Rihanna causes a buying frenzy with nearly ever brand she drops, from her Fenty Beauty line to her Fenty clothing label. But with success comes criticism, and she’s also seen her fair share of it from those who would label her brands as less than inclusive when it comes to issues such as body diversity and transgender inclusion. The “Nothing Is Promised” singer addressed the latter issue in a private message to a fan, and her response is one that’s left the internet divided.
When Twitter user @lbertootero sent the singer a private message suggesting that should have invited “a trans girl to the group,” she took time out to pen a lengthy response, which he shared for the world to see, saying, “When I thought she couldn’t teach me more…”
Her reply indicated that the decision not to use a trans model in her campaign wasn’t an oversight, but a conscious decision with thought-out reasoning behind it. While she says she’s had the pleasure to work with many “gifted trans women” throughout the years, she doesn’t “go around doing trans castings! Just like I don’t do straight non-trans women castings!”
She continued on to say that she didn’t think it was fair to use a trans person solely to amp up her brand. “I don’t think it’s fair that a trans woman, or man, be used as a convenient marketing tool!” she wrote. “Too often 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!”
Many in the trans community were appreciative of what they deemed the entrepreneur’s sensitivity, praising her for her views and noting that there wasn’t a need to call out their status while hiring models.
There were others, however, who thought that her viewpoint was ultimately at the expense of transgender individuals who greatly needed the platform for visibility, deeming her answer an easy copout.
Rihanna has issued no further comment.
What do you think about Rihanna’s take? Tell us over @BritandCo.
(Photo via Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty, Fenty Beauty)