SAVAGE X FENTY: How Rihanna Has Set New Standards For Body Image & Inclusivity In Fashion




The definition of body image is subjective. How you see yourself and how you feel about your appearance is the basis of your own definition of body image. In today’s society, we consume a lot of images and depictions of the body from social media apps and fashion brands' advertising and it’s hard to believe that it plays a role to play in developing body image issues.


In the past, fashion brand Victoria Secret defined what the ‘perfect’ body was for millions to see for decades with girls trying all types of dieting methods and starvation and obsessive training to achieve the unrealistic goals VS Angels had to attain for the brand's standards. Savage X Fenty by Rihanna which launched back in 2018, didn’t come into the lingerie business trying to fit into its predecessor standards of body image, but completely created its own standards of not only body image but all types of inclusivity with its range and models.


“I want people to wear Savage X Fenty and think, I’m a bad bitch. I want women to own their beauty.” - Rihanna

Savage x Fenty: What Is Their Ethos?


Rihanna has been so clear on her mission statement for the Savage X Fenty brand ever since its concept was brought to the surface. Savage x Fenty is a lingerie brand that has changed the game for what sexy and self-confidence in lingerie means for body image. Rihanna told Vogue, “Women should be wearing lingerie for their damn selves", since their launch Savage x Fenty has made it their mission to offer their customers of all shapes and sizes the chance to feel their best in their natural bodies. A lot of the time people of sizes and shapes are not within the standard set-in society by brands such as Victoria Secret.


Body & Inclusivity Redefined?


In 2018, the Chief marketing officer Ed Razek of Victoria Secret, when asked about the inclusion of plus-sized and transgendered models, during a Vogue interview proceeded to answer with “It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy.


Whereas with Savage x Fenty, the brands most notable aspect of its annual show is its varied cast of ethnicities, physiques, and gender equality. Rihanna has had models of all sizes and skin colours dancing in sync with the strains of guest vocalists Miguel and Roddy Rich in set-pieces reminiscent of an Olympic Opening Ceremony. We are able to see bodies during the Savage x Fenty show and advertisements that we can relate to and identify with, whether it’s our own or those of our lovers. We are finally able to catch a glimpse of ourselves in a mainstream lingerie brand. We are all guilty of subconsciously comparing our bodies to the models previously glamourised as the standard model archetype being a size 6 and nothing above. Rihanna, since the launch of her global lingerie brand, has done nothing but only set new standards but has also redefined so much within the industry in regard to body image and inclusivity.


The Savage X Fenty Vol.3 show streamed on Amazon last year was nothing like any other fashion show put on before. The show communicates equality and body positivity on-screen with encouragement and love which is why it is worth watching regardless of your interest or knowledge in fashion. Savage X Fenty has managed to set new norms for the forever-evolving fashion industry, urging it to finally embrace diversity while also getting society to reconsider and analyse how and why we define beauty the way have for so long.


Another way Fenty x Savage has become a pioneer in inclusivity is by inviting men to enter the lingerie market which was previously only accessible to women. The men's line was treated equally to the women's, highlighting a diversity of men's physiques and sizes. The show's main theme in 2019 was gender fluidity; there wasn't a portion stressing the differences between the two genders, but the compatibility of all genders was quite obvious.


Here are some of the ranges of names that have starred in a Savage x Fenty show over the past three years:


Models: Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne, Bella Hadid, and Soo Joo P pioneer inclusivity by inviting men to enter the lingerie market which was previously only accessible to women. The men's line was treated equally to the women's, highlighting a diversity of men's physiques and sizes. The show's main theme in 2019 was gender fluidity; there wasn't a portion stressing the differences between the two genders, but the compatibility of all genders was quite obvious.

Drag Queens: Shea Couleé , Gottmik, Jaida Essence Hall

Gigi Goode, Symone

Actors; Demi Moore, Indya Moore, and Laura Harrier;

New Savage x Fenty Menswear models: Big Sean, Christian Combs, and Miguel

Parris Goebel – the brains behind the choreography showcased within the production