Kylie Jenner, who is indeed Caucasian, has somehow managed to make herself look even *more* ethnic than usual, reigniting accusations of blackfishing.
In classic Kylie fashion, the ‘self-made’ (lol) billionaire posted a video to her Instagram story on Sunday with a filter and fake tan that has her looking waaaaay darker than her usual skin tone. Like, she straight up looks as though she is from a different race.
nobody talks about kylie's blackfishing huh… ????
— ᴹ (@grandebIowjob) October 21, 2021
Her extreme tan and strategic filter have led to anger from fans and haters alike, who are calling Kylie out for blackfishing yet again and making hilarious memes about her dedication to outdoing other noted blackfisher Jesy Nelson.
She actually looks black, way darker than Jesy
— Silver Lining (@silverliningera) October 20, 2021
I recognize Fenty 420 anywhere!!! https://t.co/irJGIcq1Pv
— The Casual Sex Captain (@jiggyjayy2) October 21, 2021
she just wasn’t letting Jesy Nelson take her spot without a mf FIGHT https://t.co/DjEjNOLv96
— Eliott???? (@YourDhad) October 20, 2021
The Mulattofication of White Womanhood https://t.co/uoJHDYukXr
— raina (@quakerraina) October 21, 2021
In case you are’t familiar, blackfishing is when non-Black people darken their skin and change their features cosmetically to look ethnically ambiguous, mixed-race or Black.
It’s something a lot of white women, and particularly famous white women, do in order to be more ~trendy~ and exotic. Kylie Jenner is a pretty great example of this, but so is Ariana Grande, who is notorious for darkening her features to look mixed-race.
And clearly, Kylie’s blackfishing works, because a quick scroll through comments on articles about this incident shows an alarming amount of people defend Kylie because she’s ‘Persian’, ‘Armenian’ or ‘mixed-race’. Yes, all of those are ethnicities that people legitimately believe Kylie is. Spoiler alert: she is none of them. This woman is 100% white. Totally caucasian. Whole egg mayonnaise.
Ariana Grande is a white girl coated in brown spray tan to pass as racially ambiguous – and it’s scary how well it’s worked in tricking people pic.twitter.com/BCjTcvGRqW
— Appropriana (@approp_riana) February 9, 2019
You might be confused as to why people even care about what skin tone Kylie Jenner decides to wear today, but this is about more than just an Instagram filter.
In a world where Black and brown women are abused, shamed, and denied the same opportunities as white women because of their skin tone, it’s offensive and upsetting to see that same skin then commodified into a trend and sold back to us as cool and desirable. But crucially, only cool and desirable on white women, reinforcing the same toxic (and racist) standards that have excluded women of colour from beauty in the first place.
Look, Kylie Jenner practising blackfishing is hardly new information. But the fact that this issue has been going on for years, with zero acknowledgement of it being a problem, is frustrating. Especially considering it seems she just keeps pushing the boundaries on how far she can go. Remember folks, this is how Kylie started:
This gal Kylie and her blackfishing. She catfish AND blackfish IMO???????? pic.twitter.com/zxtotLunvI
— Jessica Beee⚜????⚜ANGEL NUMBER #616 #Resister???? (@Kno_ur_purpose) October 25, 2021
Let’s remember that at the end of the day, white women like Kylie Jenner can wash off their tan and remained cushioned by their white privilege. Her blackfishing allows her to have the benefits of melanin with none of the racism that comes with it.
And until Black women are recognised and loved for the features everyone else appropriates, people have every right to be angry about Kylie’s appropriation of them.