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Rihanna Features Black Cancer Survivors In New Savage X Fenty Ad

Cayatanita, Ericka and Nykia | Image: Savage X Fenty

Rihanna is marking Breast Cancer Awareness month by featuring three black survivors, all of whom have been diagnosed with aggressive forms of breast cancer.

The singer’s lingerie brand, in a statement, said: “This Breast Cancer Awareness month, we’re sharing the moving stories of Thrivers & Survivors. We spoke to three bad asses who are resilient, inspiring, and changing the way we think about Thrivers & Survivors.”


The women featured in the campaign, Cayatanita, Ericka and Nykia, are all survivors of breast cancer and the campaign aims to highlight the “unfair disparities within the health care system for the Black community.”

Cayatanita, who starred in the Savage X Fenty Volume 2 show began blogging about her experience after she was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32 in 2018 – seven years to the day of her cardiovascular diagnosis. “It was pretty devastating for me. But I knew that I was going to go ahead and push through,” she says of her aggressive triple-negative cancer and the lack of research, funding and solutions for the condition.

“Sharing a little bit about what was going on – I felt it was important. I wanted to make sure I created healthy relationships with people… I have my list of all who I check in on, and they check on me… They’re my queens… They make me feel confident and empowered.”

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For Ericka, who found out she had bilateral breast cancer (two types of cancer in her body) at the age of 28, the process made her see herself differently. “Your body hasn’t done anything wrong. It’s important for you to appreciate the body that you’re in for getting you where you are right now,” she says, addressing others who have gone through a similar journey.

“That was really moving to me, because it wasn’t about beauty, it wasn’t about ‘Oh, I love myself.’ It was: ‘I appreciate the vessel that has carried me.’ I really give all kudos to Black femmes and Black queer people for holding me down.”

Nykia was diagnosed in April at the age of 25 after her third visit to the doctor. She had repeatedly been prescribed antibiotics even though she had a lump in her breast that was an invasive ductal carcinoma – a hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer – growing. Her breast was the size of a small watermelon before she was taken seriously. Accordingly, Nykia is using the Savage X Fenty spotlight to tell women to keep pushing to be heard. “Somebody will listen; whether it’s the first person, or the second person, or even the third person – some women have had a fourth or even a fifth opinion before they were diagnosed,” she urges. “Definitely keep going.”

With every style purchased from the new collection, a portion of the proceeds will be donated and split between supporting members of the Black community who have been diagnosed with breast cancer and the other half will be donated to Rihanna’s charity, the Clara Lionel Foundation, which funds education and emergency response programmes around the world.

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