Rihanna has put up a post to remind us that she has always upheld this level of respect for her community.
In a world currently dominated by the fight for equality among races and all minority groups, black business is being heavily promoted by celebrities in a forward push for change.
It seems many prominent celebrities are using their social media influence to bring awareness to black businesses, including the likes of the Kardashian family, Chelsea Handler, Miley Cyrus, and many more. The focus has been on promoting something other than white standards and white business models, in an effort to create a more diverse playing field for people of color.
There’s one person that has always done that though, and Rihanna has put up a post to remind us that she has always upheld this level of respect for her community, dating way back to when she first began her now wildly successful brand, Fenty Beauty.
With this post, Rihanna has reminded us that remembering her roots and upholding the values of the black community has always been top of mind for her, and she’s not just jumping on the bandwagon to drum up support now, when the conversation is trending.
With the launch of Fenty in 2017, Rihanna entered the very cut-throat world of cosmetics, a world so clearly defined by, run by, and dominated by the White culture. Up against the likes of Kylie Cosmetics, and the major brands we all know and love, Rihanna remained unwavering under the pressure, and pressed forward with her Black-based, Black funded, and Black focussed campaign. She used historic images of people in the black community, courtesy of Kwame Brathwaite.
Kwame Brathwaite has been coined as a “Black Instagram Icon.” He has dominated the world of Black photography with his talents as a photojournalist. His focus is on creating a visual display of stunning Black culture with roots in Harlem and Africa. His portrayal of the Black community is raw and powerful, and he’s highly esteemed in his field. The Guardian describes him as having dedicated his life and career; “working to elevate natural black beauty during a time when the fashion industry was resistant.”
Rihanna carefully selected him to represent her brand as she selected his archived photos to launch Fenty in 2017. Her post reminds us that the current times we are living in are not just a conversation. They are not just a significant moment in time. While both of these statements are certainly true, the relevance of our current state is greater. The times we are living in are a reflection of struggle that the Black community has faced for many years. Rihanna’s powerful and bold commitment to maintaining pride in her culture and sticking to her black roots in the competitive White-dominated industry of beauty has paid off – but this should never have been a fight she had to tackle in the first place.
Hopefully society’s perspectives will shift under this pressure, and recognize that the definitions of ‘beauty’, ‘culture’ and ‘equality’ need to be adjusted to be more inclusive, as does the world that we live in.