Rihanna Shared Her "Disappointment" About Fenty Beauty Being Called "Groundbreaking"

In her cover interview with British Vogue, Rihanna said she was disappointed that Fenty Beauty, by centering Black women, was considered "groundbreaking."

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  • Rihanna is the latest cover star of British Vogue—and the first to wear a durag on the magazine's cover.
  • Interviewed by Afua Hirsch, Rihanna said she was disappointed that Fenty Beauty, by centering Black women, was considered "groundbreaking."
  • “I’m shocked by people saying, 'Oh my god, what made you think of making make-up for black girls?'" she said. "In my mind, this was just normal."

Take a moment to drink in Rihanna's two new covers of British Vogue, won't you? Both are, unsurprisingly, flawless; in the first, she wears Burberry suiting with a custom durag by Stephen Jones Millinery. She's the first to wear a durag on a British Vogue cover, with editor-in-chief Edward Enninful writing, "Did I, for example, ever imagine that I would see a durag on the cover of Vogue? No, reader, I did not."

"The durag, a potent symbol of black life—of self-preservation, resistance and authenticity—has an important place in popular culture, yet it is rarely viewed through the prism of high fashion," Enninful continued. "Yet there is the most fabulous, aspirational and beautiful durag on the cover of this month’s magazine."

In her cover interview with Afua HirschRihanna spoke about creating Fenty Beauty with Black women at the center. "I’m shocked by people saying, 'Oh my god, what made you think of making make-up for black girls?'" she said. "I’m like, ‘What? You thought this was like, a marketing strategy? Like I’m a genius?' It’s shocking most of the time."

"Then it turns into disappointment that this is groundbreaking right now," she continued. "In my mind, this was just normal."

Oh, and yes—Rihanna does write all the Fenty Beauty copy, she confirmed. "I write all of the copy for the websites, the product descriptions, product names, the color names…" she said. "I do have a huge team, but I just don’t necessarily think their tone is mine. I’d feel like a fraud selling something that I can’t stand by."

Naturally, Rih dropped a little hint about R9 to keep the Navy satisfied. "I can’t say when I’m going to drop," she said. "But I am very aggressively working on music."

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Emily Dixon
Emily Dixon

Emily Dixon is a British journalist who’s contributed to CNN, Teen Vogue, Time, Glamour, The Guardian, Wonderland, The Big Roundtable, Bust, and more, on everything from mental health to fashion to political activism to feminist zine collectives. She’s also a committed Beyoncé, Kacey Musgraves, and Tracee Ellis Ross fan, an enthusiastic but terrible ballet dancer, and a proud Geordie lass.