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The Superficial Inclusivity of Savage x Fenty

I am an avid follower of beauty trends. I am the kind of girl that knows all of the new launches and releases and watches beauty gurus religiously. In recent years I have seen a lot of videos made and a lot of opinions stated about the subject of inclusivity. In America, where there is an amazing and beautiful amount of diversity, issues of inclusivity have been heavily emphasized in the beauty community.

Up until recent years, most trends in fashion and beauty have catered to a skinny, light-skinned demographic. One notable event is the launch of the Tarte Shape Tape Foundation. When the large and well-known company Tarte launched a highly anticipated foundation based on their best-selling concealer, they released a paltry and outdated shade range. There was widespread outrage and people stood in solidarity against the blatant discrimination towards people with darker skin.

Since then, companies have been increasingly expected to come up with a wide shade range. When Rihanna debuted her cosmetic brand and came out with a foundation in 50 shades, she stepped up the game for everybody else and became the queen of inclusivity. She was praised highly for her consideration of people in every skin tone and essentially became the gold standard of this movement.

In addition to her own cosmetic line, Rihanna has also collaborated with a company to create her own line of lingerie known as Savage x Fenty. When she debuted this, people had high expectations for her, and popular media would say that she did not disappoint. Her lingerie came in unique and sexy designs going up to a 3X, to make sure plus-size girls could feel sexy in her line as well. Not only was she launching her own brand, but from the get-go she was making sure to create a full range for all of fans.

Image Courtesy of Vogue

As a single college student, I really don’t have any reason to be lingerie shopping, but in the weeks after Rihanna announced Savage x Fenty, ever fashion media outlet was praising Rihanna’s inclusivity, saying that she created a lingerie line for every girl. She was continuing her reputation she set with her makeup line and blowing everybody else out of the water in everything she did in terms of inclusivity. As somebody who has always had trouble shopping for bras, my interest was piqued.

Image Courtesy of Independent

I went on her site and was outraged. The largest cup size that Savage x Fenty had was a DD. In many studies, the average cup size in America has been found to be DD, and from personal experience I have seen many girls wear bras that are way to small for them for lack of better options. In high school, I used to try to fit my boobs into bras that were three up sizes too small for me. The idea that everybody was praising this line for its inclusivity when the largest cup size they had was the American average was insane to me. The articles I read barely mentioned anything about this.

Every media outlet that I could find claimed that Savage x Fenty would be kicking Victoria Secret’s butt, when Savage x Fenty actually had a smaller cup-size range. To their credit, they have increased the number of cup sizes they carry since their initial launch–but only by one size, meaning they still only go up to a DDD.

Image Courtesy of Savage x Fenty​ I think that it is great that brands and companies are trying to advocate for inclusivity, and Rihanna carrying such a wider range of plus-size looks and casting diverse models in her show is definitely a step in the right direction. However, I think it’s wrong to just see a company make one gesture and then blindly praise them as “inclusive,” because it makes it seem like the job is done. Because for those of us who struggle to find a bra with a cup size past DDD for under $100+, we need more from brands like Savage x Fenty, especially if they’re going to get credit for catering to all sizes.

Amy Xiang

Drexel '21

Amy is an Accounting major at Drexel University. In her free time, she sings in an a cappella group and plays piano!
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