When she first burst on to our radar as a pop starlet back in 2005, we don’t imagine that Robyn Rihanna Fenty thought she would become the powerhouse entrepreneur that she is today. Who’s the lady behind the brand? Check out 10 things we learned about Rihanna from her recent British Vogue interview.
A multi-awarding winning music career, multibillion-dollar beauty empire, an advocate who uses her voice to uplift and fight for Black women and a philanthropist who generously gives to causes and those less fortunate, there are so many reasons why we love Rihanna.
As the April cover for British Vogue, the stunning visuals were on point, but she also made a very poignant first, doing it for the culture once again by becoming the first person to ever feature on the cover of British Vogue in a durag!
She opened up in the cover interview, inspiring us and making us laugh too.
We’ve rounded up 10 things we learnt about Rihanna from the interview that makes us love her even more!
The Fenty Effect
Rihanna became a business powerhouse three years ago with the launch of Fenty Beauty, which currently has a colossal market worth of $3 billion! You’ll probably also be aware of what’s been dubbed the Fenty Effect where multiple makeup brands who for too long neglected Black women suddenly decided to become inclusive. Some also argue that the Fenty Effect has helped to make 40 shades of foundation the industry standard. The industry may have celebrated the Fenty Effect, but Rihanna sees it in a different light, as she told British Vogue:
“I’m shocked by people saying, oh my god, what made you think of making makeup for Black girls? I’m like, you thought this was like, a marketing strategy? Like I’m a genius? Then it turns into disappointment that this is ground-breaking. In my mind, this was just normal.”
Rihanna is REALLY involved in her empire
Not only is she a driving force behind the creation of the Fenty Beauty products, she also adds her creative touch to ALL the copy for Fenty Beauty. So that means all the copy you see on the websites, product labels, product descriptions, product names and even the colour names of the products only see the light of day once they’ve been approved by Ri Ri herself. You might be wondering why Rihanna has chosen to add this task to what we imagine to be a never-ending to-do list. Surely her team could do this job for her? Rihanna explained why it’s so important to be so involved:
“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.”
Rihanna is of Guyanese and Bajan descent
It’s a well-known fact that Rihanna is Bajan, she may have moved away but it’s clear Barbados is always in her heart. But a lessser known fact is that Monica, Rihanna’s mother came to Barbados as an immigrant from Guyana. Rihanna talked to British Vogue about the difficult experience Guyanese immigrants experienced when she was growing up:
“The Guyanese are like the Mexicans of Barbados. That’s why I really relate and empathise with Mexican people or Latino people, who are discriminated against in America. I know what it feels like to have the immigration come into your home in the middle of the night and drag people out.”
Rihanna went on to clarify that her mother always had legal status while living in Barbados.
It’s clear this experience really affected her deeply and helps to fuel her activism against injustice. Another reason to add to the list of reasons why we applaud Rihanna!
Rihanna battles with anxiety
Although it may seem that red carpet appearances or performing in front of thousands of people is effortless to Rihanna. In reality, she’s still adjusting to the huge spotlight, nerves and sometimes anxiety that comes with being Rihanna:
“Oh, I’m nervous before even getting in the car to go to something. It can be devastating. I left the Grammys one time. Left! In the middle of my hair and make-up. My hair half up, half of my lash on.”
We love that Rihanna has opened up and shared her experience of how anxiety affects her, but despite this, she still manages to show up and be the queen that inspires so many!
New music is on the horizon
Fans of Rihanna’s music have been patiently waiting for her to release her ninth album which has been nicknamed R9. Rihanna has confirmed that she is working on music after taking a break to focus on her business empire and activist campaigns. But she is still very much keeping everyone guessing about when her new album will be released but she did tell British Vogue this:
“I feel like I have no boundaries. I’ve done everything – I’ve done all the hits; I’ve tried every genre – now I’m wide open. I can make anything that I want.”
So, while she gave us a teaser by featuring in PartyNextDoor’s ‘Believe It’ last month, anyone waiting for Rihanna’s album to drop, may need to wait a little longer while she saves the world!
A lesson she’s learnt with age
Rihanna recently turned 32 and this led her to reflect on what she’s learnt.
“I’m realising life is really short. You don’t have a lot of time to tolerate shit, you know? When you’re overwhelmed, you need to start cutting things out. What’s happening now is that I’m going back to black and white. My grey area is shutting down.”
We’re here for this, it’s so important to remember you deserve to thrive and to eliminate anything or anyone that isn’t helping you along the way!
Rihanna’s work ethic
Rihanna’s motto is to work hard and then work some more! Rihanna has traded late-night partying for late-night working and to add a bit of balance she has a shot or two:
“Ok, we’re either going to bed or we could keep working. And then we’re like, hey is it shot o’clock? Then everybody takes a shot. Then everybody does a shot of espresso, then we turn music on and we’re like, keep working.”
Rihanna’s work ethic isn’t for everyone, but we love a woman who is determined to succeed!
Rihanna sees herself with children in the future
Rihanna knows that her current lifestyle isn’t how she’d like to live forever, even a boss woman like Rihanna can’t be all about work. She sees her lifestyle changing drastically as she hopes to have children in the future. Rihanna has recently split from her long-term partner and revealed whether she meets the right person or not, children will be a part of her future:
“They diminish you as a mother if there’s not a Dad in your kids’ lives. But the only thing that matters is happiness … the only thing that can raise a child truly, is love.”
We couldn’t agree more, there isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to families!
Rihanna feels most creative in London
Rihanna has called London home for the last three years, and it’s become the place she feels most inspired to create. She’s also found on the rare occasions that she does want a night out partying with the fanciest crowds has given her a bubble away from fame:
“When I walk into those places, I am invisible. And nothing makes me feel better than being invisible.”
It’s pretty hard to ever imagine Rihanna being invisible, but we’re glad she’s found her bubble!
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What Rihanna can’t stand
We all have pet peeves and Rihanna isn’t any different from the rest of us. A lot of people have jumped on the craze of pre-soaking hair extensions in apple cider vinegar before installation. Rihanna isn’t one of them as her response to this craze was:
“More comfortable yes, and then smell like what? A fricking mothball?”
More than ever now we are told about the importance of getting enough sleep, but Rihanna isn’t a fan of the golden seven or eight hours of sleep. Instead, she prefers to have pockets of sleep to stay in align with her creative rhythm.
The two main points we take away from this is, if we ever get invited to Rihanna’s for a sleepover, we’ll make sure to avoid apple cider vinegar and won’t expect to get much sleep!
But until then we will continue to support and be in awe of this amazing Queen from afar!