THE IMPORTANCE OF INCLUSIVENESS

Last week saw the greatly anticipated launch of Rihanna’s first ever makeup line, Fenty Beauty. The release has left women all over the world in a state of pure exhilaration, with many practically hurling their coins at the international superstar in order to get their hands on her debut collection. This includes 40 different shades of foundation (a number of which cater to those with the darkest of skin tones), skin sticks that can be used for a multitude of purposes including contouring, concealing and highlighting and the big dog — a hyper metallic gold highlighter that make your cheeks look like they’ve been kissed repeatedly by a dozen tiny fairies.   

If I’m being completely honest with you, makeup isn’t really my thing. Despite the many YouTube tutorials and blogs dedicated to those wishing to master the art of enhancing what God gave them, my makeup skills have remained pretty abysmal and my current routine (if you could even call it that) is extremely basic. I’m certain many of my reservations surrounding makeup stem from my own negative experiences, whether I was unable to find my shade in shops where those with lighter skin tones had access to an abundance of choices. However, one thing that did really impress me about Rihanna’s new range was the sheer variety of the products on offer and how she created something that was truly inclusive. I feel that Rihanna really hit the nail on the head with Fenty Beauty, creating products that boldly champion diversity.

Like Rihanna’s new line, do we strive to be inclusive, or are we too focused on those whose lifestyles and feelings towards God resemble our own?

This focus on inclusiveness reminds me of the story of Zacchaeus in the bible (stay with me now). Luke 19 tells the story of a mean and terribly dishonest tax collector, who also happened to be vertically challenged. He used his occupation to cheat his fellow Jews out of their money and was hated by many. However, despite his conniving ways, it was Zacchaeus that Jesus wanted to spend time with. As it says in verse 10 of the story, Jesus had come to save the lost, not those who already had it all together.

How often do we replicate Jesus’ actions in this situation? How often do we choose to spend time with those who don’t look like us, or act like us, or whose lives are all kinds of messy? How often do we fellowship with those who are clearly broken? Like Rihanna’s new line, do we strive to be inclusive, or are we too focused on those whose lifestyles and feelings towards God resemble our own? Today, I want to challenge you to embrace those around you fully, especially the people who are worlds apart from your usual crowd. We must ensure that we never forget the mission. As Jesus so perfectly demonstrated, we are here to be a light to the lost.