28 Days Of Blackness: Blackfishing & Commodifying The Black Body

Shameless plug: Follow @iamkenzaashley and @antiblackfishingclub on TikTok.

Image result for blackfishing
They hate us….because they want to be us.

I need you all to understand how dynamic Blackness is and how those whom are not Black, want to BE it. Before I start this, let’s get some terminology.

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In the era of everything Kardashian, this is beyond problematic. Beyond! When I first started noticing this ‘trend’ on social media, I have felt naked in a way I never have before. As a Black woman, whom was a Black girl who was taught she had to change to look for acceptable to a world that didn’t accept her, I am incredulous! The same features I was made fun of, Becky Sue Jane Doe wants to buy, recreate, and contour? And we aren’t supposed to say anything?

From Bhad Barbie, suspicious Instagram models, and the white girls DETERIMNED to wear box braids and cornrows, this just further proves the adage that says, “They hate us, because they ain’t us.” The best commentatries I have heard in regards to Blackfishing is actually related to chattel slavery. Since Black people can no longer be bought and sold as commodity, our culture is the only thing that can be sold. In copying us, greater White culture can still purchase US. The anger comes because greater White culture believes it has rights to all things which are unique, profitable and exclusive. White supremacy craves access in order to dictate, control and oppress! What more profitable thing is there to control than the culture of a people which used to be in position of cattle?

It is not fair that I have to tone down my creativity, and even how I dress my body, for certain employers to keep my job, while White girls get on social media and recreate my very esthetic! It is not fair to have to have the Crown Act exist to wear the hair God gave me, and Becky Sue Jane Doe can get bundles to wear to work with 3B-4A curls picked out?!

This past January, a Black cheerleader was put off her cheerleading squad because her coach didn’t like her braids! But White girls still TAN! But full lips are still desirable! Yet, when Black women and men for that matter, see US not on US, we are treated as petulant, spoiled children! We are told that we shouldn’t complain, we shouldn’t gatekeep, and we should be ‘honored by such flattery.’

No. I am not honored by ‘such flattery.’ I fought to look in the mirror to begin to love what I see. From my lips, my nose, and my body shape—or lack thereof. The fact that we as a culture have to fight this type of war on two fronts is infuriating! It is a type of erasure that is hurtful, insidious, and demonstrative that the world has no intention on appreciating what it cannot commodify.

The culture that we fought to preserve, you don’t get to steal because you want to try us on like costumes, then discard us like rinds of strange fruit. We will not be silence about our erasure. Ever.

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