Cashing in on the “trans moment,” beauty companies have been quick to add transgender and gender-nonconforming models in their campaigns. Sometimes its a statement of inclusion, but other times its simply to virtue-signal or make headlines.
Rihanna has generated plenty of buzz with her new Fenty Beauty line, and one fan asked RiRi why she didn’t go a similar route and use a trans model in the new ad campaign. (The singer has promoted the cosmetics as being inclusive of women of different skin tones, ethnicities and backgrounds.)
“Fenty Beauty campaign is awesome,” wrote @ibertootero. “Next time you record something [you] should invite a trans girl to the group.”
The 29-year-old singer responded thoughtfully, explaining that she didn’t want to participate in tokenism.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with many gifted trans women throughout the years, but I don’t go around doing trans castings! Just like I don’t do straight non trans women castings.” she replied.
— savage (@lbertootero) November 29, 2017
“I respect all women,” she added. “Whether they’re trans or not is none of my business. I don’t think it’s fair that a trans woman, or man, be used as a convenient marketing tool. Too often I see companies doing this to trans and black women alike. There’s always just that one spot in the campaign for the token ‘we look mad diverse’ girl/guy! It’s sad!”