Rihanna and Ashley Graham's Slick Mouth
Listen, I got no time for fake ones. I just sip Cristal with some real ones so I’m just going to get right into it. Ashley Graham, pull up a seat sis. Let’s talk.
In a recent interview, Ashley Graham, made a few remarks about the continued lack of plus sized models at the recent New York Fashion Week. The number of plus sized models that walked this year has increased, but it’s still a dismal percentage compared to the total number of models who participate every year. Ms. Graham expressed her dismay at watching the lack of diverse models in several shows including, Rihanna’s Fenty, Baja East, and Phillip Plein. Now, I’m not going to pretend that I know anything about the fashion industry. Honestly, my expertise stops at my retail customer service experience, my undying love for RuPaul’s Drag Race and Paris is Burning, and my new found fascination of Project Runway. That’s it. So, I’m not going to say that I know anything about the other two designers and their collections. However, I do know a little something about Rihanna and unfair expectations of black women. Let’s get into it.
First of all, Ms. Graham, why are you placing these expectations on Rihanna and Fenty x Puma and not all of the other designers that participated in New York Fashion Week? Now, I don’t know much about high fashion, but I DO know that Cristian Siriano has always been the only person to consistently show love to bigger women. He has no problem making gorgeous gowns guaranteed to fit all of our curves (See Leslie Jones and Danielle Brooks). Did you say the same thing to Kanye with his post-apocalyptic, Neo and the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar trying to escape the Matrix fashion line? Did you holler at Marc Jacobs? Or that bougie ho Michael Kors? Oscar de la Renta didn’t return your phone calls? Why did you choose to pick on Rihanna? This brings me to my second point.
It’s not fair to put expectations on black women that you would not put on others, especially white men. This happens time and time again, and every time we have to constantly remind you that you’re on some bullshit. Black women have constantly been told that they must work twice as hard and be twice as good as their white counterparts, and situations as these are just one of the root causes for this belief. The fashion industry knows that it has a problem, and they’re working on it (supposedly). So why are you putting the responsibility on Rihanna to make the change right now and you haven’t done the same to other designers? Rihanna is simply trying to assert her creativity and ‘bad girl Rih Rih’ essence in a world where black women have typically been excluded, and you just had to come in and try to stomp on the parade.
This does not mean that I’m excusing the fact that there were no curvy girls in Fenty’s showing at Fashion Week. Far from it. As a member of the Big Girls Who Love to Eat Popeye’s Chicken but Church’s Biscuits club, I would love to see big women on the runway. However, I firmly believe that if Ashley had tried to have a personal conversation with Rihanna about this instead of throwing some half-assed shade to Yahoo (of all outlets), I think Rihanna would be open to discussing it. We’ve seen recently how important inclusion is to her with the launch of her Fenty beauty line, which contains 40 shades of foundation for various skin tones. Have you attempted to talk to Rihanna or her people? You didn’t even write an open letter girl. You just popped off at the mouth, which brings me to my final point.
Honestly, you’re gambling with your life. Right now, Rihanna has not even acknowledged that she even knows who Ashley Graham is let alone what she said, but don’t get it twisted. We all know that Rih is a Meme assassin that will not hesitate to take you out of the game in 140 characters or less. So, what was the point? Why call her out? Is it because you honestly don’t plan to ever walk for Fenty so their collection seemed like an easy target? I mean, you probably don’t want to piss off the other designers who didn’t have curvy girls in their show because you want to be the face for their collections one day. Instead, you decided to choose a designer that you didn’t mind pissing off because you weren’t planning on making them a part of your career anyway. Or could it be that Rihanna is slaying in the Cosmetics world and you just had to take an opportunity to let a black woman that she shouldn’t get too ahead of herself? Is it that Rihanna is a celebrity/singer first, so you don’t truly consider her a part of your world (no Ariel)? Is she getting too big for her britches?
We just want to know because you ain’t slick sis. We see you.