Meet Sanam Sindhi, the girl in Rihanna’s new video

Rihanna’s new video, ‘Bitch Better Have My Money’, has been making headlines. And so is Sanam Sindhi, the only non-model who featured in that video, and who was scouted on Instagram. Apparently, the pop star found her on Instagram, followed her, and sent her a direct message. Imagine this: one day you’re posting selfies, and the next day they get you an appointment in LA with Rihanna. Neat.  

If you aren’t already following Sindhi (@trustmedaddy), here’s why you should: a) Because she posts some amazing art work through which she voices her opinion on everything from race and identity, to politics. b) For some quirky fashion and beauty ideas (some of which are deeply influenced by Bollywood films). And c) Because Rihanna follows her too.

Plus, she sounds fun!

ELLE: Most of the pieces that have been written about you so far comment on your ethnicity. It’s true that we don’t see many South Asians represented in popular Western culture. What has the response been like from other desi women?
Sanam Sindhi: Ninety per cent of the messages and comments have been girls thanking me for representing south asian women or asking for advice on self-love and self-acceptance. They’ve honestly made me cry a few times because I’ve been in that place where I was so embarrassed of my culture and didn’t think I was beautiful. I had a unibrow when I was younger and people would torture me about it at school. But there’s this really famous Indian actress named Kajol and she had one too and it just felt so good to know that unibrows are okay! That’s why I think representation of beauty that isn’t just Eurocentric is so important cuz theres soooo many girls like us who need to see other women of color telling us that our beauty is important too! It’s funny, people still make fun of my eyebrows even though thick eyebrows are so “in” right now. But Rih told me my eyebrows were “epic” so I’m like literally nothing anyone else says about them matters lol.

ELLE: On your Instagram you play with your fashion and especially your beauty look a lot. Loving this new pink hair. What products you use? Where do you get inspiration?
SS: I really, really love old Bollywood movies–the makeup is always sooo amazing. I also love just lurking the on the Internet. Right now I’m really into this makeup artist Ania Milczarczyk. But I actually don’t know a whole lot about makeup. I’ve just been using the same stuff forever. I looove rosebud salve. I’ve been using it on days that I don’t wear eyeliner—like dabbing it on my cheeks and eyelids and browbone and lips and the highlight and glow it gives you is sooo good!! I’ve been using coconut oil since I was a baby—my grandma used to give me head massages with it. And I swear by African Black Soap. Rose water anything is always good. And I got this Shahnaz Hussain facial kit last time I was in India that’s like face masks and lotions and everything has 24 karat gold flakes in it and it makes your skin look and feel so good I’m gonna stock up on it when I go back to India. And my all time favorite treatment is mixing turmeric and raw honey and using it as a face mask. You can use turmeric with yogurt and flour too, it’s an old Indian secret, but I like the honey just for its antibacterial properties it’s really good for acne too. I use Tasmanian Manuka honey. It’s expensive but worth it!

ELLE: This is random but I want to know…what does Rihanna and her crew snack on?
SS: Omg so many Hot Cheetos.

SS: This sounds so dumb but just like knowing that Rihanna eats hot cheetos made her so real to me I was like wow you are a just a cool ass girl, I mean an ethereal beautiful goddess, but still just a cool ass girl.


Read the complete interview on  

You may also want to read: Name to know: Nayantara Kotian

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