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Hatfish is a pejorative slang term used to describe men who conceal their bald or malformed heads underneath hats like beanies and baseball caps. The name is a portmanteau of the words "hat" and "catfish".
On December 11th, 2016, Instagram user @adamw uploaded a comedy sketch about a man who refuses to take off his hat, which included the hashtag "#hatfished" (shown below). Within 14 months, the video gained over 913,000 views.
When she finally see's u with NO hat..😳😂 (Tag someone) w/
whleli @mackfit @ninasmakeup #comedy #nochill #bald #vines #itsover #hatfished #damn #hats</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A post shared by <a href="https://www.instagram.com/adamw/" style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px;" target="_blank"> Adam Waheed</a> (adamw) on
On May 31st, 2017, Twitter user @CodyDominic_ posted photographs of a balding man wearing a baseball cap and exposing his head, which gained more than 750 retweets and 500 likes in nine months (shown below, left). On June 1st, Twitter user @Tswana_Guy3 tweeted a photograph of a man wearing a hat next to a photograph revealing his bald head along with the message "So apparently this is called a Hatfish 💀💀" (shown below, right). Within eight months, the tweet gained over 280 likes and 260 retweets.
On August 8th, an Urban Dictionary definition for "hatfishing" was submitted by user TheDarkKnightLight. On August 23rd, The Cut published an article titled "If You’ve Never Seen the Top of Your Tinder Date’s Head, Perhaps You’re Being Hatfished." On August 25th, the women's interest site Mel published an article titled "In Defense of 'Hatfishing'," which cited the Ashley VanPEvenage's makeup transformation photo when arguing in favor of covering baldness with a hat.
On February 2nd, 2018, Twitter user @DariusUncensord tweeted a photograph of himself wearing a hat followed by a photo exposing his bald head along with the hashtag "#BlackMenSmiling": (shown below). In response, several people replied that he was an example of a "hatfish."
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