It is safe to say Robyn "Rihanna" Fenty is a revolutionary in the beauty world and the launch of Fenty Beauty brought the conversations of inclusivity to the forefront with more than just words and empty promises. From the vast range of shades to the use of diverse models, Fenty Beauty has shown over the past year that it is not impossible to celebrate and market beauty products that attract a universal audience. 

PHOTO: FentyBeauty

It was no surprise to see Rihanna as the cover star of Allure magazine's "2018 Best In Beauty" issue but the delivery of her position was priceless. To celebrate her accomplishments and influence, Allure gave those who admire Rihanna an opportunity to write her personal, open-letters to share what she, her brands, her music and just her presence has meant to them. In this "gave flowers while you can still smell them" format, participants were able to be vulnerable with the maven and share how her actions have impacted their lives. 

Here are a few gems from the participants: 

PHOTO: Allure

"Dear Rihanna, Remember when I worked in an office next to your apartment in Manhattan and would literally get up and leave my desk anytime a large black SUV pulled up outside your building? Most of those were Ubers, but one time it was your car, and you emerged with curls akimbo, wearing jeans that fit you like a song. You smiled vaguely in my direction (south), and I wanted to thank you for the memory. And, you know, for everything else." — Brennan Kilbane, Allure Senior Writer

"I would not call myself a stan. I understand you are a human woman who I don’t know in real life, and while I tend to enjoy the art and perspectives you choose to share with the rest of us, you do not belong to me. However, I would call myself an enthusiastic fan. Rest assured, it is earned enthusiasm… You have answered for the actions of others as well as your own in ways you should have never been asked. And yet you do not hide — but you do set boundaries. Your evolution has been such a pleasure to watch only because you let it be real. You let me be real. You refer to your own thiccness with admiration, and your life with all the seriousness it requires, and nothing extra. You know the luxury of youth, but you do not waste your time. What a beautiful lesson… Because of you, I am no longer afraid to be hungry, and I am unashamed of what I hunger for. The work of accepting my freedom and my body has, at times, been overwhelmingly hard work. It shouldn’t be, but I won’t wallow. I’ll remember who I belong to, even when it’s hard. Still, thank you for making it fun." — Ashley C. Ford, writer, talk-show host and speaker

PHOTO: Allure

"When I was a model, back in the early '90s, it was really tough to find my own foundation, or to have makeup artists understand my skin tone at all, so I mixed my own and made it work. I ended up doing makeup for all of the other girls, and that’s how I became a makeup artist… In 2007, I launched my own brand, a series of makeup sticks in a variety of shades, called Color by Cynde Watson. I thought it would be cool for them to be dual-ended, a warm and cool shade. Undertones are everything for women of color. That was key. I went to HSN with it and started selling it. But it didn’t work out. It was too ahead of its time. First of all, being a black woman selling to all women — it was referred to as a line for women of color. And I was like, 'No, it’s not, it’s for all women.'… Ten years later, it’s finally time… I credit you for breaking boundaries and shaking things up in today’s beauty space with your intense conviction and celebrity influence. You are inspiring consumers, retailers, and future beauty brands to think globally and recognize that all skin tones matter." — Cynde Watson, makeup brand founder

"You introduced me to a more mainstream level of exposure. I was famous for all of the wrong reasons before. People loved the idea of Slick, but you gave me countless platforms to let people actually fall in love with who I am. You made inclusivity cool, and that’s revolutionary. Now people are putting money toward inclusion, rather than putting money toward a certain supremacy. It’s a beautiful switch in pace. You have my loyalty until the end of time. My gratitude for the growth, love, and support you’ve put in my life will never subside. You are a true angel and the most multifaceted, immortal boss I’ve ever met. I’m so thankful for you. But you knew dat." — Slick Woods, model

PHOTO: Allure

"I was 14 when the 'Umbrella' video came out. I was also one of three black girls in my class of over 80 people. I wore two thick, poorly parted braids on either side of my head, and I was in a perpetual state of anxious self-consciousness. I was an Awkward Black Girl. And I was highly unprepared for “Umbrella,” which to some was just a music video, but to me was an existential mindf–k. Here was a black woman who had completely unsettled the agreeable, cookie-cutter pop-star personality that had previously been assigned her… I was struck by the image: a young black woman taking control of the narrative that had already been set for her by the people around her…  for the first time, I realized that I, too, could define the way I presented myself to the world. I felt unstuck. Fast-forward 10 years, I still have never dyed my hair, have a relatively normal amount of social anxiety, and can only barely partake in current dance trends. But I am bolder, more comfortable, and very much in control of who I am. I’m still no good girl gone bad, but that’s not the point. I can be whoever I want to be, in part because you showed me I could." — Kim Johnson, superfan

PHOTO: Allure

"Fenty Beauty has helped to heal my 14-year-old broken heart. As a teen, I would go to beauty counters filled with excitement, wanting to express myself through playing with colors. Instead, I was shooed away by beauty consultants who looked like they belonged in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands — all lacquered bangs and blue eye shadow. They told me, ‘There’s nothing for you here, go to the back of the beauty hall and try and find Fashion Fair.’ When I asked for blush, I was told, ‘Black girls don’t do pink.’ I was told, ‘You’re so dark, you don’t need foundation. This is not for you.’ It made me feel like I was nothing… when I saw your campaign with its collective of powerful women of all shades, backgrounds, and religions, I shed a tear. My twin daughters are seven, and they are of mixed heritage with lighter skin and looser curls. The world is changing for them. At three, they used to cry that they wanted yellow hair like Elsa from Frozen. Now when we walk into beauty halls together, they see faces that look like them shining down and they feel proud and accepted." — Ateh Jewel, writer and blogger

PHOTO: Allure

And we would be remiss if we did not share our own open-letter to Rihanna as well.

Dear Rihanna, 

Thank you. Thank you for showing us and the world that anything is possible. Thank you for teaching young girls and women alike that anything is achievable with commitment, passion and vision. While we all are allowed to revel at your end-results, we know that all great things are once met with "no's" and "can'ts" but throughout it all, you persevered. It seems everything you touch turns to gold, or glitter, and we never want you to stop. Keep inspiring the masses and, more importantly, keep inspiring yourself. If ever you need a prompt to be reflective, here’s one: We thank you for sharing your #BlackGirlMagic, your beauty, your intelligence, your grace, you heritage, your truths and your growth with us. 

Keep Shining, Queen! 

Click here to read Allure’s full cover story! 

Ready. Set. Boss. Our daily email is pouring out inspiration with the latest #BlackGirlBossUp moments, tips on hair, beauty and lifestyle to get you on track to a better you! Sign up today.