amazing and then I realized that I could pull together an outfit that’ll look very similar to hers,” she told BuzzFeed. Bernal’s look was so uncanny that even Rihanna commented on a fan account who reposted the picture. “How she do me betta than me doe??” Rihanna commented.
In 2015, Guthrie, a stylist from Hackey, London, told the Daily Mail that people think she looks so much like Rihanna, it’s ruined her life. “I’m single because I look like Rihanna, pure and simple,’ she states. ‘Boyfriends have dated me purely because I look like her—it’s always the first thing they say,” she said. “I have lost count of the amount of people that have been convinced I’m Rihanna – to date I’ve probably been stopped by over 1,000 people in street…
Specifically, Guthrie said the comparisons have ruined her love life. “I’m desperate to find a man who sees past the resemblance. Blokes want me to be Rihanna, but I’m not. I’m Bianca,” she said. She continued, “When I was 14, people at my school told me I was her double,’ she recalls. ‘One time in London a group of tourists ran across a busy street shouting “Oh my gosh it’s Rihanna!” I like Rihanna but when you get asked it 100 times it loses its appeal quickly.”
To stop the Rihanna comparisons, Guthrie cut her hair. It worked. But not for long. “Next thing I knew, she’d cut her hair too, and we looked exactly the same again,” she said. “I had my hair red and then a week later Rihanna did it. Everyone thought I had copied her so I dyed it back.” The comparisons have been so bad that Guthrie said she’s even been followed, “When I left school it just got worse. I would go on holiday and people were convinced it was Rihanna. I’d be followed and then asked for a photo,” she said. To tell you the truth, we don’t see it but we don’t doubt Guthrie has been told it.