Rabat – Despite great feedback 5-star reviews, Rihanna’s latest makeup palette, inspired by Morocco’s colors, has stirred controversy on social media over “cultural appropriation.”
— tonks (@mxnelle) July 13, 2018
Last week, pop singer Rihanna launched a makeup collection called “Moroccan spices,” inspired by the kingdom’s colors. The superstar composed her new creation with 16 warm hues, from matte to sparkling finishes.
The 30-year-old artist named the shades “Shisha Smoke,” “Desert baked,” and “Nuts n Dates.” According to some makeup fans, the names do not reflect Moroccan culture.
“‘Moroccan Spice’ by Fenty should have been called ‘Moroccan Spice on a Camel in a Harem under the Desert Night Mizmar playing in the background and Belly Dancers Abu’ instead,” wrote a dissatisfied commenter on Twitter.
“Moroccan Spice” by Fenty should have been called “Moroccan Spice on a Camel in a Harem under the Desert Night Mizmar playing in the background and Belly Dancers Abu” instead.
— ???? (@MayaZSleiman) July 14, 2018
On social media, people accused the “Diamonds” singer of orientalism and cultural appropriation. “She could have at least casted one person who was of Moroccan/Amazigh descent,” wrote one social media user, referring to the models chosen by the superstar, of whom none were Moroccan.
As someone who is half Amazigh Moroccan, I wish if you’re going to have a palette inspired by or do the shoot in Morocco, you could have at least casted at least one person who was of Moroccan/Amazigh descent. #disappointed #MoroccanSpicePalette pic.twitter.com/MRxRa02vNW
— IZÉMRASEN (@Izem_Alec) July 13, 2018
Furthermore, the palette is not available in the kingdom.
Moroccans pointed out other flaws. Rihanna’s desert-themed promotional video was criticized for “depicting Moroccan culture from an Orientalist lens, as it features two models posing next to a camel and Arab fusion music playing in the background,” according to American outlet Stepfeed.
Rihanna has not reacted to the backlash yet.