Blackfishing

Blackfishing

Part of a series on Rachel Dolezal Racial Identity Controversy. [View Related Entries]

Updated Apr 02, 2019 at 07:36AM EDT by andcallmeshirley.

Added Dec 05, 2018 at 02:27PM EST by Matt.

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About

Blackfishing is a slang term to describe a white person who uses makeup to appear to be a person of color. The term is a portmanteau of "black" and catfishing, meaning that those accused of blackfishing are attempting to deceive others with their skin color. Many have found the practice offensive and a form of blackface. However, unlike the Rachel Dolezal controversy, those accused of blackfishing do not necessarily identify as a different ethnicity.

Origin

One of the earliest mentions of blackfishing online was in a YouTube video by YouTuber Everybody Hates Angel. In the video, Everybody Hate Angel dissects the trend of white women attempting to look like women of color. The post received more than 192,000 views in less than two years (shown below).



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Emma Hallberg Controversy

On November 6th, 2018, Twitter [1] user @yeahboutella tweeted a series of screenshots of direct messages and Instagram posts regarding and by Emma Hallberg, a white Swedish model who uses makeup that makes her appear black. The tweet received more than 11,000 retweets and 29,000 likes in one month (shown below, left). The user later posted an early photograph of Hallberg that received more than 1,900 retweets and 5,000 likes in one month (shown below, center).

That day, Twitter @fratis_first tweeted[2] a response from Hallberg. In the direct message, Hallberg says, "Yes, I'm white and I've never claimed to be anything else. And by the way, there are no 'before' pictures, the pictures that has been spread are just two different pictures on two different seasons of the year, [one] before the summer and one after summer, and, of course, there's a difference in my skin tone because I get very tanned NATURALLY when I've been in the sun!! I'm not 'posing' as a colored person as you claim, I've never tried to be or look black, I was born with naturally curly hair and my skin gets very tanned in the sun." The tweet received more than 480 retweets and 2,000 likes in one month (shown below, right).


PARDON???? 5:46 PM ey, we don't know each other,, bu ist wanted to let u know that this ou follow @ eemmahallberg is full hite just incase you were iggerfished like the rest of us WAIT WHAT L to be black and it's not her fault that she looks like that yea she's fully white (swedish) and apparently she sleeps with braids to get that hair texture > > as if she doesn't spray tan Imfao idk if it's consider black face tho the tan??? the lips??? tl texture???? i T-Mobile Wi-Fi 4:55 PM 48% eemmahallber Hey Emma is it true your white??? And just posing as a colored person Because someone posted your before photos and I have so questions. Yes I'm white and I've never claimed to be anything else. And by the way, there are no "before" pictures, the pictures that has been spread are just two diefferent pictures taken orn two different seasons of the year, on before summer and one after summer and of course there's a difference in my skin tone because l get very tanned NATURALLY when I've been in the sun!! I'm NOT "posing" as a colored person as you claim, l've never tried to be or look black, I was born with naturally curly hair and my skin gets very easily tanned in the sun!! (There's a picture (several) of last year and the year before that where you can see that my tan looks exactly the same after each summer!) Message GIF

On November 18th, Urban Dictionary [3] user Lebanese Bebe defined the term as "Commonly perpetrated by females of European descent (white) which involves artificial tanning (spray tanning and tanning booths) and using makeup to manipulate facial features in order to appear to have some type of Black African ancestry." The post received more than 15 upvotes in less than one month (shown below).


Blackfishing Commonly perpetrated by females of European descent (white) which involves artificial tanning (spray tanning and tanning booths) and using makeup to manipulate facial features in order to appear to have some type of Black African ancestry The general point of blackfishing is for a female of European descent to appear of African, Arab, or Hispanic ancestry Some consider it to be equivalent to modern day "black face" because it capitalizes off the looks of historically oppressed groups of people by people who come from more privileged backgrounds. Emma Hallberg is a beautiful mixed race Swede" No, Emma isn't mixed race, she's just blackfishing." "They want to be black without being black." #blackfishing #blackface #black face

On November 28th, Hallberg appeared on ABC[7] in which she denies that she is pretending to be black (video below).

Several media outlets covered the trend and controversy, including BBC,[4] The Independent,[5] Slate,[6] ABC[7] and more.



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