After Rihanna was criticized Fenty Beauty’s lack of trans models, she said respects all women, and refuses to use trans models as a ‘convenient’ way to look ‘mad diverse.’
To be fair, what Rihanna, 29, wrote was less of a “clap back” and more of a nuanced, measured exploration of the problematic practice of being diverse for the sake of appearing diverse. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with many gifted trans women throughout the years,” she wrote on Nov. 29 in response to Alberto Otero, a graphic designer, who called for more trans women in Fenty Beauty’s next campaign. “[B]ut I don’t go around doing trans castings! Just like I don’t do straight non trans women castings! I respect all women, and whether they’re trans or not is none of my business!”
“It’s personal and some trans women are more comfortable being open about it than others,” Rihanna continued, “so I have to respect that as a woman myself! I don’t think it’s fair that a trans woman, or [trans] man, be used as a convenient marketing tool! Too often do I see companies doing this to trans and black women alike! There’s always just that one spot in the campaign for the token ‘we look mad diverse’ girl/guy! It’s sad!”
“When I thought she couldn’t teach me more…” Alberto tweeted when he shared the response. He also shared more of their conversation. “I was not criticizing the campaign. I think it’s perfect and I love the design graphic made on it. I just thought it might be a next step, but I perfectly understand your point of view. Sorry if I sounded critical at all. I love you Rih, thanks for explaining.” Rihanna actually said that he “absolutely didn’t” come off as critical and she responded because she “didn’t want you to think I intentionally [left] anyone out.
Rihanna rocked the beauty world with the launch of her “full-spectrum” line of products, per The Glow Up, which included what has been called the “prettiest palette of all time.” This line of products, coupled with her frank discussion about avoiding “tokenism” when casting models, indicated that Rih is rather socially conscious. After all, Rihanna was one of the first celebrities using her platform to raise awareness of Cyntoia Brown, 28, a sex trafficking victim who was sentenced to life in prison at age 16 for killing her rapist and captor. It’s safe to say that when Rihanna’s inclusive in future beauty campaigns, it won’t be a hollow gesture.
What do you think about Rihanna’s reply, HollywoodLifers?