Ariana Grande has been accused of ‘Asian-fishing’ following a recent divisive photoshoot.
‘Asian-fishing’ is a term used to describe those who use tools such as make-up or photo editing to give the appearance of having east-Asian ancestry.
The phrase is derived from ‘Black-fishing’, which was first coined by writer Wanna Thompson back in 2018. Explaining the term to CNN, Thompson said, ‘Black-fishing is when white public figures, influencers and the like do everything in their power to appear Black.’
The photos in this instance show the 28-year-old Thank U, Next singer wearing winged eyeliner, red lipstick and bows in her slicked-back hair in a way that many feel is intended to give her the appearance of being an Asian woman.
In one video about the photographs, TikToker Victoria Alexander stated:
I’m not saying that Ariana Grande has moved on from Blackfishing to Asianfishing, but I am saying it took me longer than expected to realise that this is her.
She added, ‘I understand that celebrities will change up their look from time to time. But this is giving change up of phenotype [a racial chameleon].’
@victoriaalxndrArinators pls dont come for me. She’s a beautiful, talented, racial chameleon. ##blackfishing ##asianfishing ##arianagrande ##KraftMacMeSkip ##jesynelson♬ Santa Tell Me – Ariana Grande
Another TikToker, @kuzumi.n, also remarked that Grande’s new look was ‘a little too similar’ to that of a K-pop star ‘considering Ariana Grande is a white woman’.
She continued to assert that this had been an intentional decision on behalf of Grande and her team:
You all need to remember that Ariana Grande is a very famous celebrity, and so the pictures that she puts out are intentional.
@kuzumi.nIf you still think there’s nothing wrong with what she’s doing you’re part of the problem ##arianagrande♬ original sound – Niena ✌🏼
Media personality Oli London, a white person who underwent surgery to appear more like a Korean boyband member, rushed to Grande’s defence, tweeting:
Everyone back off @ArianaGrande and stop being racist against her. She clearly identifies as ASIAN with her new look. No one should judge her, or use their White Privilege against her. She looks amazing. Proud of you Ari. We TRANSRACIALS must stick together.
However, there is no evidence to suggest that Grande identifies as being transracial, and the popstar has never made any comment about identifying as such.
The photographs, which were taken by US-based photographer Katia Temkin, have since been taken down from Grande’s Instagram account, and the singer has yet to make a comment on the controversy at the time of writing.
If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk
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