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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 17 December, 2018

Rihanna has criticised companies that use transgender people as 'a marketing tool'

“I respect all women. Whether they’re trans or not is none of my business.”

Spain: Rihanna Fenty Beauty Presentation in Madrid Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

FEW BEAUTY LINES have been praised as intensely on their launch as Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty.

Rihanna aimed to make the brand inclusive of every skin colour, and as we all know, launched her foundation with forty different shades. Fans, who are aware of how sound Rihanna is, got in touch with her and suggested she add some transgender models to her team.

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

Twitter user @lbertootero spoke to Rihanna via Twitter DMs and told her “Fenty Beauty campaign is awesome, next time you record something [you] should invite a trans girl to the group.”

A couple of hours later, Rihanna responded with this message:

I’ve had the pleasure of working with many gifted trans women throughout the years, but I don’t go around doing trans castings! Just like I don’t do straight non trans women castings! I respect all women, and whether they’re trans or not is none of my business!

me: I want to look like Shirley Temple had dreads @yusefhairnyc : say no more. @dazed . cover 3/4

A post shared by badgalriri (@badgalriri) on

She continued:

It’s personal and some trans women are more comfortable being oopen about it than others so I have to respect that as a woman myself. I don’t think it’s fair that a trans woman, or man, be used as a convenient marketing tool. Too often do 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.

Of course representation is extremely important and it’s essential for minorities like trans people to see people they can relate to in the media, but sometimes it can be extremely clear when inclusion is perfunctory, and just for the sake of making a company that’s otherwise pretty problematic appear to be progressive.

Rihanna knows.

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About the author:

Kelly Earley

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