Opportunity vs Vanity: knowing when not to be the main character

Rihanna and Mihlali. Picture: Instagram.

Rihanna and Mihlali. Picture: Instagram.

Published May 17, 2024


“American Twitter”, as they are informally known on the social media streets, have landed on Mihlali Ndamase’s saga, and it’s intense.

Ndamase has been a hot topic recently after posting a picture of herself and Rihanna, where she enhanced her beauty using Face App, leaving Rihanna’s face unedited.

The picture, which has been doing the rounds on social media, sparked a conversation, with Ndamase’s followers comparing the two women’s beauty.

And Ndamase, known as one of South Africa’s leading beauty influencers, was so chuffed by the comments that she suggested she was prettier than the founder of Fenty Beauty.

Ndamase’s comment has angered many women. Some say she wasn’t supposed to feed from the idea of them being compared. If anything, she was supposed to turn off the flame and use the opportunity as a stepping stone to tap into the international market.

Sacrificing a potential bag for vanity was not a smart move for her career, especially considering she is an internet star.

“Mihlali is a problem! A billionaire invites you to her table, and instead of seeing it as a stepping stone to gain more supporters and a new bag. You make it about your being prettier than her!

@TruePamgam commented: “That’s a low vibrational woman, girl you’re prettier, so what now?! Opportunity vs vanity!”

Some defended Ndamase, saying that just because Rihanna was richer didn’t mean she had to bow down to her.

“Mihlali, your crime was to outshine their Master, fortunately for you! You bow to no Master because you are a Queen.

“This is just a learning experience, when you outshine their Master, they strip away all the relations they have with you. Go get what you deserve,” commented @BafanaSurprise.

What many don’t understand is that the industry can be cruel. People have been blacklisted because they chased clout.

Ndamase is doing well in her career but might have jeopardised her chances of working with other international brands besides Fenty Beauty because other brand managers are watching the saga as it unfolds.

We are not saying she was supposed to downplay her beauty but the issue lies with perpetuating that idea of pulling down another woman to lift herself.

Beauty will open doors for you, but character will determine how long you remain in the room, and that’s something Ndamase would do well to always remember.

She has since turned off the comments on her Instagram post.