Representation of bodies in all shapes and sizes is part of what makes Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty lingerie shows so wonderful. The brand has hit another powerful note with one of its chosen models in photos for the latest collection.
Rihanna is facing a ton of praise on social media for the latest model with limb differences to be used in the new collection of Savage x Fenty lingerie.
Lyric Mariah Heard is a model who, before she was born, had amniotic band syndrome. It’s a rare condition that causes strands of the amniotic sac to get tangled around a developing foetus.
It’s not exactly clear why this happens, but it can cut off blood flow and affect growth, potentially life-threatening ones at that.
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For Heard, it affected her hand and leg, and she wears a prosthetic and has three fully developed fingers on her left hand.
The decision to cast Heard in the latest Savage x Fenty collection images has been praised by others with limb differences, such as writer Kim Kelly.
“Obviously representation only goes so far, but when your disability is on the rare side and you’re used to never seeing anyone else who looks like you, stuff like this feels really nice. Thanks for hiring models with limb differences, @rihanna,” she tweeted.
Another wrote: “People always said I should be a model but my internalised shame about my hands held me back. Never seen anyone with hands similar to mine before. I wish young me could have seen this.”
Rihanna’s Fenty line is synonymous with inclusivity and representation, without the side of tokenism or pandering. At previous fashion shows for the underwear line, she has sent pregnant, curvy, slim, and differently-abled models, of all genders and skin tones, down the runway in a celebration of diversity.
“They’re not size 8s — these are women who likely wouldn’t be able to find clothes that fit at Victoria’s Secret, who are often punished for their bodies and can rarely find something sexy, comfortable, and affordable. In the Savage x Fenty show, they wear skimpy lingerie that celebrates their curves and rolls,” observed Buzzfeed reporter Scaachi Kou of the Savage x Fenty show.
“As they walk and their thighs rub together, the camera treats them with the same gaze thin women have enjoyed for a lifetime: with desire and awe. You lust after them, or you want to be them, or you want both. Savage actually makes you feel like the aspirational is attainable. After all, a lot of these girls look like just you.”