Rihanna was honoured with the President’s Award at the NAACP Image Awards this weekend for philanthropic and social justice efforts. She made her speech all about what others are doing and what others can do – and the way she put it, it’s not complicated. “Tell your friends to pull up.”
That’s about as simple as it gets. Because many of us probably do have a diverse range of people in our lives or we represent the diverse range of people in others’ lives. And if it has that kind of impact on them, like the actual living or dying kind of impact, shouldn’t it mean something to us?
Rihanna’s remarks were presumably prepared – but she was able to deliver them like the words had just come to her, conversationally, so that for a while there it didn’t seem like she was speaking on stage but across from you on the couch. This is part of the Rihanna success formula. She’s a boss, for sure, running an empire that includes music, makeup, fashion, and more. But she’s not detached from those she’s speaking to. At her beauty launches, she’s right in there among her fans, helping them apply makeup. With her clothing, you know she’s tried on the pieces, making sure that her fit will help with her clients’ fits. And here, as she’s being recognised, she’s not making it sound like her contributions are a result of her platform, unachievable to others. She’s distilling it down to what anyone, no matter who or where, can connect to. This is what leadership looks like on Rihanna…
In purple Givenchy (I’m obsessed with this dress) with a f-cking KILLER ponytail. I love this ponytail SO much. God, her face. This face! Not that her hair ever takes away from her face but when she wears her hair like this, making her face the main event, every feature is that much more brilliantly exposed.
Just a quick silly moment here though – when they cut away to Michael B Jordan listening intently to her and watching her? I felt that. How can we make this happen? Rihanna and MBJ? Send it to the top of the Gossip Genie wish list!