19-year-old Swedish model and Instagram Influencer, Emma Hallberg, has received major backlash recently after social media users accused her of pretending to be black to gain followers. Emma adamantly denies the claims and even addressed the accusations via her IG story.
Hallberg was believed to be either black or mixed race by many of her followers because of her deep complexion and curly hair. However, a side by side photo of Hallberg made people suspicious about her authenticity and thus the allegations of “blackfishing.”
One user tweeted, “This Swedish White girl is guilty of ‘blackfishing,’ a term used to describe someone who masquerades as a Blk person to deceive others. By extreme tanning, dark makeup & braids, this fraud is exposed!”
After some time, Hallberg eventually addressed the race issue directly when messaged by a fan, stating, “Yes I’m white and I’ve never claimed to be anything else. And by no way, there are no ‘before’ pictures, the pictures that have been spread are just two different pictures taken on two different seasons of the year.”
The IG model then shared a series of messages on her IG Stories starting off with, “Let me explain.” She continued, “You’ve probably seen these two pictures besides [sic] each other all over Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, where they are called the ‘before & after.’ The left picture was taken two years ago right before summer with barely any makeup and my hair straightened.”
Hallberg stated she doesn’t use any artificial means to change her appearance other than makeup and sun. “This is how the sun tans my skin naturally during the summer.” To further prove herself, she posted photos of her dad and brother who also have darker skin as well as a photo of her mother to show where she gets her naturally curly hair from.
She explained that she applies darker makeup to her face to match the rest of her body. “In my YouTube video, I use a darker foundation than my face only to match it to the rest of my body. Why my face is less tanned than my body is because I have some acne and scar issues so I use a lot of face scrubs, toners, and peeling products.”
At the end of the IG story, she stated, “I do not get my sponsorships, work opportunities and collaborations because of the color of my skin. I get it because of the way I style my clothes and create makeup looks.”
So what do you think? Does she look black to you? Or is this a reach?