Did you know that over the past year Rihanna has been starring in a series of advertisements for Nivea skin cream? Oh, you didn't? You don't read my celebrity toiletry endorsement gossip blog, Celebrity Toiletry Endorsement Journal Constitution Digest? Weird. But anyway, that's happening, and apparently it's turned into a bit of a situation. Nivea's parent company, Beiersdorf, has acquired a brand new CEO named Stefan Heidenreich, who is a virgin or something I guess (with very soft hands!). Somebody tipped him off to the fact that current spokesface Rihanna is a known fornicator, all the buttons popped off his lederhosen, and RiRi is MEGA-FIRED.
Oh, but don't worry—he has a totally reasonable justification:
Rihanna is a no go...I do not understand how to bring the core brand of Nivea in conjunction with Rihanna. Nivea is a company which stands for trust, family and reliability.
Bro. You do know where families come from, right? They come from VAGINAS. Vaginas that got sex put into them. By penises! Just saying, there would be no families to have "family values" about if sexiness didn't exist. Now, of course anyone is welcome to do whatever they want with their boring German skin-goop company. Nivea is stinky and heavy—I wouldn't put it on my skin even if it was endorsed by my favorite celebrity on earth (John Goodman!!!)—so if this dude wants to fire Rihanna from some commercials nobody cares about, does a tree fall in the Schwarzwald? No. No big. Rihanna has hella other shit to do.
In the grand scheme of things, really, this is nothing. But it's a disheartening reminder that for all of us, one facet of our lives can come to define us in the small minds of the small-minded. That having a sex life makes you somehow unqualified to shill skin creams.
This is just like that time Lubriderm fired its alligator for being "too carnivorous."
There's just something so blatantly and embarrassingly puritanical about calling her "too sexy" for a Nivea commercial. It's a commercial. Unless, unbeknownst to me, someone managed to uncouple sexiness from marketing in the past two weeks (doubtful), this isn't actually about "sexiness." It's about raunchiness. Rihanna is unapologetic and loud about sexual stuff. She's messy, honest, and sometimes graceless. I don't blame people for not wanting to hear their six-year-olds singing along to "S&M" (also because that song is hella dumb). But I'm pretty sure Rihanna (like all of us) is allowed to have more than one side to her personality, and presumably she doesn't spend 24 hours a day flogging herself in a buttless catsuit and doing public lesbian touchings on the deck of Richard Branson's luxury sex battleship. Presumably she also moisturizes sometimes.
And...they weren't going to allow Rihanna write and direct the commercials, right? A cosmetics commercial is about pretty skin, a pretty face, flower petals, fake science, and globs of white stuff dripping into pools of other white stuff in slow motion (too sexual! MY EYES!!!). In this context, Rihanna is essentially functioning as a model with some name recognition. I'm sorry to break this to anyone who doesn't want to buy moisturizer from a woman tainted by intercourse, but...literally every famous woman on your television lying to you about magical German face-grease HAS TOTALLY WEIRD SEX ALL THE TIME. Because that's what people do. Drew Barrymore. Tyra Banks. Andie MacDowell. Total freaks. Diane Keaton? Guaranteed. I mean, Kelly LeBrock is literally an interdimensional sex robot who showers with teenage boys! The depravity of it all! (Great hair, though.)
Rihanna might be a risk for Nivea (I sometimes forget that people give shits about stuff like other people's genitals), but she's a small risk and almost certainly worth it. This is brand that could desperately use a little sexiness. I don't know anyone who uses Nivea. Nivea's target demographic is going to literally die out unless they make young people aware of their product. And Rihanna knows how to get young people's attention. Because, you know, butts and stuff.
Image via Rihanna's Instagram.