When Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty, it was a game-changer. All those foundation shades for all our different skin colourings.
All these women who suddenly didn’t need to feel the makeup world was dismissing their skin, their ethnicity and their lives.
Far from the celebrities who put their name on bottles and lipsticks, smile for a few campaign shots, then move on to their passion projects, Rihanna actually gets hands on.
She flew into Australia for Fenty Beauty’s one year anniversary last year and to launch the new concealers, made an Instagram video tutorial. In fact, she regularly posts photos of herself in Fenty Beauty with guides, tips and looks to inspire.
View this post on Instagram
New year, New #FENTYBEAUTY! 💁🏽♀️ We got #THECURE to your #newyearseve hangover! On January 11, we’re dropping 50 BRAND NEW shades of creamy, creaseproof, and longwearing #PROFILTRCONCEALER! Get it at fentybeauty.com, @sephora, @harveynichols, and #SephorainJCP!! Full tutorial on IGTV and YouTube.com/fentybeauty #rihanna
Apart from slaying the beauty world and making the mega brands look petty and old-school in offering five or six shades of foundation “for all skin types” (within a one metre radius?), Rihanna has also been proven a leader in every other field she’s mastered.
From making unapologetic pop music that also demands that bitch better pay her money, to defending her body weight and appearance against trolls and fellow celebrity sniping, to speaking out against violence in relationships while similarly proving it’s not as easy as walking away and not looking back when someone you love hits you. She’s just…real.
She’s got a vast array of tattoos – at least 25 – which have inspired girls all over the world to copycat her ink. I mean, look up ‘Goddess Isis Tattoo’ on Google or Instagram and check out all the girls who now have Rihanna’s Egyptian goddess under their boobs.
Far from having a career and accolades dropped in her lap, she worked for it. Despite talent that sweeps the floor of so much mediocre music out there, she has been accused of an affair with Jay Z and essentially, sleeping her way to success.
In fact, her own publicist made up a bunch of hocus rumours to “boost sales” of her album (apparently).
When she’s not putting out mega selling albums (that don’t require dodgy rumours to sell), or launching a beauty empire, or dating Arab billionaires, or rocking up to galas in see-through Swarovski crystals (my personal favourite), she’s officially an Ambassador for Barbados, her home nation.
As the young daughter of an alcoholic cocaine addict, she couldn’t have dreamed this life up.
Sometimes, bedazzled by her glossy lips and near-nude dresses and the constant paparazzi shots of her on beaches or posing with fellow celebrities, it can be easy to forget she’s actually a chart-topping, album-selling dynamite.
In 2006, Across The Culture reported she’d actually sold 100 million more records than Beyonce. So, if Beyonce is Queen B…can we refer to Rihanna as SuperQueen Ri?
Remember when she kinda broke Snapchat too? For some completely unknowable reason, Snapchat posed the question: “Would you rather slap Rihanna or punch Chris Brown?” (really, they did).
Far from letting it slide, Rihanna made an Instagram story that explained her horrified reaction and asked users to delete the app.
The share price dropped 4% following her reaction. Even Chelsea Clinton came out and said it was disgusting. This is a woman who is powerful enough to rock the album charts and the stockmarket. Respect.
If you needed any proof that I’m far from alone in my goddess-praise of RiRi, check out the Fenty Beauty fan who’s using the makeup products to draw life-like portraits of Rihanna on her own skin.
Cat Woods is a Melbourne freelance journalist. She writes on travel, food, fitness, wellbeing, books and arts for various sites and publications. When not writing, she’s teaching yoga, barre and Pilates and spends 99.9% of her life in Lycra (which is a legitimate work uniform).