Is Rihanna making womanspreading a thing?


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Anyone who has spent any time around men—or has taken the New York City subway—knows all too well about manspreading. But guys aren’t the only ones who have been taking up a lot of space lately.

If anyone is going to make womanspreading a thing, it’s self-confidence guru Rihanna. A quick scroll through her Instagram shows the singer is all for the spreading-out practice—and not just because it’s comfortable. According to one body-language expert, the power pose is hardly a simple coincidence.

“It’s a show of self-perceived sexuality and power. For women it also bucks the trend of ladylike femininity. So [Rihanna’s] showing that she’s competing in a man’s world and is not going to play by the rules.” —Traci Brown, body language expert

“You see ‘crotch displays’ more from men than women,” Traci Brown, author of Persuasion Point: Body Language and Speech for Influence, told Elle. “It’s a show of self-perceived sexuality and power. For women it also bucks the trend of ladylike femininity. So [Rihanna’s] showing that she’s competing in a man’s world and is not going to play by the rules.”

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By taking up more space around her, Brown said Rihanna is showing she won’t let anyone push her around and that “she owns the place, wherever she is.” All that womanspreading also comes with plenty of psychological benefits: “She’s building up power in herself, lowering cortisol (the stress hormone) and building up testosterone (the confidence hormone).”

So, channel Rihanna and take up a little more space this year. You’ll be more comfortable, and a whole lot more powerful too.

Stream these movies and shows for peak #girlpower vibes. Or, check out this study, showing women might be more naturally fit than men.

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