Another week, another Rihanna cover, still no "R8".
The multi-faceted beauty covers Vanity Fair's November issue with a typically stunning spread shot by Annie Leibovitz.
This time however, unlike the no-interview policy of her FADER cover, Rihanna gave a very candid interview to accompany the glossy spread, giving the world a rare glimpse into the life of a 27-year-old superstar.
At this point it goes without saying that any photo she takes is gorgeous so we'll skip past that and instead look at what the "Diamonds" singer has to say.
For the first time in over two years she spoke about her relationship with Chris Brown - which briefly resumed in late 2012 and came to an end at some point in 2013 - and the decision to go back to the man that infamously assaulted her.
The interview reveals that was her last relationship, despite the rumours of Leonardo DiCaprio, Drake and Travi$ Scott, and speaks openly about sex, relationships and her life.
On living up to her "bad gal" reputation":
Honestly, I’ve been thinking lately about how boring I am. When I do get time to myself, I watch TV.
On the dating rumours:
Some guys … I don’t even have their number. You would not even believe it.
That’s why I haven’t been having sex or even really seeing anybody [..] I don’t want to wake up the next day feeling guilty. I mean I get horny, I’m human, I’m a woman, I want to have sex. But what am I going to do—just find the first random cute dude that I think is going to be a great ride for the night and then tomorrow I wake up feeling empty and hollow?
On being a victim:
I just never understood [..] how the victim gets punished over and over. It’s in the past, and I don’t want to say ‘Get over it,’ because it’s a very serious thing that is still relevant; it’s still real. A lot of women, a lot of young girls, are still going through it. A lot of young boys too. It’s not a subject to sweep under the rug, so I can’t just dismiss it like it wasn’t anything, or I don’t take it seriously. But, for me, and anyone who’s been a victim of domestic abuse, nobody wants to even remember it. Nobody even wants to admit it. So to talk about it and say it once, much less 200 times, is like … I have to be punished for it? It didn’t sit well with me.
On the TMZ-leaked picture of her bruised and swollen face that fatal night:
A very nasty woman who thought a check was more important than morals. That shocks you? A check trumps morals by miles.
On taking Chris Brown back four years after the incident:
I was that girl who felt that as much pain as this relationship is, maybe some people are built stronger than others. Maybe I’m one of those people built to handle shit like this. Maybe I’m the person who’s almost the guardian angel to this person, to be there when they’re not strong enough, when they’re not understanding the world, when they just need someone to encourage them in a positive way and say the right thing. A hundred percent [I thought I could change him]. I was very protective of him. I felt that people didn’t understand him. Even after … But you know, you realize after a while that in that situation you’re the enemy.
On their relationship today:
You want the best for them, but if you remind them of their failures, or if you remind them of bad moments in their life, or even if you say I’m willing to put up with something, they think less of you because they know you don’t deserve what they’re going to give. And if you put up with it, maybe you are agreeing that you [deserve] this, and that’s when I finally had to say, ‘Uh-oh, I was stupid thinking I was built for this.’ Sometimes you just have to walk away. I don’t hate him. I will care about him until the day I die. We’re not friends, but it’s not like we’re enemies. We don’t have much of a relationship now.
On being alone:
I’m fine being with myself. I don’t want to really let anybody in. I’ve got too much on my plate, and I’m not even worried about it.
And finally, Jay Z spoke on the delay and current status of "R8":
She wants it to be perfect.
In the age of accessibility and short attention spans, it's easy to forget the life Rihanna has lived. She lived through a real tragedy and made her story more successful than anyone could have precedented, yet the most admirable part of her story is that she doesn't pretend to be perfect.
In her eyes, she still has a long way to go.