Quotation: “Black fishing Instagram models are not only appropriating black culture aesthetics in their personal brand but are subsequently drawing up boundaries around which expressions and representations of blackness are desirable. The light skinned, loosely textured hair and plump lips featured in their content are indicative of normative white beauty standards as a measure to which the black feminine body should aspire. Phenotypically black attributes being positioned as the most desirable features for Instagram success particularly within the context of economic agents on social media, are also being deemed the most profitable in the process” (Stevens 12-13).
Comment : The quote above is a loaded one. It is jam packed with information, opinions and perspective. In simple terms, Blackfishing is a word used to accuse someone of pretending to be black or mixed-race. Within this article, Stevens investigates four Instagram models who he feels display the act of Blackfishing. This article is a hard one to comment on, as in today’s society, racism and or accusing someone of being racist is a huge accusation. In the opening paragraph, Stevens calls out Kim Kardashian for Blackfishing. In my opinion, calling Kim K out as a racist for Blackfishing seems far fetched. She is the mother of 4 biracial children, as she married a black man. I don’t feel as though she purposely tries to hurt the black community. Stevens expresses that the light skinned, loosely textured hair and plump lips featured in white women’s posts are indicative of normative white beauty standards as a measure to which the black feminine body should aspire. I don’t think white women are trying to set a new standard for black beauty, but are rather embracing black beauty as a form of flattery. As I stated before, it’s hard to comment on this topic because as a white woman I don’t know exactly how it feels to see this act through the eyes of a black individual. This reminds me of the BLM movement. I attended a protest with a sign that states, “I understand that I will never understand, however I stand with you”. This quote feels relevant to this article. I stand with those who feel affected by the act of Blackfishing, but as a white woman I will never truly understand how it feels to see posts like the ones shown and discussed in the article.
Question: Do you think celebrities are purposely or unintentionally blackfishing?