As I’m sure we all already know, Rihanna dropped a beauty line in September called Fenty Beauty, and people across the world went crazy for it. I was one of those people, and I binged on Fenty Beauty reviews on YouTube.
Ask any woman of color, and she will tell you that we’re not hyped about this product just because Rihanna released it. It’s because Rihanna took the time to include the multiple variations of our skin tones. There are 40 shades of foundation in this initial launch, which incorporates shades for people with albinism, as well as for those who have had search far and wide for the appropriate dark shade.
In the grand scheme of things, this may not seem like the biggest of deals. However, I am here refute that. The majority of mainstream brands have long ignored the demand of women of color by either not having dark shades at all or by only having a few that are either not dark enough or lack the nuances of our various undertones. Now that Fenty Beauty’s launch has been so successful, many of these mainstream brands are releasing darker foundation shades.
I can’t help but juxtapose such progress in the makeup industry to the heightened racial tensions that the United States and other parts of the world are currently experiencing. In a time when racism and bigotry are being spewed by the highest levels of government, a woman of color was able to create such a positive impact, making the lives of thousands of people that much better.
And may I point out again that a woman of color did this. A woman of color cut the BS and made the beauty industry recognize the presence and power of women of color. It may seem like a reach, but Fenty Beauty highlights that there is still hope even in a time of heightened negativity and racial tension.
With the various executive orders, proposed legislation, and pandering to nazis, it can feel as if we are erasing 50 years of progress. However, not all progress has been lost, and as the release of Fenty Beauty highlights, progress is still being made. With the perseverance of people of color, other historically marginalized groups, and our allies, we will continue to move forward as a society.