Fenty Beauty is breaking a LOT of rules about beauty that keep so many women of color from fully enjoying makeup like they deserve to.
Dark foundation doesn't sell well? Not according to the sold out Fenty Pro Filt'r shades at Sephora. Using trans women as token campaign models is the new wave? Nope. Rihanna says genuine inclusion or bust.
The latest statement Rihanna's brand has made is about the stigma against people with big lips.
This is Fenty fan Grace Boye. She wanted to try Fenty's brand new Stunna lip paint, but was afraid to because people had always told her that her lips were "too big."
"I want to try this out soo bad," she wrote in the comments of a Fenty Beauty Instagram post. "I've been told Red doesn't suit me. My lips are too big..."
This moment is so special because Boye is actually highlighting a real beauty issue that many Black people have experienced: Big lips on Black people have long been considered a flaw.
In the early 20th century, big lips were mocked in blackface minstrel shows.
White comedians painted their faces black, yet left an exaggerated space open around their lips to poke fun at traditional Black features.
Through the storylines of those shows, big lips were associated with not just ugliness — but also ignorance.
These beliefs often still color how people look at big lips today. There are all these nonsense rules about what to do (go nude) and what not to do (no piercings or bright colors) in order to make sure your big lips don't stand out.
In February 2016, MAC Cosmetics showed off a full-lipped Black model on Instagram, wearing its Royal Romance shade. Her lips were beautiful, but the comments were not.
"Them fish lips though."
"Wtf are these lips?"
"Holy shit i thought that was jay-z!"