On today’s post I’ll be discussing another controversial topic, because that’s what we do around here. We talk about the real stuff and issues surrounding them. As the title of the post shows, the topic of discussion will be on blackfishing. Now you may or may not have come across the term before in social media. If that’s the case, blackfishing is when a Caucasian person manipulates their appearance in order to imitate that of an Black person. This is mainly carried out by female individuals, through the use of products like tanning and makeup.
You must be thinking why is this girl complaining about those that tan and wanting to have a slightly darker tone of skin colour. Well. It’s not the tanning that is the issue, I mean if you don’t want to look pale then go ahead and tan, as I have friends that do it and I don’t mind it. I’m all for wanting to switch it up now and then to feel pretty. However, when you go to the extremes with tanning, to the point where you’re no longer White and attempting to replicate that of a different descendent – it’s an issue girl. I just find it baffling how in today’s modern society, the Black body is something that has been capitalised to be a ‘fashion trend’. As in when someone outside of that descent imitates a certain type of Black body, it’s somehow seen as something beautiful and admired; yet when an actual Black person celebrates their features and colour, it’s all of a sudden seen as somewhat inferior to the Caucasian woman. If you really deep what I’m saying you’ll understand where I’m coming from. These people who blackfish are inevitably gaining popularity off the features of the minority group due to their privileged background.
I’m an Black African person and yet in the social spectrum I’m regarded as beautifully inferior to that of the person that is blackfishing. Funny concept right. As I said previously, the way that the millennials think is baffling to me. I’m glad that it’s a discussion which is slowly being publicly spoken about and actually interrogated (if that’s the right word to use). For instance, on The Real Daytime chat show, the panel raised their thoughts specially on Instagram influencers perpetrating on blackfishing. I found myself agreeing with quite a lot of the issues which they raised but I did also disagree with some others. My disagreement was mainly aimed at the fact that the panel chose to critique only one Instagram influencer as an example, when really they could’ve chosen many more, as the list ain’t that short. If you’d like to catch the discussion, it’s available on YouTube here.
Imitating that of different descent in such extreme ways is a concept that should be seen as problematic, rather than celebrated with likes, comments and all the other ways you can react to pictures these days. You can’t be one day shaming our features and then the next day make it into a ‘trend’ by capitalising it to your own advantages. It doesn’t sit well with me and I’m pretty sure there are others out there that feel the same way. Being Black is not a trend. Nor a source for you to go appropriate in order to gain popularity. Of course this is me referring to any cultures/ancestry that ain’t yours to begin with – not just the Black African.
I hope you enjoyed today’s post and excited for Christmas as much as I am in 4 days (at last!). For those that don’t celebrate it, hope you enjoying the time off too.
Melanin Talks x
From personal experience, I used to straighten my hair but that was because that’s what I found most comfortable whenever I was in school/around friends at the time. But as overall, I don’t mind black women straightening their hair if that’s what they find comfortable to style or prefer the look. As I know some have other underlying factors that cause them to straighten. Does this answer the question? (P.S. I’m always happy to hear of people’s opinions so thanks for sharing yours)
Btw, I’m a black woman if you are wondering.
This is a very interesting post. I respect your opinion, but I personally don’t feel the exact same. I have a question for you… how do you feel about black women straightening their hair? I know things make it different, but I’m curious of your opinion?
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This is a really interesting and insightful post, I’m glad I had the privilege of reading it! I think this topic is especially important to discuss when you think of stars like Ariana Grande, who was criticized for her use of blackfishing in the Thank U, Next video. I wish more people would spread awareness of how wrong it is.
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Thank you for the comment and I do hope it will raise an awareness to others too! As there are many current trends which stems from something that used to be/still is viewed negatively x
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