When Selena Gomez launched Rare Beauty back in 2020, the message was simple: break down previous notions that everyone must be perfect, and shine a light on mental health issues.
While this may have broken every budding makeup brand’s dream, brands like Fenty Beauty shared similar, groundbreaking mission statements: bolster inclusivity in the makeup industry and force all brands to do the same in the process.
Inspired by her 2020 album, Rare, Rare Beauty began with the basics: 48 foundation shades, lip balms and matte lip creams, eyebrow definers, and the icon, liquid blush. Four years later, it’s hard to imagine a more viral, innovative celebrity makeup brand that remains in stride with Fenty.
Quickly, the Rare Beauty Soft Pinch Liquid Blush became TikTok’s go-to staple product. And no one can deny there is no blush on the market that is as pigmented, easily blendable, and long-lasting as this one. Selena Gomez has proven herself a bonafide content creator with her charismatic social media posts for fun Rare Beauty launches like an under-eye brightener, an SPF-laden tinted moisturizer, and lip combos.
Not only is Rare Beauty inclusive in shade range, but the spherical shape of the top of their products is disability-friendly.
As of 2024, Rare Beauty is a $2 billion company. But what sets this company apart is their attention to detail and true dedication to bettering the world. The same year that Rare Beauty was founded, the Rare Impact Fund was also created.
What Is The Rare Impact Fund?
In a statement by Gomez on the Rare Impact Fund’s website, she states,
“The Rare Impact Fund is committed to expanding access to mental health services and education for young people everywhere. We work with a strong network of supporters and experts to bring mental health resources into educational settings to reach young people.
Because no one– regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, or background - should struggle alone.”
Upon their start, the Rare Impact Fund committed to raising $100 million by 2030. Along with corporate sponsorships and donations from individuals, 1% of proceeds from all Rare Beauty sales go towards the charity as well. By 2021, they had donated over $1.2 million in grants to eight mental health institutions including Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence.
In 2021, the Rare Impact Fund launched a GoFundMe for their new Mental Health 101 initiative. According to the GoFundMe,
“Mental Health 101 advocates for more mental health in education, empowers our community, and encourages financial support for more mental health services in educational settings through the Rare Impact Fund,”
Promising to match up to $200,000 in donations, to date the GoFundMe has raised over $500,000 and has donations from less than six months ago.
How The Rare Impact Fund Works
By leveraging both Selena Gomez’s millions of social media followers and the four million people who follow Rare Beauty on Instagram, the Rare Impact Fund quickly trickles into visibility. Suddenly, fans of the brand and Gomez alike can help make a difference by donating even a few dollars in honor of their favorite actress-singer extraordinaire.
As of 2023, the Rare Impact Fund helped grantees like UCLA Friends of Semel Institute, Batyr, La Familia, Mindful Life Project, Black Teacher Project, and Trans Lifeline. According to the website, they have raised $6 million in contributions and distributed $3 million in grant support so far.
Rare Beauty and the Rare Impact Fund alone are blazing a trail for all brands: you can make a change while still distributing high-quality products — and it pays off.
Is It Finally Time For The Kohinoor To Be Returned To India?
Queen Mother's Crown on top of the coffin/ Peter Macdiarmid/Shutterstock
Queen Elizabeth II’s death brought immense sadness to Britain. The United Kingdom has gone into mourning. Throngs of people are queueing outside Westminster Hall to bid farewell to the longest reigning Monarch in English history.
As the Queen's reign ends and her son King Charles III ascends the throne, countries within the commonwealth are left wondering what it will mean for them. Jamaica might become a republic, Australia seems to be mulling their options, and India has a Twitter riotous debate about getting the Kohinoor back.
For many, it’s merely a diamond that rests on top of the crown — the most expensive diamond in the world, at between $140 - $400 Million. But for Indians, it’s much-much more— history, tradition, and memories of pre-colonial India as well as the pain of colonial India.
Kohinoor or Kho-i-Noor — which means 'Mountain of Light' — is a 105.6-carat diamond that was found in southern India in the 14th century. This is where I’m from, so it hits close to home. This gem was claimed by the British during colonial times. Currently, there are 4 countries — India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran — trying to claim it back.
The Crown Made For Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother On the Coronation of King George Vi/Historia/Shutterstock
Along with sapphires and other precious stones, the Kohinoor is only one of the 2,800 diamonds in the Monarch partner’s crown which was fashioned in 1937. This was while India was still under British rule. But since their freedom in 1947, there have been animated discussions about who the Kohinoor rightfully belongs to.
Many British museums are packed with artifacts looted from other cultures. In July 2010, then Prime Minister of the UK David Cameron said, “If you say yes to one, you suddenly find the British Museum would be empty.”
So, here’s the question. Should the Kohinoor stay in with the crown or returned to India?
During the 14th century, it was uncovered in the Indian Golconda mines and passed through many hands. Sashi Tharoor mentioned in his book An Era of Darkness, “The diamond was formally handed over to Queen Victoria by the child Sikh heir Maharaja Duleep Singh, who simply had no choice in the matter. As I have pointed out in the Indian political debate on the issue, if you hold a gun to my head, I might ‘gift’ you my wallet. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want it back when your gun has been put away.”
Does that make it rightfully India’s property?
Numerous Indians share this position, especially since Camilla, the Queen Consort will now wear this iconic diamond. So, of course, #Kohinoor went viral on Twitter with a flood of humor-driven memes. However, there’s a serious petition underway seeking a minimum of a million signatures. The petition’s aim is to spotlight the topic of restitution and where the diamond will rightfully sit.
British monarchy after seeing 'Kohinoor' trending in India. #KohinoorDiamond pic.twitter.com/zxBq4NeCmF
— Vedant Purohit (@iVedantPurohit) September 9, 2022
Recently, the Horniman Museum in London announced that it would return 72 artifacts — including 12 brass plaques known as Benin Bronzes which were swiped in 1897 — to the Nigerian government.
Is this the first step?
The crown may look glittering and glorious to some. To many Indians the appropriation of the Kohinoor as part of the Crown Jewels connotes imperialism and the tragedies that occurred during 89 years of British oppression.
Danielle Kinsey — Assistant professor of history at Carleton University — said, “There are many, many other artifacts in Britain that continue to function as imperial trophies. And when people from around the world have to shell out the money and go through all of the visa and travel issues to go to Britain to engage with pieces of their own cultures and their own pasts, this continues the trauma of empire for them.”
Indians storming into the Buckingham trying to retrieving the #Kohinoor back pic.twitter.com/rgttCLSPbF
— kroo (@akehaiKr) September 8, 2022
The perspective of the colonized is only now coming to world view. Throughout history they were sidelined but now that society is more progressive, there’s an apprehension of the wrongs that have occurred. Surely, if a nation admits to a wrong, then steps ought to be taken to right it.
India before the British was one of the richest countries in the world — when they left it was one of the poorest. The Kohinoor is a symbolic reference to the deprivation caused by colonial rule. Its valuation wouldn’t even cover 1% of the trillions pilfered from India during the colonial period. But it would send a message to Indians of respect and an equal friendship.
"Flaunting the Kohinoor on the Queen Mother's crown in the Tower of London is a powerful reminder of the injustice perpetrated by the former imperial power. Until it is returned — at least as a symbolic gesture of expiation — it will remain evidence of the loot, plunder, and misappropriation that colonialism was really all about," added Sashi Tharoor.
Jokes and petitions are only the beginning. Isn’t it time for the British to stop amplifying their imperialism and return precious artifacts they’ve stolen from the world?
Personally, I’d love to see the Kohinoor return to India. It could be the start of Britain accepting their responsibility of past injustices and moving into a future of reconciliation.