Rihanna is the latest celebrity to join in the fight against AIDS. She has signed on just this past week as the new face of Mac’s VIVA Glam lipstick. Other celebrities who have also contributed their time in the past to the cause include, Lady Gaga, Nicki Manaj, and K.D Lang. Every time someone buys a VIVA glam lipstick, all of that money goes directly to helping people with AIDS.
Flashback to the 80s, when AIDS first reared its ugly head in the gay communities, two young and gay Torontonians, Frank Angelo and Frank Toskan started a new and fierce make up chain. They set out to create a type of make-up that could last longer, wear brighter and stand up to the conditions on the runways. Estee Lauder is now the proud owner of the brand, which was sold to them in 1994.
Unfortunately in 1997, Angelo passed away while Toskan resigned from working with MAC, yet he dedicates his time now mostly to the AIDS charity.
In a behind the scenes video for MAC, Rihanna says, “I really wanted to get involved with Mac Viva Glam ever since I found out that 100 percent of the sales, goes to the Mac’s AIDS fund to help these women, men, and children who are affected by AIDS and HIV.”
Rihanna is the perfect spokesperson for the campaign considering that she is the most popular artist on Facebook currently and has more than 34 million twitter followers. Michel Sidibé is the executive director of Unaids (United Nations agency for the fight against the virus) who recently told the NY Times this, “I don’t get a lot of retweets, but if Rihanna posted a similar message, he said, “it could change the whole dynamic,” because millions of her fans are in high-risk groups: young people, minorities and gay men”.
Rihanna goes on to say “What I really wanted to accomplish with this Viva Glam campaign is you know, spreading awareness about AIDS and HIV and to also let people know that it’s not a thing of the 80s, it’s not a problem just in Africa, it’s a problem here and now and everywhere.”
Viva Glam has already donated over 40 million dollars last year which is a huge accomplishment. One way that people can get involved, if they aren’t too into lipstick, is to simply retweet one of MAC’s recent messages and they will donate .25 cents to the MAC Aids Fund. Of course, Rihanna retweeted first, which is what the company hoped for and will subsequently make a huge impact for their charity. (Mac has currently 450 thousand twitter followers).
Make sure to watch Rihanna, with her lipstick on no doubt, promoting her latest behind the scenes tour video which comes out May 6 on YouTube. The world tour had the star singing in seven countries in seven days. Whew, that is one hard-working starlet. On a side note Rihanna said “I love to have my fun” during her interview about her involvement with the MAC AIDS charity.
Commentary By Katie Sevigny