Recently, Rihanna was put in the hot seat by a fan who asked her why she hasn’t cast a single transgender person in a Fenty Beauty advertisement—and, as expected, she had the perfect response. On Wednesday, Twitter user @lbertootero posted a screenshot of a direct conversation between him and Rihanna, in which he criticized the 29-year-old singer for leaving out trans women from Fenty Beauty’s marketing.
On the contrary, Rihanna explained that she didn’t intentionally exclude trans women. Instead, she said she chose to cast Fenty Beauty’s advertisements free from gender identity, something she acknowledged was difficult to know and ask about in an initial meeting.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with many gifted trans women throughout the years, but I don’t go around doing trans castings!” Rihanna wrote. “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! It’s personal and some trans women are more comfortable being open about it than others so I have to respect that as a woman myself!”
The “Work” hitmaker also took aim at brands that exploit and use trans people as “convenient marketing tools.” She compared the marketing tactic to tokenism, something she was familiar with as a black woman.
“I don’t think it’s fair that a trans woman, or man, be used as a convenient marketing tool!” she wrote. “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!”
Though we’d love to see a trans women in a Fenty Beauty campaign, Rihanna brings up a lot of good points on tokenism and exploiting minorities. Looks like Twitter knew what was up when they made her president last week.