Rihanna recently released her 3rd annual fashion show on Amazon Prime and it was nothing short of amazing. She has always promoted inclusivity within her brand, highlighting many different races and genders, and it’s one of the reasons I will never stop loving her.
While it is beautiful to see how she embraces people for who they are, I’ve noticed a flaw in the beauty industry. This time the issue is the consumers and not the brand itself.
For years people have complained about the unrealistic expectation brands such as Victoria Secret have set for women. Many have disapproved of their advertisements expressing that not highlighting women’s natural bodies and promoting the desire to be incredibly skinny has led to eating disorders.
What’s unique about Rihanna’s Lingerie line is that she acknowledges that sexiness is not exclusive to only one body type. Many people took note of that and praised this inclusivity stating that Rihanna sets a standard for other brands and that she proves that brands choose to exclude different people and their identities.
What I don’t understand is how society can praise Rihanna for emphasizing body positivity and trying to normalize different types of bodies, yet bash individuals for loving their bodies.
Lizzo and Coi Leray are two of the most popular stars right now in the music industry and a big part of their image is loving their unique shapes. Anytime these musicians post anything on social media they are bullied for embracing their bodies.
These two individuals aren’t the only ones always under scrutiny for their bodies. This has been an issue for women such as Serena Williams, Gabourey Sidibe, Sha ‘Carri Richardson, Khloe Kardashian, and even more. It makes me question at what point can a person love and embrace themselves without receiving backlash for it?
How can we as society demand that brands be more inclusive and show normal bodies, but we can’t accept individuals who embrace their very normal bodies? If we want to dismantle an industry that profits off of our insecurities and redefine what it means to be beautiful then we as a society need to do better with how we treat others.
In order to create a safer space for people to be themselves we must allow people to feel comfortable in their skin. We can’t challenge traditional ways of self-expression without embracing people for who they are and how they present themselves no matter their body type.
We are in a climate where it is important to hold ourselves accountable for our actions and it’s time society acknowledges the mixed messages they are sending. The only way for change to come is to allow the change we’ve been fighting for to happen.