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Blackfishing is a slang term to describe a white person who uses makeup to appear to be a person of color. The term is a portmanteau of "black" and catfishing, meaning that those accused of blackfishing are attempting to deceive others with their skin color. Many have found the practice offensive and a form of blackface. However, unlike the Rachel Dolezal controversy, those accused of blackfishing do not necessarily identify as a different ethnicity.
One of the earliest mentions of blackfishing online was in a YouTube video by YouTuber Everybody Hates Angel. In the video, Everybody Hate Angel dissects the trend of white women attempting to look like women of color. The post received more than 192,000 views in less than two years (shown below).
Emma Hallberg Controversy
On November 6th, 2018, Twitter  user @yeahboutella tweeted a series of screenshots of direct messages and Instagram posts regarding and by Emma Hallberg, a white Swedish model who uses makeup that makes her appear black. The tweet received more than 11,000 retweets and 29,000 likes in one month (shown below, left). The user later posted an early photograph of Hallberg that received more than 1,900 retweets and 5,000 likes in one month (shown below, center).
That day, Twitter @fratis_first tweeted a response from Hallberg. In the direct message, Hallberg says, "Yes, I'm white and I've never claimed to be anything else. And by the way, there are no 'before' pictures, the pictures that has been spread are just two different pictures on two different seasons of the year, [one] before the summer and one after summer, and, of course, there's a difference in my skin tone because I get very tanned NATURALLY when I've been in the sun!! I'm not 'posing' as a colored person as you claim, I've never tried to be or look black, I was born with naturally curly hair and my skin gets very tanned in the sun." The tweet received more than 480 retweets and 2,000 likes in one month (shown below, right).
On November 18th, Urban Dictionary  user Lebanese Bebe defined the term as "Commonly perpetrated by females of European descent (white) which involves artificial tanning (spray tanning and tanning booths) and using makeup to manipulate facial features in order to appear to have some type of Black African ancestry." The post received more than 15 upvotes in less than one month (shown below).
On November 28th, Hallberg appeared on ABC in which she denies that she is pretending to be black (video below).
Several media outlets covered the trend and controversy, including BBC, The Independent, Slate, ABC and more.
 Twitter – @yeahboutella's Tweet
 Twitter – @fratis_first's Tweet
 Urban Dictionary – Blackfishing
 BBC – Blackfishing: The women accused of pretending to be black
 The Independent – WHAT IS BLACKFISHING? THE INFLUENCERS ACCUSED OF USING MAKEUP TO 'PRETEND' TO BE BLACK
 Slate – The Women “Blackfishing” on Instagram Aren’t Exactly Trying to Be Black
 ABC – Instagram influencer accused of so-called 'blackfishing' denies claims she pretended to be black for followers
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