Seeing people live their best lives can encourage others to do the same. This is especially true of Black women who tap into vast networks and build with people from different backgrounds. Insert Robyn “Rihanna” Fenty, the icon, Harvard-recognized humanitarian, inclusive beauty brand genius, fashion industry muse and overall artist, who dropped the track “Lemon” with N.E.R.D. not too long ago.

Then on Wednesday, Vogue reported three fire hosts for the 2018 Met Gala. Rihanna will co-host the event with human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and super designer Donatella Versace. The gala is an annual formal fundraiser benefiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The theme for 2018 is “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination.” The event draws substantial money, and generates interest across academic and cultural communities. Next May’s theme already elicits impassioned discussion about religion, boundaries and art.

This co-hosting selection is just another cool detail in the narrative of what the public knows about Rihanna. Whether looking at her single-handed disruption of major beauty brands’ advertising, marketing and creation for diverse demographics through her Fenty Beauty brand, her sonic evolution and experimentation across albums or worldwide advocacy for girls’ educations, Rihanna being Rihanna makes people who have never met her vicariously proud and profoundly inspired. This might sound a little fan-girl-y, but knowing Rihanna exists and seeing a Black Millennial woman have her hand is so many pots—while consistently making magic—provides hope to scores of young Black women, myself included.

There’s her Clara Lionel Foundation, named after her grandparents. There’s her meetings with world leaders to improve life options for the world’s girls. Rihanna connects so many dots and so many people for the betterment of different communities and while boosting her brand of compassion. Her business partnerships with the Clara Lionel Foundation, for example, provide girls in Africa with transportation for their daily and academic lives. Rihanna has said the foundation would “help the young girls of Malawi get to school safely, cutting down those very long walks they make to and from school all alone.”

So it makes perfect sense for the fashion elite to position a woman who is beautiful, inside and out, at the forefront with other heavy-hitters yet again.



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