A version of the singer exhibited in Berlin is messy: it is almost impossible to recognize the star from Barbados, all sanitized. A new stone in the museum garden of wax dolls.
Having your wax statue at Madame Tussauds or at the Grévin museum: kitsch, the trick is nevertheless one of the markers of certified celebrity. These museums can also boast of unchallenged popularity: before the pandemic sapeuse attendance, the most famous in the world, Tussauds (in London), had some 3 million annual visitors to its counter, Grévin (in Paris) more than 680,000 visitors. And, proof that they are not so anecdotal, it is not uncommon for the statues to be debated, even controversial. Madame Tussauds, for example, made people cringe by moving, in January 2020, Harry and Meghan out of the section reserved for the British monarchy. Ditto Grévin, when the museum decided to discard the statue of Donald Trump even before his failure for re-election. In 2014, that of Vladimir Poutine was attacked by a Femen. More recently, in San Antonio, Texas, it was Trump’s that was used as a punching bag, to the point of being exfiltrated – museum management said Presidents Bush and Obama suffered similar affronts.
Since Friday, it is a version of Rihanna exhibited at the Tussauds in Berlin (the museum has about twenty variations across the world) which is causing disorder. No, it is not too clear like the statue of Beyoncé which had been worth a torrent of lightning at the Tussauds of New York in 2017, with return to the workshop for correction. No, it does not elicit dubious touches like that of Nicki Minaj (on all fours and half-naked, ultra-realistic what) in Las Vegas. She is simply irrelevant: as fans have complained extensively on social networks, it is impossible to recognize the singer from Barbados (where she was made “national heroine” on November 30) in this Christmas maid who seems just one Barbie among others, disembodied at will. Coincidentally, this same Friday, Savage X Fenty, the singer’s lingerie line (who doubles as a businesswoman, in fashion, cosmetics) unveiled a one-off collection with visuals where “Riri” radiates voluptuous flesh, to make the pilou-pilou incendiary. What to underline the failure of this statue, but also to recall the strangeness of this process which consists in freezing beings while they are alive, in replicas as in plastic.