3. The Kardashian-Jenner Family
The Kardashian-Jenner fam have a major following and fans rely on them for the latest trends. But sometimes a style can send the wrong message. Like, say, Blackfishing. Take Kim Kardashian’s darker skin on 7Hollywood magazine cover; Kylie Jenner essentially “cosplaying” as Beyoncé (compare that photo to what Jenner’s actual skin tone); or Kendall Jenner sporting an “afro” for Vogue in the name of fashion. Time and time again the family is blurring the lines between appreciation and appropriation for monetary gain, popularity and influence.
How can Blackfishing be harmful?
When BIPOC celebrate and highlight their features, they have been deemed unprofessional, undesirable and ghetto, while white women who borrow these features are seen as attractive, trendy and fashionable. As a result, these marginalized communities are overlooked, misrepresented and have to work twice as hard to get the same opportunities.
“What we are seeing—especially on social media—is another way of white women co-opting, profiting and benefiting from appropriating another race, and brands are encouraging this,” writer Stephanie Yeboah told The Independent. “A lot of these women receive endorsements from beauty and fashion brands based on the ‘black aesthetic’ but unfortunately when it comes to using real black women for campaigns, we are often sidelined and forgotten about.”
Influencers and celebs can pick apart features they deem desirable like they’re shopping at a clothing store. They can resell it as their own, return it when it’s not trendy anymore and emphasize society’s “beauty standards” that white, thin, curvy waist, straight hair and tan skin, to name a few are not only the “norm” but only right for certain individuals. The most harmful part about it? Some don’t see the issue and are quick to deny that they’re doing anything wrong.
But BIPOC women can’t just take off their features and swap it to finally be accepted by society. Influencers and celebrities accused of Blackfishing should take a step back and understand how problematic these beauty practices can be. Maybe then we can stop making it a constant trend on our social feeds and move towards more inclusion in these spaces.