On Saturday, Fenty Beauty announced the launch of three brand new Killawatt highlighters, but unlike her bronzers, her latest launch was met with criticism online.
While Rihanna fans were hyped to add three new shades of glow to their collection and were quick to flood to the Instagram comments section with heart eyed emojis on the shades 'Afternoon Snack/Mo' Hunny' and 'Penny 4 u Thots'. The reaction to the third shade, 'Geisha Chic', wasn't quite so welcoming.
On the reveal post on Fenty's Instagram post one user commented: "I'm really excited for this launch, however this shade name "Geisha Chic" is not great because it ignores the history, full weight, and overall experience of being a geisha. I've been waiting for colour like this, but I don't want to question my judgement if I purchase this product with the current name. Please change the name so I can shine this summer with this heat!"
When Instagram account Trendmood1 revealed the highlighter, there were similar comments questioning the shade name. "TF id this shade name? Being a geisha isnt 'chic' it's not an aesthetic to be worn??? I thought Fenty knew better". To which one user replied, referencing Rihanna and Coldplay's 2012 Princess of China video which was criticised for portraying Asian stereotypes. "Yeah speaking on behalf of East Asians: nice colour, but the name? Really? This is a brand that wants to be inclusive, and yet... lol I put faith that RiRi learned from her 'princess of China' days but I guess not".
Another user summed it up by simply writing: "Love Fenty, and this colour is GORGEOUS. I'm slightly uncomfortable with that name though."
It wasn't just Instagram either, Twitter and Reddit users were also in agreement that the shade name was offensive. "This is going to come from an emotional place but I'm so tired of seeing racism/stereotyping against asians get glossed over. Especially when it comes from other marginalised people who know what that damage is like, but still participate. It cuts just that much more."
. @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 😓- Jessica (@lyjessicat) March 30, 2019
Geishas are an ancient Japanese tradition, which involves formal training from as young as 6 years old. The traditional costumes and makeup worn by geishas give them their distinctive appearance. Their primary role is entertaining via traditional art, dance and singing.
In response, Fenty Beauty has removed the shade name from the Instagram post, which has left people questioning whether the name will be changed, or whether it's already too late, as marketing material has already been produced.
We have reached out to Fenty Beauty for a statement and will update this post once received.
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