Rihanna under fire over ‘Moroccan Spice’ make-up

Rihanna under fire over ‘Moroccan Spice’ make-up
Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty in 2017 (top). (Getty Images )
Updated 19 July 2018

Rihanna under fire over ‘Moroccan Spice’ make-up

Rihanna under fire over ‘Moroccan Spice’ make-up

DUBAI: Make-up mogul Rihanna is facing backlash on social media as detractors accuse her of cultural appropriation over the latest addition to her Fenty Beauty empire — an eyeshadow palette called “Moroccan Spice.”
Fenty Beauty, named 2017’s best innovation by Time Magazine, now offers a collection of 16 sultry eyeshadow shades with such names as “Fez up,” “Desert baked” and “Shisha smoke.”
The palette’s desert-themed campaign video features models posing next to a camel and Arab-influenced music playing in the background. However, some social media commenters have slammed the campaign over its apparent lack of any Moroccan models.
“As someone who is half Amazigh Moroccan, I (would have hoped that) if you (were) going to have a palette inspired by — or do the shoot in — Morocco, you could have at least cast one person of Moroccan or Amazigh descent,” one commenter posted on Twitter. The video was shot in the US, however.
“Moroccan Spice with no Moroccan models to represent it. If Rihanna was white, her brand would be tarnished from the backlash she’d receive for this Orientalist nonsense,” another user said.
The campaign photos — visible on Rihanna’s Instagram page — feature a variety of models, including the pop superstar herself, posing against sunburnt orange and pink backgrounds.
“I am actually very mad that Rihanna did not use a Moroccan model to be the face of her new palette,” one Twitter user said in response to the release of the palette, which was made available on July 6.
Some users jumped to the Barbadian star’s defense, however.
“Obviously Rihanna is not (going) to go looking for Moroccan models to market her Moroccan Spice campaign. Companies use aspects of a culture in ads without accurately representing that culture because it’s a marketing campaign,” one user posted on Twitter.
Rihanna, who is yet to address the online controversy, launched the beauty line in September, with a promise to make all women feel included.
“Fenty Beauty was created for everyone: For women of all shades, personalities, attitudes, cultures, and races. I wanted everyone to feel included, that’s the real reason I made this line,” she said at the time of the launch in 2017.
The singer and actress has been making headlines as of late, not least because of her starring role in female-driven crime caper “Ocean’s 8,” which struck box office gold in July.
She also garnered attention last week, when the star was spotted with her alleged Saudi beau, Hassan Jameel, lounging poolside in Mexico.
The reported couple, who caused a media whirlwind when news of their apparent relationship spread last year, were caught on camera in a series of photographs published in the Daily Mail.
While it remains to be seen whether the couple really are an item, Saudi make-up fans aren’t complaining and even took to social media to theorize that Rihanna’s much-reported-on launch of Fenty Beauty in Saudi Arabia in April was in part due to her desire to visit her potential future in-laws.
It was a joke that spread like wildfire on Twitter as users posted comments like: “She’s coming to visit her in-laws” and “Hassan Jameel did all the ladies a favor.”