Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Pulls ‘Geisha Chic’ Highlighter Amid Controversy
Rihanna‘s makeup brand finds itself in hot water.
Last week, Fenty Beauty debuted three new Killawatt highlighter shades: “Mo’ Hunny/Afternoon Snack”, “#PENNY4UTHOTS”, and “Geisha Chic.”
After the name of the latter luminizer went viral, several Twitter users SLAMMED the company for “racism.”
Additionally, some accused the product of cultural appropriation, and/or fetishizing an aspect of Japanese culture.
Social media uers wrote:
“@fentybeauty has a new highlighter named ‘geisha chic…’ ummmm? Rihanna… explain why Asian targeted racism gets glossed over, it feels even worse when it’s from another marginalized group'”
“‘Geisha Chic Hunny’ Really, Miss Fenty? REALLY”
“Really Fenty? This is supposed to be considered appropriate?”
On the other hand, some people stood by Ri’s business, and said they didn’t have a problem with the product’s name.
“As a Asian person, I don’t see the problem in @fentybeauty naming one of their highlighter/blush ‘Geisha Chic.'”
“Exactly. Like I previously mentioned, the highlighter is called geisha chic (sans honey) and the color pays homage to traditional geisha and Meiko makeup. That’s why I’m finding this whole situation people getting worked up over nothing to be fake woke.”
On Sunday, Reddit user “elizabeth-bug” received a response from the brand via direct message, saying they “pulled the product,” as it will be renamed.
According to the screenshot of the DM, posted in the subreddit group r/BeautyGuruChatter, their message read:
“We hear you, we’ve pulled the product until it can be renamed. We wanted to personally apologize. Thank you so much for educating us.”
The user also summarized the original message sent to the company:
“I left a comment on their post for geisha chic after they’d removed the name from the post saying it was convenient for them to leave it out and later commented back to people asking what the problem with the name was about what the Japanese American redditors here said about fetishization of geishas in America and while it could possibly be meant to be positive, it will definitely rub some people the wrong way because of the constant misuse and negative connotations associated with it in western representations of geishas. They have removed their post now. I think of course it’s good they are responding to the feedback so quickly and changing the name, not making excuses. I could understand this definitely leaving a bad taste in people’s mouths regardless though. Curious to hear thoughts.”
Fenty Beauty has since deleted all promotion of the Killawatt shade from its social media accounts.
[Image via Derrick Salters/WENN.]