Rihanna criticised for allowing white models to wear braids in her Savage X Fenty fashion show
27 September 2021, 12:30
"Why did Rihanna let Vanessa Hudgens and Emily Ratajkowski wear braids in the Fenty show?"
Rihanna is being criticised for allowing white models to wear braids in her Savage X Fenty fashion show.
On Friday (Sep 24), Vol. 3 of Rihanna's annual Savage X Fenty fashion show dropped on Amazon. The show was crawling with supermodels including Emily Ratajkowski, Gigi Hadid and Adriana Lima. It wasn't just models, though, Vanessa Hudgens, Bella Poarch and Drag Race's Gottmik all had their moment on the runway too. There were also iconic performances from Jazmine Sullivan and Normani.
The Savage X Fenty fashion show is always praised for being inclusive and championing diversity. However, some have hit back at the show and Rihanna for including white models in cornrows, a protective style which is usually worn by Black women.
A TikToker shared a video about the show questioning the styling of the models and the choice of song when Emily Ratajkowski appeared. The song 'Lemon' by N.E.R.D featuring Rihanna played in the background as Emily walked, specifically the lyric: "Mad ethnic right now." The video currently has 2 million views.
Many are now questioning Rihanna's hair styling choice.
rihanna has white mfs in braids for the savage x fenty show… pic.twitter.com/Ains73IavQ— T!ANA⁷ (@bussyboyyy) September 24, 2021
I wish I could write something as funny as Rihanna putting all these white girls in braids for the fenty show— raina (@quakerraina) September 24, 2021
why did rihanna let vanessa hudgens and emily ratajkowski wear braids in the fenty show😭— thomas :3 (@GRANDESH17S) September 22, 2021
Rihanna got white people having braids for this fendy show we might see lisa in it next year— Atlantis (@Jekylisoo) September 24, 2021
rihanna got all them pale panthers on ha show with braids she wrong as hell fa dat shit— love, k ♡ (@karIletto) September 25, 2021
This wouldn't be the first time the Savage X Fenty show has received backlash for cultural appropriation. In 2020, Rihanna apologised after offending Muslims by including a song – Coucou Chloe's 'Doom' – in the show which featured samples from Hadith, a sacred Islamic scripture.
Apologising on Instagram Stories, Rihanna wrote: "I’d like to thank the Muslim community for pointing out a huge oversight that was unintentionally offensive in our savage x Fenty show. I would, more importantly, like to apologize to you for this honest, yet careless mistake.
"We understand that we have hurt many of our Muslim brothers and sisters, and I’m incredibly disheartened by this! I do not play with any kind of disrespect toward God or any religion and therefore the use of the song in our project was completely irresponsible! Moving forward we will make sure nothing like this ever happens again."
Rihanna is yet to address the latest cultural appropriation backlash, but we will update you if she does.