Updated: Aug 29, 2022
The new lingerie line by Rihanna - Savage X Fenty is kicking women's miss-representation to the curve.
Introduction – Miss representation of true women in marketing campaign
The media often misrepresenting women by focusing on their bodies and sexuality and restricting it to a distinct body type. Usually, the women represented in the media are young, tall, and "skinny." They are also expressed as ignorant, young, sexy, powerless, and yielding to men, as well as having a primary purpose of entertaining men.
Introduction of Media Piece: The Savage X Fenty Show (Amazon Studios, 2019)
In September 2019, Amazon released The SAVAGE X FENTY SHOW film giving us a look into Rihanna's artistic manner for her latest lingerie collection. Rihanna is a figure whose work in music, fashion, and beauty. She is a well-known celebrity and a role model for many people in the world.
Rihanna as a leader in body positivity and inclusion
I see Rihanna as a leader for her intellectual stimulation and individualization consideration as a transformational leader, and her creative input. One of the problems with women's miss-representation in the media is the message it sends to women and young girls; they understand that the most important feature about them is how they look and that their personal value, their worth, depends on that. Rihanna is demonstrating intellectual stimulation by challenging this concept and trying new approaches with an innovation mindset, by making something new and fresh in which everyone can relate to and feel confident. Her new lingerie line is modeled by "fat" women, transgender people, as well as handicaps and women of different colors and backgrounds. It sends the message that - beauty comes in all shapes and sizes and is not limited to just one type. "We want you to feel sexy and have fun doing it." (Rihanna, 2019). She empowers others.
Rihanna is also a creative leader. She launched Savage X Fenty in a creative fashion-show that is also a dance-show, and a music-show modeled by marvelous, distinct talent. "Celebrating all genders and sizes, and featuring performances by the hottest music artists, nowhere else will you feel this kind of empowerment." (Savage X Fenty Show, 2019). Hunter and Cushenbery (2011) recognized in their study the importance of creativity as a phenomenon rather than an abstract idea. "We should focus on explanatory terms such as creative performance, creative products, creative teams, creative inputs, and creative processes instead of the overly encompassing word, creativity." (Hunter and Cushenbery, 2011). The Savage Fenty show is not only creative but also innovative and novel. Creativity is "the generation of ideas that are both (a) novel and (b) useful or serve a purpose… for an idea to be labeled as innovative, it must be made, built, or implemented" (Hunter and Cushenbery, 2011). With her brand launch, Rihanna created, built, and implemented a public statement and expanded the women's beauty idea; by that, she helped fight low body image and low self-conscious, which is serving a critical purpose. Rihanna implemented the idea that sexy is not limited to one type of body, and that a woman should not try and be sexy for anyone but herself. "Savage X Fenty celebrates fearlessness, confidence, and inclusivity" (Savage X Fenty Website, 2019). Rihanna emphasized her role as a transformational leader who considers the needs of the individuals. She listened carefully to the needs of others (to be better represented and catered), was very supportive, and empowered the individuals. "Savage X means making your own rules and expressing your mood, character, and style for you—not for someone else." (Rihanna, 2019).
Recommendation for Rihanna's Future Leadership Behavior
Rihanna made a significant impact in the miss representation aspect of women in the media and in the perception of what is a "sexy woman," however, these are "feminine" attributes. I think Rihanna has gained the necessary power and public influence to make an even more significant impact for women as we step forward towards gender equality. Proving that women are just as successful in business, economics, government, etc. as men. She can prove that point by inserting her company to the Stock Market, or by investing in other companies that are promoting women in leadership. In other words, enter the "masculine" fields that are typically taboo for women and break the glass ceiling of what is considered "feminine" and what's considered "masculine."
Hunter, S., and Cushenbery, L. (2011). Leading for Innovation: Direct and Indirect Influences. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 13(3), pp.248-265.
Savage X Fenty Show. (2019). [film] New York City: Amazon Studios.