Meet the stunning Indian model who is a dead ringer for Rihanna
Many of the singers out there are all pretty much the same, but there's only one Rihanna, right? The original Good Girl Gone Bad, Caribbean Queen, Barbados Babe, whatever you want to call her, there is no one else quite like our RiRi. Or so we thought, anyway - until we met Renee Kujur.
Renee is an Indian model, who reigns from Chhattisgarh. But while her and Rihanna are worlds apart, wherever Renee goes, people call her "Rihanna" - and it's not hard to see why: their similar gorgeous skin tone, stunning eyes and full pouts make them look like each other's doppelgänger.
However, the rising model hasn't always had it easy, despite looking like a dead ringer for the You Da One songstress. When Renee was younger, she reportedly faced humiliation on a regular basis for her dark skin and unusual facial features.
This was especially tough when she attempted to break into the modelling industry. Initially, the Indian beauty was told that she was "too dark" to be beautiful and whatever jobs she managed to win, her skin would end up being lightened by make-up and Photoshop. This also affected her love life, with her dark skin allegedly stopping her from having a boyfriend.
“They told me all models are into prostitution. I wouldn’t become a model unless I pleased clients. Being dark had already killed my chances," she told The Hindustan Times, adding that a make-up artist had once publicly declared: "Anyone can do the make-up for a beautiful girl. The real challenge is to make a dark girl look good and I’ve done it."
According to the online newspaper, it was only when a friend pointed out her resemblance to Rihanna that things got easier. "I laughed off the Rihanna part. But soon, everyone was saying the same thing," said Renee.
Soon enough, photographers were consistently telling their clients that she resembled the Rude Boy star - and, all of a sudden, everyone was eating their words "That way, it was easier to convince them. No one could deny that Rihanna was beautiful," said Renne. "That sort of worked in my favour. Those who had called me kaali and unattractive had to take back their words."
Now, as people continue to go crazy about her resemblance to the star and her career soars, the model wants to thank the R&B singer for her lucky break. She told The Hindustan Times: "With such a deep-rooted prejudice in people’s mind, it would’ve been very tough to get work. The Rihanna factor turned out to be a blessing. Rihanna has already convinced people that she’s sexy and beautiful, and the West is crazy about her. If I resemble her, how can I be unattractive? That’s how our mind works. I don’t know where I would’ve landed without Rihanna."
However, Renee is well-aware that her success still comes tinged with colourism. "Just because I look like a big star I am getting attention but I have my own identity and I would want people to accept me and people who are as dark as me," she claimed.
Her story highlights something that everyone knows: the modelling industry needs to change - and fast. Congratulations on your success, Renee. You look beautiful!