We have all heard of the term ‘blackface’, where someone dresses up as a black person for a Halloween costume or a stage costume. For years the use of blackface has been a topic of debate for its use in comedies. The use of blackface has been shunned in recent times due to its racist nature and condescending representation of people of colour. Blackface is part of a history of dehumanisation and violence that was unfortunately justified by the state, toward an entire race of people.
So where does Blackfishing come into this?
Blackfishing is a recent term to emerge from the influencer culture of social media. In simple terms, it describes the excessive use of dark fake tan, dark foundation and hair products, in order to look like a person of colour. Sometimes it involves the use of plastic surgery to drastically change their apperance. This method of ‘blackfishing’ is primarily used by white women. The term first emerged in November 2018 when a Twitter thread displaying various woman who are ‘blackfishing’ their followers by pretending to be black.
People engaging in ‘blackfishing’ tend to pick out aesthetics typically used by black women, capitalising on them in order to gain sponsorship deals. Many critics of this ‘trend’ say that it is a form of blackface and cultural appropriation ( the use of traditional styles of minority cultures in order to make a profit, or claiming it as your own). Pretending to be from another culture, another race, is just plain disrespectful. Examples will be embedded below so you can judge for yourself whether you think there is anything malicious going on but in our humble opinion some of the girls have changed the colour of their skin so dramatically it simply cannot be natural.
The women who have been accused of ‘blackfishing’ have claimed that they either tan really well in the sun or that the have an addiction to tanning and feel as though they are doing nothing wrong. The black community have hit out, fearing a return to the days blackface was acceptable.
Obviously we are not saying don’t wear fake tan, a little colour really does make us white girls look healthier, just don’t take it too far to the point where people are questioning your race.
Here are some examples of girls who have been accused of blacKfishing: