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Rihanna Was Called Out For Cultural Appropriation For Using The Term 'Spirit Animal'

elizabethdspina 27 Sep 2019

Sometimes it seems like Rihanna is untouchable — from her music to her makeup empire. But fans were quick to point out her latest slip-up, after she used the term "spirit animal" in a recent Instagram caption.

Rihanna was recently called out for cultural appropriation over using the term "spirit animal" in one of her Instagram captions.

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However, this isn't the first time Riri has been dragged for cultural appropriation.

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Fenty Beauty's initial claim to fame was highlighters. But ironically, that's also where things went awry on the topic of cultural appropriation.

In April 2019, Fenty launched three brand new highlighters, a part of the Killawatt collection.

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While the colors and quality looked stunning, fans noticed a small detail that did not sit well with them.

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Up until that point, Fenty had managed to completely steer clear of scandal or controversy — something that is very difficult to do in 2019.

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But after naming one of their highlighters "Geisha Chic", their unsullied reputation was tarnished.

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Fans stormed the comment section on Fenty Beauty's Instagram, criticizing the name.

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Some people loved the color of the highlighter, but refused to purchase it under its given name.

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"I'm really excited for this launch, however this shade name 'Geisha Chic' is not great because it ignores the history, full weight, and overall experience of being a geisha," one user wrote.

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Luckily, Fenty took full accountability for their mistake.

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Instead of sitting on their hands — waiting for the scandal to blow over, they DMd one of the commenters, revealing that they would be pulling the product off the market until they could come up with a more acceptable name.

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That wasn't the first time Riri had been accused of culturally appropriating an Asian culture, however.

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Let's not forget her Harper's Bazaar cover from earlier this summer...

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Numerous fans commented, letting her know this was definitely not okay.

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Looks like Riri hadn't fully given up her 2012 "Princess of China" phase, amirite?

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Anyway, she seems to have crossed the line once again, using the term "spirit animal" in a recent Instagram caption.

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"Y’all are literally bout to witness why this woman right here is my spirit animal! God gifted genius!!," she wrote along with this photo.

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"Spirit animal" is actually an ancient concept prominent primarily with indigenous, Native American religions and cultures.

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It is meant to refer to animals acting as spiritual guides.

The more you know!

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However, as far as we know Rihanna does not belong to any indigenous groups, nor is the other woman in the photo an animal.

So, naturally, fans were not about to let Riri get away with this one.

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This fan bluntly asked her to stop using the term "spirit animal" altogether.

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This comment alone sparked nearly 2000 likes from other fans in agreement — catching Rihanna's attention.

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She hastily replied to the comment, taking full responsibility for her mistake.

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She assured her fans that she won't let it happen again.

This response was perfect. Every other celebrity that has ever been accused of cultural appropriation should seriously take notes.

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Fans took notice and applauded her gentle and mature response.

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Despite her recent mistake, people have been extra forgiving since she immediately admitted her wrongdoing.

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People loved Rihanna's reaction.

It costs nothing to be respectful and kind when being educated about something you didn't know about before.

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Big shout out to bad-gal-Riri for handling the criticism so gracefully.

Instagram | @badgalriri

Let us know what you think Rihanna using the term "spirit animal" of her response to being called out by an offended fan!

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Riri's not the only celebrity to be open to learning about this issue.

Lizzo shared this tweet in response to a fan jokingly referring to the singer as their spirit animal which educated without shaming.

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Tristan Picotte, a writer for Partnership With Native Americans, has written on the subject.

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He wrote, "These terms are used among different cultures to describe spirits of benevolent nature, usually helping someone during a hard time."

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"These spirits can bring strength, insight, and even a sense or feeling to someone who needs it."

" In my teachings, a Spirit Helper isn’t something you choose or identify with but rather something that comes to you in your time of need. Perhaps the animal represents something that holds a certain value, such as strength in a bull or agility in a dragonfly."

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"In Lakota culture, it’s from these spirits that we tend to associate values with certain animals."

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"However, that’s not all they bring… Spirit Helpers are not a novelty. They hold a special place and represent a larger spiritual culture within a tribe."

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"Many people don’t take the time to really understand this."

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"The adapted understanding and misappropriation is concerning and often offensive to Native cultures," he wrote.

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And, as this person pointed out, it's not just indigenous tribes from America that use the term.

There are other groups that have the term "spirit animal" with a significant meaning and impact on their lives and culture.

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More celebrities need to be like Rihanna!

Instagram | @badgalriri

Just, like, in general personality, demeanor, and talent, but also in terms of willingness to be corrected.

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