5 Ways To Be A "Bad Gyal" Womanist: Because Rihanna Taught Us

Bad gyal isn’t just Rihanna’s screen name, it's a term used in the West Indian community. 

Bad gyal: a woman who embodies confidence and sexual freedom, and challenges how society thinks a woman should act. She's marked by individuality and is known to dress well. 

In the spirit of the modern-day West Indian bad gyal, here are five ways to mirror Rihanna's bad gyal womanism.

At the 2016 Black Girl’s Rock awards ceremony, she even joked about being called a “role model,” because being herself is the only thing she knows how to do.

1. Live unapologetically.

Being a bad gyal womanist also doesn't mean boldly declaring your political views or explicitly stating you’re a feminist, just to be down for the cause. 

2. Never mind the labels.

Rihanna posted stylish pictures at the 2017 Women’s March in DC, cat claws and all. 

A bad gyal is complex. Rihanna sings about “Man Down,” but also becomes vulnerable when discussing her love of family and the broken relationship with Chris Brown. 

3. Be unafraid to get vulnerable.

A bad gyal makes mistakes, but they’re her own to grow from. While many of us criticized Rihanna, and even tried to make her an example to other women, again, she made her choice.

4. Own your mistakes.

Rihanna told us in “Needed Me” that she was a savage. A bad gyal lives in her truth, and that is where her power lies. 

5. Your sexuality is yours, use it!

Rihanna always gives her fans the carefree, sexual lyrics we all expect, but aside from her image, her sexuality is like her super power.

Even if you aren’t a bad gyal like RiRi, she is demonstrating how you too can embrace who you are and own it. And according to Rihanna, “that’s half the battle.”