Rihanna is rocking cornrows on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar as she celebrates the launch of Fenty Skin.
Over the last fifteen years, Rihanna has flourished in her career as an artist, businesswoman, and now beauty mogul. The September issue of Harper’s Bazaar covers just that, as RiRi’s journey as a global icon continues. After officially releasing the most recent product line under her hugely successful Fenty brand in July, the beauty mogul has now marked her territory in skincare now. How does she do it all while maintaining her effervescent passion for giving back and will to use her platform to speak out on social injustices?
It’s the little things like Rihanna rocking a natural but frowned upon black girl hairstyle on the cover of a huge magazine. Many would think that Rihanna must have forgotten to put her wig on over her round-head-style cornrows, but the move was intentional and groundbreaking. As the writer pointed out, Rihanna’s success is likely largely attributed to her down-to-earth nature and social awareness.
The beauty mogul’s company was the first in the industry to offer a whole 40 shades of foundation to establish itself as the most inclusive makeup brand there is. Of course, many other brands followed suit, causing the product line change to be dubbed the “Fenty effect,” crediting the pioneers for bringing real diversity to the beauty industry.
Rihanna has found rapid successes in every industry that she has ventured into, and she just might be among the first black women to dominate in such a widespread way. She has been compared to the ranks of Oprah for successfully transcending so many realms. Even while she has built a beauty empire that is reportedly worth $3 billion, Rihanna has maintained her amiable “down-to-earth vibe you’d expect from a homegirl you’ve known since middle school” personality through it all, says writer Kahlana Brown.
In keeping with her “woke” self Rihanna started the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012, and during the pandemic, the non-profit organization has pledged more than $36 million to coronavirus relief. In addition to that, the singer joined her former mentor Jay-Z in donating millions from their personal wealth to the cause. The CL Foundation also hosts the annual Diamond Ball, which is Rihanna’s invitation-only auction event that raises millions every year for various charity organizations. The global icon has remained consistent in her advocacy for social justice and racial equality as well.
During her now famous speech at the 2020 NAACP Awards earlier this year in February, Rihanna told celebrity guests that their friends of other races need to be a part of the solution if we are to make any progress. The singer urged them to “pull up” to protests and marches and stand in solidarity with the black community. That alone doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of Rihanna’s contribution to the fight for social justice.
The singer turned down the offer to perform at the Superbowl in 2018 when members of the black community started to boycott the NFL for the unfair banishing of Colin Kaepernick after he took a knee in protest of police brutality and racism. “Absolutely, I wouldn’t dare do that. I just couldn’t be a sell out. I couldn’t be an enabler,” Rihanna said about declining to perform at the halftime show.
Rih was also one of the firsts to speak out about police brutality victim George Floyd in May. She took to Instagram to caption a post, “If intentional MURDER is the fit consequence for ‘drugs’ or ‘resisting arrest’… then what’s the fit consequence for MURDER???!” she wrote.
Somehow Rihanna still finds the time to be a voice for her community, all while excelling at everything else. When she launched her Fenty Beauty business in 2017, Rihanna reportedly raked in $100 million in the first month and a half and more than $550 million in the first year, according to Forbes. The singer is also expected to release her ninth studio album soon, and it goes without saying that it will add to an already lofty discography. Meanwhile, Fenty Skin has arrived, and it is expected to take the world by storm like all things Rihanna.
The writer revealed that over ten years ago, when she met Rihanna for the first time, the superstar noted that her mother was a big inspiration behind her love for beauty. “She knew everything about perfume, skin care, and makeup,” Rihanna said in 2007. “She never let me wear makeup, but I was secretly fascinated. So when she’d leave home, I would play around with hers.”
Rihanna noted that she always intended to add a skin care line to Fenty’s offerings, but testing everything safely can prove to be an extremely lengthy process. “I’ve always seen the Fenty brand as more than just makeup, and I knew I wanted to make skin care from the very beginning,” said Rihanna. “It was just about getting it right. You have to live with the formulas for awhile and test them in different ways. It’s very different from makeup in that sense. It takes a long time.”
Rihanna’s highly anticipated skin care line is made up of multi-functional products, including a two-in-one makeup remover/cleanser, serum/toner, and an SPF moisturizer.
So inspirational is the global icon that she has influenced many to be just as limitless and bold in their endeavors. Actress Tracee Ellis Ross even launched her own line of products and tools designed especially for natural hair amidst Rihanna’s inclusive makeup success. “Rihanna’s unapologetic determination to make beauty an inclusive industry—and her insistence that beauty be democratic—changed the game,” the actress said. “She seems to imagine from a world where there are no limits, inviting us all to do the same.”
There aren’t many industries left for this Queen to conquer, but we hope she will continue to blaze trails in every way possible.