These days, more and more beauty brands are heading the call for diversity. L’Oréal, for example, just hired How to Get Away With Murder actress Aja Naomi King as its newest ambassador. Issa Rae and Ayesha Curry were recently tapped for CoverGirl, and last year, I-Hua became the first Asian model to represent Maybelline internationally.
Brands have also taken great care in recognizing their trans spokesmodels, like Andrej Pejic for Make Up For Ever and Hari Nef for Gucci, which might explain why yesterday Alberto Otero, a graphic designer, questioned Rihanna about hiring transgender models for her makeup brand, Fenty Beauty. Under a photo on Instagram Otero wrote: “Fenty Beauty campaign is awesome, next time you record something should invite a trans girl to the group,” to which Rihanna responded:
In her reply, Rihanna illustrates a salient point often missed in dialogues surrounding transgender people. Not every transgender model wishes to be labeled and typecast as such. And ultimately, it is entirely up to the individual if they wish to share this personal information.
According to screenshots provided by Otero, he then sent Rihanna a private message on Twitter apologizing for his tone, and then asked for permission to screenshot and share their conversation. And Rihanna being Rihanna, naturally obliged.