Blackfishes have a Grande old time, then scurry back to whiteness

Lifestyle

Blackfishes have a Grande old time, then scurry back to whiteness

They relish being racially ambiguous, until the negative aspects of blackness come knocking

Journalist

Have you ever paid attention to Kylie Jenner? You know, that youngest member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan who became the world’s youngest “self-made” billionaire a few years ago only for some pedant at Forbes to say that she is actually only worth 900 and something million. If you have watched Keeping Up With The Kardashians over the years you will have noticed that Kylie has changed quite a bit since she was a young lass. Some other changes may catch the eye more immediately but arguably her most problematic change has been her skin tone. Over the past couple of weeks Jenner and her sister, Kim in particular, have found themselves repeatedly run over by social media’s wheels of justice for something called “blackfishing”.

If the term blackfish has you thinking of House Tully then your brain is going in the wrong direction. Blackfishing is a surprisingly popular new trend among social media influencers and celebrities to doll themselves up to look more black or ethnically ambiguous than they really are because, as we all know, black is beautiful. Unlike blackface though it is not done to mock or ridicule but rather to beautify and add an air of exoticism.

The term was popularised in part by culture critics like Wanna Thompson who began noticing a few years ago that a growing number of white women on Instagram were “cosplaying” as women of Arab or African descent, or Latina...

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