Fenty...Makeup For The Culture


I normally write about travel, food, music, and cultural events, but Rihanna - Bad Girl Riri if it suits you or Ms. Fenty if you didn't know - has inadvertently inspired a generation of young Caribbean girls and women with her new makeup line, appropriately called Fenty Beauty by Rihanna. The Bajan chart-topping songstress has shook the makeup world, but her success means much more than profits and sales figures.

Many women, like myself, are excited about her inclusive makeup line and megawatt highlighters with names like ‘trophy wife’ and ‘ginger binge’. But, her musical and business success pale in comparison to what her pop songs and makeup line mean to so many others with similar backgrounds and thick beautiful accents.

Caribbean culture has often not been celebrated on the international stage unless it is for a momentary infatuation with a few choice words ‘borrowed' from our dialect to add a dose of flavor to rap songs, or to add some pizazz to a Disney movie or two. Even films that depicted Caribbean characters, such as Cool Runnings, did not utilize talent from the region and badly faked accents and misrepresented ‘island life’ for funsies.

I cannot think of another woman or man who was born and raised in the Caribbean, and was so openly attached to their Caribbean identity, who has enjoyed the commercial success of Rihanna.

It has been exciting to see her rise to success on her own terms. And, that is why I decided to feature a Bahamian beauty event highlighting the Fenty makeup line.

Over 1000 people RSVP’d for the Mr. Ship It Fenty Makeup event, and about 200 lucky ladies were able to receive invitations. The night featured demos by makeup artist Lucy Lu and signature cocktails named after Rihanna's biggest hits.

Speaking casually with a few of the attendees, their excitement was contagious. The Fenty brand hasn’t officially launched in the Bahamas, as yet, so they were eager to try the product.

Many also spoke about Fenty being a line for 'us'- Caribbean girls who come in every shape and color. A number of ladies also spoke with a sense of pride and noted they finally felt represented in the makeup world.

It was evident that the representation that they spoke about didn’t end at foundations and highlighters - but extended to Rihanna herself. She has ‘made it’ and her success has made a number of other young women feel that they too can do the same.

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