Black Breast Cancer Survivors Featured In New Savage X Fenty Campaign
Rihanna asked three Black breast cancer survivors to model her designs for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
October 23, 2020 at 9:46 pm
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Rihanna's Savage X Fenty is highlighting the story of three Black breast cancer survivors through a new campaign, according to a statement on the company's website.
Rihanna invited three women, Cayatanita Leiva, Ericka Hart and Nykia McKenzie, to tell the story of their diagnosis and model for the latest line of Savage X Fenty.
The Savage X Fenty statement said the company will donate up to $250,000 to the Clara Lionel Foundation from the sales of its October and November capsule collections which launched on Oct. 19 and will run until it's sold out.
.@iHartEricka is feelin' good, lookin' good & surviving like a MF'n boss! 💖— Savage X Fenty by Rihanna (@SavageXFenty) October 21, 2020
Learn about how we've teamed up w/ @claralionelfdn to join the fight against breast cancer: https://t.co/PG3x1sFGa8 #SavageXSurvivors #SavageXThrivers pic.twitter.com/oq6NmLmXUa
The CDC released an in-depth report in 2016 showing that the breast cancer mortality rate is still higher among Black women compared to white women. While progress has been made in the mortality rate for both Black and white women under 50 years old, Black women over 60 are over represented.
On the Savage X Fenty website and in an interview with CNN, McKenzie explained that her concerns about a lump in her breast were ignored by multiple doctors.
"I actually felt a lump in my breast in June 2019. I felt that my body was off, so I went to the doctor. The response I received wasn't really welcoming. The doctor said it would go away with antibiotics, but it didn't. I decided to get a second opinion and the same thing happened," she recalled.
"By March, my breast was the size of a mini watermelon. At that point, I knew what was going on. I didn't really get diagnosed until I reached out to a doctor for the third time," McKenzie added.
She told CNN that being a part of the campaign was important to her because of how many Black women struggle through similar things.
"Knowing that these images will be seen worldwide means everything to me, mainly because I know now my story is being heard and that my storm was always bigger than me because the triumph is even bigger. I know now that black women will be heard in regards to our health and our healing. I hope these images convey to you all that there's work to do and that starts with listening to young women who look like me," she said.
CNN noted that the women were all heavily involved in the production of the photoshoot. Some took photos of themselves while others asked family members to help out.
Leiva said she was excited to share her story and wanted the campaign to focus on the unfair treatment Black Americans receive in hospitals across the country.
"What was ... great was having to bring things to light and to share my personal journey. Black and brown concerns in the health care system and how there is a need for more representation in our communities," she said."In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we are highlighting Survivors & Thrivers of breast cancer. With every BCA style purchased, a portion of the net proceeds will be donated to the Clara Lionel Foundation to fund critical research and support members of the Black Community who have been diagnosed with breast cancer, an underrepresented group within the health care system," the company statement read.
Rihanna founded the Clara Lionel Foundation in 2012 in honor of her grandparents Clara and Lionel Braithwaite.
The organization runs primary and secondary education programs in Malawi, Barbados and Senegal, emergency response programs in the Caribbean and across the globe. The organization also has the Clara Lionel Foundation Global Scholarship Program.