For Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty, inclusivity isn’t a selling point; it’s the guiding principle behind everything the brand does. The fact that it racked in $72 million and outpaced Kylie Cosmetics within its first month alone is testament to that—as is its latest ad. In the new promotional clip, Fenty Beauty embraces makeup for men with help from Instagram celebrity BlameItOnKway, whose follower count currently exceeds 3 million.
“My Fenty, my mood,” says BlameItOnKway, before modeling the beauty brand’s lipsticks shades Ma’Damn, Candy Venom, One of the Boyz, Shawty, and Midnight Wasabi, whose jungle aesthetic looks like it could have emerged from Rihanna’s 2014 W cover shoot. BlameItOnKway’s personality shines throughout, and the fun and funny clip is on par with any of the viral posts on his feed. It’s exactly what you’d expect from a beauty brand helmed by Rihanna, a social-media-savvy star who clearly has an excellent sense of humor.
Rihanna posted the ad on her Instagram, writing, “You know what?!…. @blameitonkway you got too much time on your hands ???give us lip sis!!!! I love this, thank you!!!! ???… (the way he slapped homegirl hand off his leg? like “u messing up the choreography”).”
As lighthearted as the ad is, it’s also a reminder of how far the beauty industry has to go before it’s fully inclusive. Just try to think off the top of your head, for example, of how many other ads you’ve seen from beauty brands that star a queer, black man. As notable as it is, however, Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty brand has continuously toed the line between inclusivity and marketing without being complicit in tokenism. It’s a near-impossible balancing act that Rihanna commented on after Fenty’s launch when a fan asked her why she hasn’t featured more transgender models. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with many gifted trans women over the years,” she replied, “but I don’t go around doing trans castings!” She continued, “Just like I don’t do straight non trans women castings. I respect all women. 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!”