Oh You're Blackfishing

Oh You're Blackfishing

By Twanna F.

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Apparently, the latest trend in fashion is women of color. People are no longer infatuated with small features and porcelain skin, they want plump lips and deep tans. From the Kardashians to average white women the “urban” look has become all the rage. White women have begun to profit off of the very features they once told us to be ashamed of.

Some months ago I wrote a piece about Rachel Dolezal with a warning at the end that she would not be the last of her kind. Many people felt Rachel was out of the ordinary in her thinking that looking the part made her down. But from the moment I heard that woman speak I knew she wasn’t alone in her ignorance, in her lack of respect for all that it means to be Black.

I’ve been around enough white women to know that many of them don’t respect us, our bodies or our culture. Interestingly enough, at the same time they fetishize us. For instance, when white women reach to pet you when they see you have a new hairstyle, but get offended when you slap their hands away as if you should be grateful for the invasion of personal space just because it was partnered with a compliment.

We should all try petting our white coworkers as a social experiment and see what happens. “Wow Linda how’d you get your hair so flat today?” “Oh you woke up like that? That’s so interesting.”  I wasn’t surprised to find that white women had been taking their “urban” aesthetics to the next level and convincing people online that they actually were Black, or mixed race. Hence the term “blackfishing”, which quickly became viral on Twitter as many instafamous white women were exposed for darkening their complexions by several shades with makeup and doing braid outs to add texture to their hair. I just wanna know why though. Like it’s not enough to steal fashion, music, language, art and land. Y’all wanna take our bodies and faces too. So what lengths will you go through to shoplift culture? It’s frightening to think that the plot to Get Out isn’t very far fetched at all in this day and age.

 Regardless of how crazy y’all want to play, I hope you understand that no matter what you could never tan your way into our shoes. Black women are not a costume. We are not decorative pieces that add personality to your aesthetic. As if braids and beads could somehow capture the essence of us you try so hard to bury. We won’t be ignored. So I hope you hear the sound of a billion Black women laughing when you dangle hoops and door knockers from your ears. We’ll never stop laughing. And when you tan your skin in an attempt to look bronze and beautiful I hope you think of dark skinned women being shamed into bleach burning the melanin away. Now tell me if playing dress up is worth it. After telling us Black Barbie dolls wouldn’t sell you’d risk your life trying to be one now.