Rihanna’s Reply On Casting Trans Models In ‘Fenty Beauty’ Campaign Sparks Debate
By Izza Sofia, 04 Dec 2017
Rihanna’s ‘Fenty Beauty’ line has been commended the world over for its inclusivity, stocking products to suit the lightest and darkest of skin tones.
When one fan questioned the lack of a transgender model in the marketing campaign, however, the singer responded directly to clear up any confusion.
Twitter follower @lbertootero brought up the question about inclusivity that Rihanna was quick to address. The conversation began with @lbertootero praising Rihanna’s campaigns, then adding that next time, the singer should invite trans models to the casting. In response, Rihanna reportedly sent a thoughtful reply that has the internet divided. She wrote:
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with many gifted trans women throughout the years, but I don’t go around doing trans castings! I respect all women, and whether they’re trans or not is none of my business! I don’t think it’s fair that a trans woman, or man, be used as a convenient marketing tool.”
“Too often do I see companies doing this to trans and black women alike!”
Rihanna felt that deliberately including a model that’s transgender in her ‘Fenty Beauty’ campaign would be exploitative.
However, there are some who disagree with Rihanna’s reasoning. “I see where she’s coming from and yes she’s right. However at this time trans people need visibility immediately,” Twitter user @chrisholmez wrote. “Trans people need to be normalized in society. It’s a lot more deeper than just a marketing tool.”
“We respect Rihanna and agree that Trans bodies are used as an easy way to make brands appear ‘inclusive’. But at this point visibility is integral for trans ppl. More brands need to be hiring trans/gnc ppl and poc in GENERAL,” another wrote on Twitter.
Ultimately, both sides bring up a fair point—that the trans community should never be used as a convenient marketing tool, but also that visibility is more important than ever.
We respect Rihanna and agree that Trans bodies are used as an easy way to make brands appear "inclusive". But at this point visibility is integral for trans ppl. More brands need to be hiring trans/gnc ppl and poc in GENERAL. Ps: hiring them means paying them.— Sateen (@sateenie) November 30, 2017
I agree. Nothing tears down barriers like be out and proud. It worked for the gays and lesbians, now it’s our turn. Transgender people need role models and we can’t have role models if they are hidden away.— Drey Annachie (@DAnnachie) December 2, 2017
Trans people along with all people that are not white cis men have a long way to go and visibility is key— Ruby Dora (@liquidsqueeze) December 1, 2017
I see where she’s coming from and yes she’s right. However at this time trans people need visibility immediately. Trans people need to be seen in media especially beauty brands. Trans people need to be normalized in society. It’s a lot more deeper then just a marketing tool.— pettywise (@chrisholmez) December 1, 2017
What? I get her reasoning but at the same time including a trans woman or man to appreciate them isn’t exploiting them but rather celebrating them. A makeup company that lacks diversity could use the same excuse as Rihanna. It’s kinda bullshit— PSA (@Normachos) November 30, 2017
I also think that "It would be tokenism to just have one Trans Woman" is a weak argument. Like.... Ok, then, make ALL the models Trans. How's that? If you can cast ALL cis models, then you can cast ALL Trans models.#HowBowDat https://t.co/WJt4PweBjo— Yves, not Nayves (@AdamantxYves) November 30, 2017
[via Konbini, opening image via Fenty Beauty]
More related news