Rihanna: ‘I’m so shy I don’t even want you to know I’m shy’

Rihanna attends Fenty Beauty's 1-year anniversary at Sephora

Interview Magazine basically does seasonal issues now, and Rihanna is the cover girl for Interview’s Summer issue. You can see the cover package here – the photos by Pierre-Ange Carlotti are striking, but the real gem is the interview by Sarah Paulson. Paulson and Rihanna met and became good friends while working Ocean’s Eight. You could just tell from their promotional work together that they really got along. And Sarah brings out the funny side of Rihanna in this interview too, the way a good friend can. Some highlights:

Scheduling “personal time” in her calendar: “I never used to be this way. It’s only the last couple years that I started to realize that you need to make time for yourself, because your mental health depends on it. If you’re not happy, you’re not going to be happy even doing things that you love doing. It’d feel like a chore. I never want work to feel like a chore. My career is my purpose, and it should never feel like anything other than a happy place. I’ve made little things a big deal, like going for a walk or going to the grocery store. I got into a new relationship, and it matters to me. It was like, “I need to make time for this.” Just like I nurture my businesses, I need to nurture this as well. I’ll shut things down for two days, three days at a time. On my calendar we now have the infamous “P,” which means personal days. This is a new thing.

Whether she sleeps: “I don’t have a sleep pattern. I have sleep pockets. I fit it in when I can. That’s why I take those personal days so seriously. Because it’s like, “You had all of me. I gave you the answers.”

The biggest misconception about Rihanna: “People don’t know that I’m shy. [Paulson tells her she knew right away that she’s shy.] And you are good at reading someone’s character, because that’s what you do for a living. Your gift is that you would know the exhibited behavior of a shy person. Because I kind of pretend it’s not happening, people read me as being confident. But I’m so shy I don’t even want you to know I’m shy.

Whether she’s in love: “Of course I am.”

Whether she’ll get married: “Only god knows that, girl. We plan and god laughs, right?”

Whether she wants to be a mother: “More than anything in life.”

The first thing she does in the morning: “Pray. Unless I have to pee or something. I always want to start my day with a little devotion. I buy these devotion books and they’re dated, so you just pull up the date and that devotion is for that day. I’ve always been [a person of faith]. My first time praying and fasting was when I was 7 years old. I did that on my own, because I wanted to go to New York, and I knew that this was a sacrifice I had to make in order for god to make sure I could get there.

[From Interview]

So, she’s in love, she doesn’t have immediate plans to get married, and she wants kids. She’s also shy and a workaholic who only recently started making personal time a priority. I remember when Rihanna’s life seemed like a nonstop party – remember those days? When she would go down for Carnival and spend a month in a booze-and-marijuana haze on the beach? But that was years ago. Now she’s works, works, works. And loves and schedules private time. And describes herself as “shy.”

Kim Kardashian West at arrivals for Camp...

Photos courtesy of Interview and Backgrid.

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44 Responses to “Rihanna: ‘I’m so shy I don’t even want you to know I’m shy’”

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  1. Incredulous says:

    Really shy people can overcompensate to hide their shyness. (I’d be one of those.)

    • Original Jenns says:

      Yes! Or else we come off as snobby/stuckup because we stay quiet – that’s me. It’s funny that people close to shy people don’t believe they’re shy – it’s because we’re comfortable with you!

      • hmm says:

        That’s my type of shy too! People just think I’m aloof, when really I’m terrified of them.

    • Snowslow says:

      I’m that kind of shy too. Perhaps more of an introvert but sometimes social events make me really sweaaaaaaty and talking to people is painful. But everyone things I’m this super confident person.

    • Lolamd says:

      I am not shy but I am an introvert.

    • Alissa says:

      I knew exactly what she meant! I’m more of an introvert than shy, but often get pegged as shy. But I’ve also had people tell me they wish they had my confidence because I “was so shy I didn’t want people to know I was shy” so I overcompensated and acted like I was confident. That was mostly in high school/college though.

  2. Jadedone says:

    I have seen Rih in concert it was less then impressive, frankly she didn’t put much effort in. It will be interesting to see how much work she puts into these other ventures.

    • chlo says:

      Isn’t it already obvious how much effort she puts into these other ventures?

      • Jadedone says:

        It’s obvious she pays highly skilled people but no it’s not obvious how much effort she puts in. She doesn’t put much effort into her regular career why assume she is putting effort into other ventures? Do I think Jessica Simpson or Ivanka Trump are actively involved in their clothing lines, hell no.

      • olive says:

        yeah Rihanna hasn’t really been a working musician in years now, and she’s clearly been very successful with all her other business projects.

  3. Cindy says:

    Eh… I don’t know how someone “shy” can become a pop star of her caliber. But if you say so, Ri…

    Maybe “reserved” would be a better word? It makes more sense.

    • MangoAngelesque says:

      Performers are often the biggest natural introverts and/or shy types.

      Even Kate McKinnon, Kristen Wiig, and Tina Fey are introverted, shy people. Performance doesn’t really involve actual interaction and revealing connection…which is what most shy people are wary of.

    • Eliza says:

      I would argue that Britney is shy. Performing on stage and meeting people in person are two very different beasts.

    • olive says:

      she’s not the first singer to talk about naturally being shy and having to overcompensate to perform.

      • Cindy says:

        I know she’s not – and everytime I hear a performer say that, especially one of worldly caliber like Rih, I think they are just throwing that line out there to seem more relatable. Rih’s career literally involves her worth being measured by her popularity.

        “I like hanging out with my other rich friends, we go to parties in exclusive penthouses and yachts around the world where we consume all kinds of drugs and expensive booze” doesn’t sound very relatable, but that’s the reality of celebs like her.

      • A says:

        I mean, I’m shy and an introvert. And I wouldn’t say that I’m all that popular, but people have been surprised at how shy I really am because they’ve only ever seen me during the moments I’m hanging out with friends, or overcompensating for the shyness and running my mouth because I’m too nervous about having to talk to people. Hanging out with friends, going to parties in exclusive penthouses or yachts around the world, consuming drugs and expensive booze–shy people still do those things, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re still nervous about meeting new people or having to put yourself out there lol. I’d even wager that a lot of shy people self-medicate with alcohol.

    • Some chick says:

      Most shy people would rather die than let you know that we are shy. That’s how it works!

      Sounds to me like she is an extraverted introvert. It’s possible to be shy yet outgoing. I have worked all my lifetime to overcome shyness. Mine is caused by trauma. I hope that’s not the case for Rih.

    • oh-dear says:

      I’m not sure why you would argue a claim a person makes about themselves?

      • Cindy says:

        If Melania Trump told you she’s a feminist, would you just believe her because she says so? If a nurse told you she’s terrified of blood, wouldn’t you find that a bit weird?

        Rihanna is just the 9849th A-lister pop star/movie star to claim she’s actually really shy. Which doesn’t really make much sense when you consider the career she chose – and succeeded at.

      • eto says:

        Eh I think you’re taking this a bit to the extreme. Also shy means reserved or nervous in the company of other people (thanks, Google!) so don’t know why you’re splitting hairs.

    • perplexed says:

      It’s probably easier to act out another persona (which is what you do as a performer). I think being yourself (or even talking about yourself that forms a connection to another person) is harder.

      I think shy people also try to get out of their comfort zones to overcome the shyness, because you can’t really get everything out of life that you need (I.e even a job) if you decide that “eh, I’m shy, I can’t do anything about it.” You’d never succeed if you decided you’re not going to do something because of a personality quirk.

  4. Snowslow says:

    I don’t understand this cover.

    • Elisa says:

      Right? I find it gross, tbh. She looks absolutely stunning in that pink dress, though.
      Also, maybe she is shy in an alternate universe? 🙂

  5. Lucy says:

    I love you, Rob!!

  6. Chimney says:

    Rihanna is such a cutie, happiness looks good on her! It’s always interesting to see who sticks around over time. I remember she was queen of the basement party bops when I was in college and now she’s running multiple business and ready to settle down by the sounds of it. Good for her!

    • original_kellybean says:

      She looks great in that pic with the pink dress. Her skin is absolutely radiant.

      • Surly Gale says:

        I KNOW..that’s what I came here to say…I LOVE the pink dress and the ruffles in front. she glows

  7. Elle says:

    I used to do a lot of public speaking, but I’m an introvert and am shy. I know a lot of people in the public eye are shy. When it’s a job or a task, many of us can appear outgoing, and it may surprise many that we’re shy. Being shy doesn’t necessarily mean to always hide away. It can also be that the person reveals very little of their true self.

  8. styla says:

    There’s a difference between shy and social anxiety or a lack of social skills or a lack of self confidence. I think people mix them up sometimes.

    I’ve been shy my entire life but not never once was I ever afraid of anyone or of myself.

  9. GirlMonday says:

    An introvert in a world that celebrates and rewards extroversion has to compensate to some degree.

  10. Monicack says:

    I get it. On the way to social gatherings my stomach is a tight ball of nerves. Once there I’m the wittiest most charming person in the room. My hubby tells me that I’m his social ticket because I always increase the positive energy around others. But when it’s over and we’re heading home he gives my hand a little squeeze because he knows how hard it is for me to be around people.

  11. Mary says:

    I love her

  12. HELEN says:

    beyoncé is also rather famously shy

  13. Tara says:

    Yeah, i think she exaggerates when she says she didn’t use to make time for herself, we’ve seen your beach pictures, girl! I also don’t get when people say that they have no idea if they’re going to get married, like it doesn’t just happen out of the sudden

  14. FredsMother says:

    Saw a picture of Rihanna today. She is wearing a see-through leopard lounge suit legs spread on a sofa, smirk on, and giving major BDE. In fact, Rihanna has more BDE in her little finger than most men i know. And, I do not know how to reconcile all that almost-nakedness, cuddling-up-to-the-arab-sheik-with-a-big-spliff, confidence, sex appeal, and IDGAF-ness with shy.

  15. Beech says:

    FREDSMOTHER, right? I can understand meeting someone or with a group for the first time and you haven’t a clue what to say beyond the casual pleasantries. Remember the exquisite beaded dress she wore for some style thing some years back? She wore a thong and nothing else under the dress and looked incredible. Or the times Nicole Kidman performed in the nude/sex scenes, but proclaimed shyness in interviews? One can only wonder.

  16. FredsMother says:

    @beech..Chile, I don’t know how the dual-personality thing works with these stars🤷🏾‍♀️.

    • PleaseAndThankYou says:

      Dual personality? Do you both understand what “shy” means? You can definitely be shy and make the camera love you, and look sexy in photo shoots. You can be shy and wear sexy clothing; you can be shy and smoke a blunt with your boyfriend… “shy” doesn’t mean “boring” or “prude”. You can be an introvert and still enjoy fashion, enjoy looking sexy, and I don’t know what planet you’re from where being an introvert would preclude you from smoking with your boyfriend… I’m an introvert and shy, but unless you know me well, you would never know what I think and feel, and you wouldn’t consider me “shy” – and I have done all of those things you both apparently consider impossible for someone shy. I enjoy fashion and I will wear whatever makes me feel good, see-through or not. Some of the best models I’ve ever seen are introverts that come alive in front of the lens. You’re both being ridiculous here, either intentionally or sadly because you really cannot understand what it is to be an introvert and shy. GMAFB.

      You can project BDE and being a bad bitch and confidence when you’re an introvert – if anything, it makes you seem even more confident when you’re shy because people misinterpret your shyness. Like you two!

      • Otaku fairy... says:

        This is so, so true. Shy or reserved people are all over the map when it comes to modesty, sex, fashion, and experimenting with substances just like extroverts are.

    • Jegede says:

      @Fredsmother –


      They all CLAIM to be shy for some reason, from Paris Hilton onwards.🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️

  17. Naddie says:

    What’s next , she was bullied at school because she was ugly? Shy people who try to compensate it often falls in the ridiculous spot, unless we’re talking about an exceptional actor. I don’t think she is, and given how she oozes confidence with her bad girl who loves attention persona, I don’t buy it at all. Seems more like the majority of people, who sometimes feel shy, or mistake it for introversion moments.