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Black-fishing with Afro Textured Hair

Two Russian women were recently called out on social media for black-fishing which is a term to describe individuals outside of the black race who try to pass off as a black person.  The person will usually be seen in hair styles and clothing that are afro-centric. The black-fisher will also go to extreme lengths have black skin. This is usually accomplished by engaging in black-face methods using makeup, spray tanner and etc.  

Individuals black-fishing with wigs and hair

Beyonce recently released her third “drip” installment of her Ivy Park clothing line with Adidas. Two models who appeared to be light skinned black women were spotted on the Ivy Park IG page sporting the clothes.  People began calling out Beyonce and Ivy Park for posting the two models who were engaging in black-fishing.  It turns out that Alena Buini and Anastasia are Caucasian women from Russia whose actual tones can be seen in past photos.

Alena responded to the outrage on her IG and stated [Some sentences omitted due to incorrect/unknown translations)

 “It was a funny day today, it started with seeing our photo in the official brand account of weareivypark.  First I was happy and then I was terrified of the comments under our photo.  Dark skinned women (and white people) slowly began to draw comments from the category: “WTF, DELETE THIS!!!!” “These White Russians insult our rights” “What the H%ll do they wear braids?!” “This is racism” and blah blah blah….They have the concept of blackfishing – mol when white people try to mow to black skin: style, hairstyles, dances and whatever is taken with their culture to (God forbid) get some noises. But I don’t understand what’s wrong with being fascinated by this culture, their style, music and dancing since childhood.  And I don’t understand why I can’t dress as I like, do hair that I like……..Comeonnnnnn, guys in the world are not only “black” and “white,” there are also southern girls with gypsy and Caucasian roots. And yes, we are darker than most Russians….Why don’t I feel that wild disrespect and discrimination when you wear wigs that are made of white women and Asian women hair? Or when you use things in your life that non-African Americans invented: maybe because it’s nonsense and absurd.  It seems that they only want to fight))).  There is  nothing wrong with being inspired and using the legacy of other races.”

Alena does appear to be really pressed that individuals are targeting her about her blackfishing. While Alena may have a point about black women wearing Asian women hair, does it justify her being able to wear afro textured and curly hair as a Caucasian woman?  

Can people who cultural appropriate continue to make this comparison?  No, they can’t and here’s why:  For too long, black and afro textured hair has been seen as less beautiful and did not fit the mold of cultural and societal ideals about beauty.  When black people were wearing their natural textures, they were often forced to conform and wear their hair straight or in a manner which conforms to European standards.  Black women who wear Asian and straight hair wigs do so believe they are trying to conform to other, more popular standards of beauty. The Afro standard of beauty has always been seen as less than especially in centuries of old. 

her past photos reveal she always wore her hair straight.

 but recently she has done a 360 and changed her appearance to appear more ethnic or racially ambiguous. or black!?

Alena, people have called you out because you are engaging in cultural appropriation. Cultural appropriation contributes to the problem of black culture, style and fashion being thought of as less than ideal. It now becomes an issue of black culture being considered  “cool” or accepted only when a white person engages in or with it.  The black women who have been wearing their natural textured and curly hair in past decades caught flack or were considered to be less than ideal, beauty wise.  Thankfully, times have changed within the past two decades as more women embrace their natural textures.  

Now, it’s one thing to sport afro and kinky textured hair because it’s trendy and it’s another to actually be born with those types of hair.  It is the reason why many of those people were outraged, Alena.  

Black-fishing and black-face is not okay and never will be, however, those in the black community do appreciate your admiration for black culture, styles, fashion and hair.   Big, curly, kinky hair? 

What’s not to love about this hair?! We totally understand why you love this type of hair, Alena.  kinky hair? wouldn't want it any other way!

It’s actually people like you who open the eyes of those black women who shun or think of their kinky and afro hair as being not beautiful.  

Hopefully, these women will realize how beautiful their textures are and regain the confidence they need to wear the textures they were born with! to Those who have always proudly sported kinks and afro textures -- let them continue to do so.

So folks, what do you think about people who black-fish or engage in cultural appropriation? Should Beyonce be faulted for Ivy Park’s repost of the two women? 
Sound off in the comments below.

#blackfishing #texture #afro #afrohair #ivypark #appropriation #hairappreciation
#kinkyhair #naturalhair #texturedhair #hair #alenabuini #essencewigs #wigs 


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