Blackfishing: the “art” of fooling people into believing you are black for the purpose of earning profit or clout.

Recently, black twitter discovered a few Instagram models have been serving us pumpkin pie and been telling us it is sweet potato. These white women are getting paid for their looks while sporting much darker skin than they were born with, fuller lips, curves, hairstyles, and style of dress attributed to black women. Some have claimed that they don’t tan or take melanin pills but were gifted in being able to tan very dark. One of them even claimed that they were so dark because they had been on vacation and wore their naturally curly hair. I’m calling their bluff. 

A lot of media personalities have questioned why sporting a “blacker” look is any different than women choosing to change up their style of clothes, makeup, or making their hair curlier. The problem is in our history and the principle of profit.

It is evident in popular media that blackness is profitable. Lip injections, butt injections, dance, music and the list goes on. People everywhere are loving every bit of us, but without the regard for or the defense of our humanity.

With this issue, I believe we have to question motivation and whether or not these women would choose these looks if it wasn’t popular. You may argue that they chose these looks because it makes them feel more beautiful and certainly that could be plausible, but it will never not be an issue when white people can cherry-pick aspects of blackness while black people can’t BE black without threats to their humanity. 

In the words of Michelle Obama “the size of our hips, our style, our swag, it becomes co-opted, but then we are demonized.” You may love dark skin, and box braids and the way a large butt looks on you, but if you don’t acknowledge the problems black people are faced with, I call bs.

As a society and as a whole world, we have not reached a place where black people can exist without fear of being othered, chastisement, or harm. If and when we reach that place, maybe then we will finally be able to coexist without having to dredge up decades of hurt over generations of abuse and oppression against our people and our culture. 

In the future, I sincerely hope to see complete acceptance across the board,  but in the meantime GIVE US BACK OUR SWAG and I hope ya’ll stop following these women and contributing to their profitability.

With every bit of love,

Richelle Ryan