I remember last year December when my booker emailed me to tell me I had been confirmed to shoot for Rihanna’s latest venture, Fenty Beauty. I was flown to LA for three days and remember seeing the images of all the girls on the call sheet and being excited to meet them (it’s where I met Duckie and Slick for the first time!) but only now since its launch have I truly realised what it means to be a part of this campaign.
I remember being 14 years old and going to boots (equivalent to Duane Reade/ CVS for my Americans lol) with my friends and testing out all the make up in the cosmetics isle. Whilst my white friends and very fair friends were swatching away, I’d be testing the eyeshadows. It wasn’t because I wasn’t interested in trying the foundations but because my skin tone wasn’t represented there- not even close. At the time I thought nothing of it, I just accepted it as normal- I didn’t even know about foundations and powders in my shade until I started modelling and did a small job with Mac at the age of 15. Fast forward to the present and there are more brands than ever that cater to people of colour but this isn’t necessarily reflected within the campaigns with complexions such as Duckie’s completely disregarded in most images produced by makeup brands.
Fenty Beauty’s cast was the most diverse and authentic cast I have ever seen from a big beauty brand. The visuals showed that there is more than one shade of brown. It showed that paler foundation can be represented by ethnicities other than white. The campaign showed that you don’t have to have western standards of beauty to be the face of a beauty brand! Fenty Beauty represents so much, especially in today’s climate and I think everyone who was a part of the campaign can feel that now.
Since the launch of the collection, the media has been going crazy over the fact that the darker shades of foundation are constantly sold out. Brands social media pages have been overloaded with posts proving that they too cater to women of colour; everyone is screaming “pick me, pick me” but the consumer has clearly chosen. Fenty is probably one of the first new makeup lines to outwardly support and cater to the needs of ALL skin tones and represent them all equally in their campaigns- it truly is a brand for everyone, not just one who wants to tick the box of catering to all skin tones.
I spoke to some of the girls who I shot with and asked them what it meant to the to shoot for Fenty Beauty.
That was my first modeling job after CR Fashion Book. It set me up to succeed because I saw all of you thriving and celebrating the things that make you stand out. It was a great entrance to modeling and I hope we all meet up again to work on other projects together. That video was dope asf and it’s BECAUSE we don’t all look alike or share the same story.
For me, beauty is to be unique.There are 7.5 billion people in the world. Nobody can be you . How amazing is it, that even if you are born a twin, you see the world with different eyes. You experience life in a different way.
Nobody can be you. Even if you have your influences, you don’t have to be the same. We are in a constant state of change, and we should be celebrating it everyday . Diversity is beauty !Uniqueness is beauty !Beauty is everywhere. It just depends where you want to look and, more importantly, how you want to look !
Working with all the girls on set was ethereal. It felt like family, and we all found a piece of ourselves through Fenty.
I never thought I would be so lucky. This was my first time working with a star and the first time I shot beauty. It made me very happy because I met so many outstanding and unique girls. It will always be in my heart. I learned a lot being a part of this.
Fenty beauty is universal. Many brands claim it but aren’t. I feel as though any woman can look at the brand and feel included, there really is something for everyone. I feel like I’m apart of something great just being in the campaign.
When Leomie asked me for a quote a million precious moments with all these powerhouses we call models for lack of a label to cover what they truly are. To me these women are fairytales we weren’t creative enough to dream up. I’m blessed to the ability to share time and ideas with these women let alone call myself one of them. We are all from different corners of the world but one thing we all have in common for fact is self love and the craving to pay that forward. Thank you fenty for my new sisters. Fenty squad is in full effect.
Written by Leomie Anderson