SMH: Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Fashion Show Sparks Controversy For Styling White Models In Braids

Rihanna is at the center of another cultural appropriation debate after white models were styled in braids for the latest installment of her Savage X Fenty fashion show.

Source: Kevin Mazur / Getty

While a lot of folks think Rihanna can do no wrong, it seems like there’s a new controversy every time she releases one of her Savage X Fenty fashion shows.

Former High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens and model Emily Ratajkowski were among those to appear on the catwalk at the unveiling of the singer’s latest lingerie collection, wearing their hair in braids like many of the other models.

Obviously, neither Hudgens nor Ratajkowski are Black, which has some people upset, accusing Rihanna and the others in charge of styling her show of cultural appropriation. After the show was released on Amazon Prime Video, fans took to social media to express their concern about the use of braids on white models.

One user wrote, “I wish I could write something as funny as Rihanna putting all these white girls in braids for the fenty show.”

I wish I could write something as funny as Rihanna putting all these white girls in braids for the fenty show

— raina (@quakerraina) September 24, 2021

“I love the fenty show but I think we deserved a trigger warning for seeing this many white women in braids,” said another.

I love the fenty show but I think we deserved a trigger warning for seeing this many white women in braids

— Dylan Ali (@dylanali_) September 24, 2021

This is just the latest Savage X Fenty-driven controversy to come Rihanna’s way, following a mishap last year that lead to Rih’s lingerie brand using a recording that included a narration from the Hadith, a sacred Islamic text, during a fashion show for the lingerie brand.

The song “Doom” by producer Coucou Chloe included a remix of a Hadith narration that was played during a segment of the show. In the Islamic faith the Hadith is a sacred written record representing the traditions or sayings of the Prophet Muhammad, used as guidance by Muslims.

There’s an ongoing lawsuit surrounding that mistake, with the artist saying she received death threats after the release of the fashion show.

Rihanna tends to respond to the controversies that come her way, so we’ll have to wait and see if she comments on this one.

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