Parents defend Rihanna for holding son RZA upside down at his second birthday party

Parents are coming to Rihanna’s defense after a viral video showed her playing with her son RZA at his second birthday party.

The Fenty Beauty founder, 36, and rapper ASAP Rocky, 35, celebrated their eldest son’s birthday on Monday 13 May. The couple, who’ve been dating since 2020, hosted a birthday party over the weekend in New York City to mark their son RZA turning two years old.

However, a clip from the festivities has since gone viral online, sparking a debate among parents. In the video, which was originally shared by makeup artist @itsjazzy.b on Instagram, the “Praise the Lord” rapper can be seen holding their nine-month-old son Riot as Rihanna sat beside him and held RZA in her arms. The toddler appeared to be getting antsy, so the mother of two held him from his legs and lifted him upside down. The Savage X Fenty designer then began gently swinging him from side to side, as guests snapped photos of the family.

The video has been viewed 8.5m times on X, formerly Twitter, and fellow parents are chiming in with their hot takes on Rihanna’s parenting technique. A majority of commenters agreed there was nothing wrong with the way Rihanna held her son, and even explained how they’ve pulled the same parenting hack with their own antsy children.

“I’ve done a thorough investigation of all replies and comments and can confirm that actually 100 per cent of planet earth is celebrating Rihanna’s totally normal parent behaviour in this clip,” one fan jokingly wrote on X.

“If you’ve never held a toddler upside down from their legs like this, then you just haven’t spent much time around kids,” another person said. “This is not weird.”

“Anyone who has a problem with this has never been around a boy toddler,” a third user commented, while another fan said: “Any seasoned parent can watch this and see that RZA was getting restless and was probably about to start fussing/crying. They were mid birthday song and cameras were up everywhere.

“Rihanna kept him distracted, made him laugh, and also got a great pic all at once,” they added. “All I see is a great boy mom. Anything else is a reach.”

Taking to Instagram on Monday, A$AP Rocky shared a birthday tribute for RZA in honour of his second birthday. The “Sundress” rapper posted several photos and videos of the toddler, including one sweet photo of the family of four.


In January 2022, Rihanna and A$AP Rocky revealed they were expecting their first child together. The pair posed for a baby bump-baring photoshoot taken in New York City, in which Rihanna was photographed in a long, unbuttoned pink puffer jacket that showed off her growing stomach.

Their son RZA was born in May that year, though his name wasn’t publicly revealed until nearly one year later. His birth certificate, which was obtained by the Daily Mail, revealed his name to be RZA Athelston Mayers after the Wu-Tang Clan frontman, Robert Fitzgerald Diggs.

Less than one year after welcoming her first child, Rihanna revealed she was pregnant once again. The “Diamonds” singer wore a bright red jumpsuit during her show-stopping halftime performance at the 2023 Super Bowl, which was unzipped to show off a red bodysuit underneath. Following the halftime show, a representative for Rihanna confirmed the pregnancy speculation in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

In August 2023, TMZ reported that the couple had welcomed their second child at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. A birth certificate obtained by The Blast revealed their newborn son’s name to be Riot Rose Mayers.

Speaking to E! News in April, Rihanna explained how being a mother of two boys has encouraged her to embrace her femininity. “I get to be as casual and busted as I want to, but it also forces me to embrace the epic things about being a woman, and a female and all my femininity,” she said during an event for Fenty Beauty. “I embrace it so much more now, like I wear pink.”

The “Umbrella” singer quipped that her style is different from her sons and her partner, adding: “I go between wearing jerseys and like: ‘I’m wearing a dress today! I’m the only one in this house who can do that right now.’”

Rihanna also noted that her sons have helped “highlight” all the things she enjoys about being a woman and mother.

“Because I’m the one that can experience all of that in the house – giving birth to them, carrying them, being a partner with Rocky and running the household and the family. It’s new territory, but it’s empowering,” she said.


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