Sofia Richie Talks Fielding Racist Comments As A Lighter Skinned Black Girl

December 6, 2016  |  

Lionel Richie’s youngest daughter Sofia is gradually stepping out in the pop culture conversation. And not quite like her older sister Nicole. The 18-year-old has created a buzz around the now-legendary name in the fashion industry, appearing in Elle and Vanity Fair, walking in Kanye West’s Yeezy Season fashion show and dating Justin Bieber. (The latter of which she does not want to address in the media.)


All of that is wonderful as it would very easy to get lost in the shadows of her father and sister. But perhaps, what is most interesting about Sofia is the ways in which she’s had to navigate racism is a lighter skinned, Black woman. In her interview with Complex, she said, “I’m very light, so some people don’t really know that I’m Black. I’ve been in situations where people will say something kind of racist, and I’ll step in and they’ll be like, ‘Oh, well, you’re light.’”

Thankfully, Sofia is not afraid to address such comments.

“That still doesn’t cut it buddy. It’s 2016- you better get your sh*t together before you get slapped out here.”

Well, alright!

In the rest of Richie’s interview, she speaks about the importance of her faith and not wanting to be regarded as a socialite.

“One of the key factors of life is love, and the key factor of God is love, so having that understanding is really important in a relationship,” she explains. “Having someone that genuinely respects you and understands your life and is open to hearing about your life is really cool. Having someone to just open up to and talk to when shit is bad and when shit is great.”

“You’re a socialite because you’re born into it. That’s not what I want. I actually really enjoy work ethic.”

You can read her interview in its entirety, here.

Images via Complex: SASHA SAMSONOVA

Veronica Wells is the culture editor at She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter @VDubShrug.

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