Rihanna’s inclusive Fenty Beauty brand is all about respecting the identity politics of their consumers, and their latest move is definitely reflecting that.
When Rihanna launched her shade-inclusive beauty brand, the internet was set ablaze due to the plethora of options available for varying skin tones, the affordable price points and the overall quality of the products. With each launch comes a slew of refreshingly funny, Rihanna-esque product names that have us feeling like Bad Gal RiRi herself when using them.
Fenty Beauty announced three new highlighter shades on Saturday (March 30) called Afternoon Snack/Mo' Hunny, #PENNY4UTHOTS and Geisha Chic Hunny. But before the new products were set to launch on April 5, the beauty brand pulled one of the highlighters from the lineup.
After several complaints from social media users, a Reddit user posted a DM received from the brand’s Instagram page after leaving a comment about the offensive name of one of the Killawatt Freestyle Highlighters, Giesha Chic Hunny, claiming it was offensive to Japanese culture. With the swiftness, the beauty brand sent a message stating, “We hear you, we’ve pulled the product until it can be renamed. We wanted to personally apologize. Thank you so much for educating us.”
Another Reddit user explained why using the term giesha in Western culture is so offensive, saying, “Geishas have been fetishized and sexualized by Western society without any regard for Asian culture and the actual role of a geisha. Geishas aren’t meant to be sexy, they’re highly educated and trained hospitable entertainers who teach others about Japanese culture.”
While people like the KarJenner clan continue to capitalize on other people's cultures, Rihanna continues to open doors for beauty and fashion lovers from all different races, identities and religious backgrounds. So it’s only right that she respects the cultural diversity of her product users. According to Page Six, this isn’t the first time RiRi has been called out for allegedly appropriating Asian culture. Chinese social media users shared similar sentiments after the music video for her song with the band Coldplay, “Princess of China,” featured images and portrayals of Asian culture that they deemed offensive and stereotypical.
Though the blush shade has now been taken down from the Fenty Beauty website and all promotions have ceased on social media, Fenty lovers still have mixed reviews over the entire situation:
(Photo: Caroline McCredie/Getty Images for Fenty Beauty by Rihanna)