Rihanna’s clap-back at pimple-fetishists heralds a new era of skin positivity

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Jessica Rapana
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Rihanna SAvage x Fenty

The Fenty beauty founder’s response to the Instagram troll who asked to ‘pop her pimple’ is proof of a new era of skin positivity.

Rihanna plans on keeping it just as real in 2020, and we have her first selfie of the decade to prove it. The Fenty Beauty founder posted a makeup-free selfie to Instagram, sporting an au naturel complexion, right down to the blemish adorning her chin. 

“First selfie of the year doe. #2020,” the superstar captioned the image, which has already garnered more than four million likes.

While most of her followers celebrated the stunning bare-faced look, one particular troll zeroed in on her spot. “Let me pop your pimple,” the fan commented, prompting a response from Rihanna herself: “Let her have her shine, PLEASE.”

Now, as someone who has single-handedly built an empire of cult beauty products, the Fenty Beauty founder clearly does not need to be schooled on how to cover a blemish. So there are a couple of possible conclusions we can draw from her look.

First things first, is this a teaser for a new skincare line? Going by the speculation lurking in the comments, some fans seem to think so. While this is not the first time it has been reported that Riri has grand plans to expand Fenty into the realms of skincare, the singer has never confirmed this rumour herself. However, some fans pointed out last year that a trademark for “Fenty Skin” was filed on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s website in March. 

Is this selfie a sign of something in the pipeline perhaps?


Skin positivity: Rihanna had the best response to trolls

Or, maybe Riri knows that popping a pimple (while tempting) is a no-no. As a general rule, most skin experts advise against doing this as it can lead to redness, inflammation and even scarring. Besides, there are now myriad products developed for zipping blemishes overnight, sans popping, from Glossier’s cult Zit Stick to a fun range of spot-sapping stickers that promise to stop unwanted blemishes in their tracks.

Saoirse Ronan blunt bob

Skin positivity: Saoirse Ronan did cover her spots on Lady Bird

However, here’s another possibility: maybe, the superstar is showing her skin as it really is – no filter, no concealer, no agenda. 

Everyone gets blemishes – even superstars.

In fact, celebrities are increasingly pushing skin positivity and leading by example. Saoirse Ronan, for instance, requested her make-up artist on Lady Bird leave her spots on show to promote different skin types on screen, while Natalie Portman has gone on the record about her acne. 

Skin positivity: Natalie Portman has opened up about adult acne

Best of all, these small acts are having a big impact and making a mark on how we view our own skin. “Just as the body positivity movement led to diverse shapes and sizes being celebrated, skin positivity has the power to redefine our expectations around our skin,” dermatologist Dr Anjai Mahto previously told Stylist.

And with adult acne on the rise (one study found a 200% increase in adults seeking treatment in the last year), there’s never been a better time for a Riri-led revolution. 

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Image: Getty


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Jessica Rapana

Jessica Rapana is a journalist based in London, and enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content. She is especially fond of news, health, entertainment and travel content, and drinks coffee like a Gilmore Girl.

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