Ah, what a curious world we live in. In an interesting turn of events, it’s been discovered that white women have been posing as black and mixed-race women on Instagram. The internet is not happy. According to Zeba Blay of Huffpost, some of the “Blackface 2.0” participants put on blast include Swedish influencer Emma Hallberg, YouTuber Mika Francis and Instagram users Hannah Winifred Tittensor and jaiahfern. Here is just a sampling of what can be found when searching for #blackface on social media.
— dee🤲🏽 (@yeahboutella) November 6, 2018
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What in the entire fuckkkkk!!!! After everything (some) white ppl do to make us feel like we are too dark or our lips are too big or our hair is too unmanageable and shit like THIS HAPPENS??? Disgusting bro. New age fuckin black face and u wanna call it “makeup” @eemmahallberg you’re a BOZO #BlackGirlMagic #Melanin #SomebodyComeLookAtThis #NotTheRealThing #Makeup #MakeupMyAss #BlackFace #Clown #Stoopid #Wypipo
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Um… we get that tanning is a thing. Curling your hair? Totally okay. Turning yourself into a completely different race and profiting off it because you know that’s what sells (without actually having any of the lived experience of an actual black person)? Not a good look.
Can we start a thread and post all of the white girls cosplaying as black women on Instagram? Let’s air them out because this is ALARMING.
— Wanna (@WannasWorld) November 7, 2018
To be fair, perhaps those who don’t live in the West aren’t as familiar with the hurtful history of blackface: using blackness as a currency and profiting off, and exploiting the very people they’ve created caricatures of.
As Instagram user @freewitchnoguilt so eloquently explains: “These women are two things: white and cultural-appropriating assholes who use makeup and tanning to sell a version of themselves based on black culture. They are MAKING. MONEY. off of surface ideas of what blackness is, without any of the struggles of actually living/walking/driving/barbecuing while black.”
She continues, “White women stepping into POC spaces happens all the goddamn time and it is actually hurting people. We use our whiteness to be able to bypass economic barriers, to form our ‘tribes,’ to package white sage bundles to sell in our ‘witch kits,’ to buy our bespoke marijuana from the dispensary while black people are four times more likely to be arrested for possession even after legalization.”
That only makes it more upsetting when you realize how she is getting sponsorships and brand deals a black women may never and she knows that black womens bodies sell because she didn’t have nearly as many likes before she started pouting her lips and tanning her skin so dark
— Shay 🌞✨ (@gingerbunne) November 7, 2018
And if you think people are stopping at blackface, you’d be totally wrong. Yes, you too can have the “Asian” eyes you’ve always wanted.
Why are girls like this pic.twitter.com/FCdRrVOn9a
— Jasmine (@_lunacies_) November 7, 2018
The upside to this? It could essentially be a teachable moment. We all do stupid things — especially when young, impressionable and living in a world of Kylie Jenners. Perhaps these women, armed with the information they’ve learned, will see the error of their ways — we hope. For now, we can all agree that cultures are never a costume.