After photos began to circulate of TikTok star Dixie D’Amelio in which her skin appeared more tanned than usual, some called her out for supposedly trying to look black, and she has now addressed the criticism.
This is by no means the first time that an influencer has come under fire for dancing the line between acceptable and ‘offensive’ tans. Earlier in August, former Vine star and now YouTuber Gabbie Hanna returned from an internet break with a very dark tan, causing comparison pictures to circulate and accusations of “blackfishing” to emerge.
“Blackfishing” is a term used to refer to the use of heavy and excessive tan or makeup to appear to more naturally dark skinned. It is often considered a form of ‘blackface.’
A comparison picture had emerged showing two images of Dixie side by side. In one shot she appeared to be more pale, and in the other she was more tanned. The image also included color swatches of both images to show how different they were.
“Hi Dixie, I love and admire you a lot,” one fan began, “but blackfishing/ blackface is totally offensive and disrespectful to the black community. Please explain yourself and apologize for this situation.”
. @dixiedamelio Hi Dixie, I love you and I admire you a lot, but as a fan I came to ask for a pronouncement on this! blackfishing / blackface is totally offensive and disrespectful to the black community. Please explain yourself and apologize for this situation. I just wish + pic.twitter.com/VexNK4w6Ih
— isa ♡’ mc poze do rodo (@jadensaturn) September 6, 2020
Dixie tweeted on September 6, “I never want to hurt or offend anyone. Ever. I love you all and I hope y’all know I never have bad intentions ever,” which is believed to be addressing the claims, though not mentioned explicitly in the tweet itself.
I never want to hurt or offend anyone. ever. I love you all and i hope y’all know i never have bad intentions ever?
— dixie (@dixiedamelio) September 6, 2020
Many people believed that the comment was too vague with no actual apology within the message. One message that had been copied and pasted by several people read “we at least expected you to apologize. We expected you to put the word ‘sorry’ at the end.”
dixie we know, we’re just trying to educate you so you don’t make the same mistake again ok? but dixie what you said was great, but we at least expected you to apologize. it is not that this is enough, but we expected you to put the word “sorry” at the end. say apologize, ily 🙁
— duda៹ (@dixie94s) September 6, 2020
However others felt that the accusations of “blackfishing” are thrown around too easily, one person saying “why is it always nonblack people saying people be black fishing like they don’t know what a white person with a tan looks, like it bothers me so much.”
Why is it always non black people saying ppl be black fishing like they don’t know what a white person with a tan looks like it’s bothers me so much, then they be like I know what a tan looks like, like baby obviously not?
— lil breadstick? (@kiyo90279796) September 6, 2020
bro im black and thats not black fishing. im tired of non blacks using the word. its like a tan bascially blackfishing is what Shane Dawson did. what she did isn’t blackfishing. that is reaching
— raya_softball28 (@RSoftball28) September 6, 2020
Dixie is one of the most popular TikTok influencers, with over 37 million followers. Her younger sister, Charli, is the most followed creator on the platform with over 80 million. They are very much a duo, and are even releasing their own make-up products together.