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Opinions and Editorials » Blackfishing: The ultimate insult to the African American community

Blackfishing: The ultimate insult to the African American community

Kim Kardashian (Photo credit: Splash News)

Have White women profited from looking Black?

The social media trolls were not happy about Ayesha Curry’s recent hair transformation from brunette to platinum blonde. While she added “temporarily” in the caption to her picture, the damage was already done. Comments ranged from nice ones praising the new look to nasty ones accusing her of intentionally trying to look “White.” In this article, I want to flip it and address how White women have exploited being Black.

We all can agree that blackface is racist, but what about “blackfishing”?  Derived from the term “catfishing,” this internet slang word means to pretend to be someone you’re not. Some impersonate being either Black or of mixed ethnicity. Through a combo of self-tanning, makeup and plastic surgery, White women have made a name for themselves on social media. For instance, the Kardashians have gotten paid off, accentuating their lips and overly enhancing their bodies to mimic the Black woman’s natural curves. They’ve even gone as far as to sport cornrows and braids.

In 2018, Twitter ousted social media influencer Emma Halberg for blackfishing. The once all-American White girl from Sweden appeared to have transformed herself to look like a woman of mixed-race heritage. In another example, Rachel Dolezal, once the president of the Spokane, Washington, chapter of the NAACP, was removed from her position for pretending to be Black. Dolezal even went so far as to transform her speech to sound more Black. Although short-lived, Dolezal’s main objective was to capitalize on Black culture, and she succeeded.

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