Rihanna is untouchable at the moment, thanks to the success of Fenty Beauty. Her Fenty X Puma fashion show was also a huge success, and her collaboration with DJ Khaled on the track ‘Wild Thoughts’ has seen her name sitting comfortably in the charts for 14 consecutive weeks and counting.
There is no denying it, Rihanna is taking over the world. Which, at 29-years-old, is an incredible achievement.
It seemed that nothing could halt the singing sensation. Not even cruel comments that suggested she was gaining weight, to which she brushed off with a series of mocking Instagram posts. I personally think Rihanna’s curves are looking sexier than ever!
However, recently her reign atop the mountain was threatened by a fan who chose to photoshop pictures of the Bajan beauty so that she was a white woman, claiming that she “would look so much more beautiful” if she were white…
The post instantly caused chaos online as users condemned the altered images. A stream of angry messages flooded the comments section, with furious users duplicating the same message in which they requested the post be deleted.
“Are you serious? She’s gorgeous in her own skin color?” one incensed user wrote, while another blasted: “WHAT KIND OF NONSENSE IS THIS?”. The tweet triggered an immense backlash with users branding it “racist” for suggesting that Rihanna, an extremely successful black woman, could be improved if she were white.
However, it wasn’t just Rihanna that Twitter users chose to white wash. Beyoncé, arguably the most successful entertainer on the planet, was also a victim of the immense Photoshop fail…
The anger wasn’t just contained to Twitter users, the white washed images also provoked dumbfounded staff at Black Entertainment Television to comment:
“It has a really dark message behind it. These are two of the most gorgeous, talented, successful, respected, well-known women on the planet. But even they are not immune to people’s projections of Western beauty ‘ideals.’
The people altering these images send a horrific message: no matter how amazing, successful, or beautiful a Black women may be, society would prefer them to be white. This is an impossible standard and exhausting burden.”
However, rather than engage with those responsible for the photoshopped images, Rihanna chose to take a very grown-up approach by blocking the source….
This isn’t the first time Rihanna has been embroiled in a white washing controversy. In 2011, the singing sensation appeared on the cover of Vogue, in a blonde wig with considerably paler skin. The cover caused outrage, and prompted the magazine to release a statement in which they blamed the bright sunlight during the shoot.
However, professional photographers were infuriated by this explanation, with one tweeting: “If it was really that uncontrollable every white star would be a ghost in their beach [pictures].”
It is hard to understand why users on Twitter thought it was appropriate to white wash Rihanna and Beyoncé. Although, it wouldn’t be the most bizarre mystery to have surfaced online.
Hopefully, this incident will educate users that editing anyones skin color is inappropriate. The same goes for major magazines who continue to white wash stars on their covers.