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How Rihanna helped desi RiRi aka Renee Kujur make it big in modelling

Before being termed Rihanna's doppelganger, Renee's tryst with modelling wasn't an easy one

Sreyashi Mazumdar @Sreyashi27 5 July 2018, 3:07 PM
Renee has the same eyes and pout as Rihanna, don't you think so?

Renee has the same eyes and pout as Rihanna, don't you think so? Image: Facebook/ Renee Kujur

"Kuch pariyan kaali bhi hoti hain" – that's what Renee Kujur calls herself. Hailing from Chhattisgarh, her journey to the big bad world of modelling wasn't an easy one. Had it not been for Rihanna, she wouldn't have survived in the industry. This model in her 20s bears a stark resemblance to the Barbadian singer-songwriter. 

Apart from sharing the first initial of their names, her eyes, skin tone and pout are eerily similar to Rihanna's, and we are not kidding you. "She (Rihanna) has, in a way, turned around my destiny. I’d love to meet her, surprise her, and thank her," Renee told Hindustan Times.

Renee's tryst with the R&B singer started after she experienced the 'dark' side of modelling. Being dark-skinned didn't help her much in the industry. She failed to get projects. And some even asked her to compromise. Getting her hands on lucrative opportunities was becoming difficult until a photographer discovered her stark resemblance to the Love the Way you Lie singer. The photographer did a photo series with her, and for the first time, she was clicked without touch-ups. Ever since, there has been no turning back.

Talking about those difficult days, Renee told 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 a huge fan-following not only in the West but also in India, with many drawing fashion and make-up inspo from her. And interestingly enough, Rihanna's unconventional beauty helped Renee break stereotypes regarding beauty in India.

"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," she added.

Despite being called Rihanna's doppelganger, modelling for her has been a bittersweet cocktail. She gets one-third of the projects her fairer contemporaries bag. It's still a struggle, but Desi RiRi is not ready to give up. 

"Few are willing to bend rules. For most people, beauty strictly means fair skin. It’ll take time to rewrite norms, but I’m happy that I’m part of the change," says Renee.

Read more: 

Rihanna turns heads with Pope outfit at Met Gala 2018

Rihanna got a street named after her in Barbados

Rihanna gets awkward watching her sex scene from Bate Motel

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