Have You Heard of Blackfishing? Let's Talk About It
If you aren’t hip to this weird racist beauty trend that has been happening lately, there seems to be many beauty influencers on Youtube and Instagram that are using darker color makeup, traditionally black hairstyles and creating other “black” feature, in order to make themselves seem or appear “black”.
Even Ariana Grande has been accused of participating in this trend. Many people have notice her skin is drastically darker than its original color. It doesn’t help that she seems to be quickly speeding down that lane of “white girl using hip hop for profit” with her new song “7 Rings” in which she stole imagery from rapper 2 Chainz and a sample from Soulja Boi, whom only got credited on the song, when She was publicly called out on twitter.
I have had many messages from people asking me my thoughts on this trend and I really only have three things to say about it.
We Know Why This Is Happening.
Blackness has always been popular, black people have not. And this is why we, people of color, make such a fuss about cultural appropriation. It’s not just was wanting to hoard our cultures for ourselves, It is the fact that white people want to take the parts of black they like while simultaneously getting rid of black people. Same applies to every other ethnic group y’all love to appropriate. It’s cultural genocide. I’ve never seen Ariana or these other beauty influencers out on the front lines fighting or advocating for black people’s rights. Have you? Of course you haven’t. They never do.
Call It What It Is—It’s Blackface
I really REALLY hate this new term “blackfishing”. This trend was actually originally coined as "“niggerfishing” (which I hate even more) by someone on twitter. I’m really tired of people coming up with cute hashtag terms to describe blatantly racist behavior. This is blackface, call it blackface. Do you know why there is a such an uproar, worldwide when someone is called out for blackface? Because we have over 400 years of racial history and context to back it up. People know what means and why it’s disgustingly racist. When y’all create these cute, hastagable terms for racist acts that have been happening for centuries— a) no one knows what the hell you’re talking about, b) no one takes it seriously because there is no context or history attached to “blackfishing” to prove why it’s a problem. No need to call a duck a sophisticated chicken, it’s a duck. Call it what it is.
When Tanning Becomes Problematic
The most common response I see to this blackfishing conversation is people stating that it’s just tanning? Tanning in itself is rooted in being problematic. Tanning was originally based in classism. Only the rich who had money and time to travel to places with warm climate to tan on the beach. Today, with tanning machines, pretty much anyone can get in on the tanning trend and some folks take it too far. One really could ask why there is an obsession at all with needing to change your skin color. I also think there is a vast difference between a natural tan you get from the sun and that from a tanning bed. The sun isn’t going to give white people a “black” tan, fake tans do. Look if y’all for whatever reason, want to go out and get your little tans on the beach, fine, but when you’re going to the point of drastically changing your skin color, that is a problem. It’s racism and blackface.
Just be a white girl. Damn y’all.