On Monday, September 17, 2018, Slick Woods, a 22-year old model who has been a part of Rihanna's Fenty Beauty Campaigns from the beginning, was faced with negative comments via Twitter. She has faced drama because people are trying to determine whether she is "ugly" or not. Woods, who has also been a part of Rihanna's SavagexFenty campaigns and has modeled for a plethora of other fashion and beauty brands. Recently, she walked for Rihanna's SavagexFenty show for New York Fashion week while in labor. She gave birth after the show and was immediately met afterward with hateful comments about her appearance.
As a Twitter user, I'm used to seeing controversy and drama on my timeline. However, this topic filled most of my timeline more than anything else because of people commenting their thoughts on her appearance. They have been debating her appearance because they don't meet the eurocentric societal standards of beauty they are used to seeing. By posting these negative comments, it's projecting those standards onto others. Slick Woods has very prominent features that have allowed her to gain all of the attention she has gotten. Those features being her shaved head and the gap between her teeth which are seen as "unconventional" but that does not mean they are not beautiful. Society's standards of beauty are constantly changing as people begin to recognize and acknowledge other forms of beauty outside of what is standard. Having the visibility of women who don't fit this mold is what makes the industry what it is now. What's considered "mainstream" does not.
The internet has been critiquing Wood's features from the time that she came on to the modeling scene to now. What people who are making these negative comments fail to realize is that her "unconventional" features are what have allowed her to get the attention she has gotten and been successful. Her features go against the grain of societies "normal" standards of beauty and seeing the success she's gotten paves the way for many other women who don't fit them either. The last thing that she should be met with after giving birth is hateful comments on her appearance.
Black women are constantly scrutinized for our appearance, which shouldn't be happening because we are more than what you see on the outside. As Woods, quoted in an open letter to Rihanna for Allure's 2018 Best of Beauty issue, she said: "You introduced me to a more mainstream level of exposure, People loved the idea of Slick, but you gave me countless platforms to let people actually fall in love with who I am." People often love the ways that we choose to express ourselves (i.e. Style and personality) but don't love us as the women that we are. As Black women, we define our own standard of beauty. So what if it does not fit the traditional mold? Inclusiveness of those who fit outside of the "norm" should be met with open arms, not with disgusting hate.