President Donald Trump is notoriously online: It’s there his constituents (and sometimes, his administration) has learned about everything from announcing policy initiatives to creating crude nicknames for his political adversaries to, most recently, endorsing Rihanna’s work/life balance philosophy.
The feeling isn't mutual. In November 2018, Rihanna made her disdain for Trump all the more clear when she sent a cease-and-desist letter blocking her music from being played at his reelection campaign rallies. The song in question was “Don’t Stop The Music;” she asked him to stop. Per a letter obtained by Rolling Stone, the singer’s legal team pointed out “As you are or should be aware, Ms. Fenty has not provided her consent to Mr. Trump to use her music. Such use is therefore improper.”
It’s not the first time she’s spoken out about the current president, either — in September 2017, she @’d Trump about the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. “Don’t let your people die like this,” she wrote, a plea that seemingly went ignored given that Trump has continued to otherize the island and the American citizens who live there, and has repeatedly blamed them for not receiving the funds necessary to rebuild.
Given that criticism often causes Trump to shut down, it’s perplexing that he – or someone who has access to his Twitter account – “liked” a tweet writer Heben Nigato made about Rihanna’s philosophy on work/life balance on June 11.
“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,” Rihanna said in an interview with Sarah Paulson for Interview Magazine. “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.”
She added: “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.”
It’s not surprising that anyone would endorse the singer’s outlook, as it is objectively a good one. Work/life balance is important (if incredibly elusive, and often impossible for many people to actually achieve). And as someone who is balancing an industry-disrupting lingerie line, a powerhouse makeup line on trend for a $1 billion valuation, her status as the first Black woman to lead a luxury fashion house, and, yes, her upcoming album, she knows a thing or two about needing to carve out some me-time.
President Trump is also no stranger to navigating the tricky art of work-life balance, though many critics could handily argue that his inequity falls more on the life side of things than work. To wit: NBC News estimates that of his 873 days in office, the President has spent 270 days at properties owned by the Trump Organization, and has spent 194 of those days golfing. New York also detailed his fondness for “executive hours,” which dwarfed his time spent in meetings last winter. As for his actual workload, a January 2018 report from Politifact found that, after his first year in office, Trump had enacted the least amount of legislation of any post-World War II president. (Of course, given the nature of many of his administration’s policies, perhaps that’s for the best.)
And sure, being President is probably an extremely stressful job, but it is still understandable why people were surprised at Trump’s Twitter activity, given… well, the state of a lot of things right now. (Generally, people should not be surprised that other people endorse Rihanna’s viewpoints because she is, obviously, Rihanna.)
MTV News has reached out to both Interview Magazine and the White House for comment.