Oh Iggy Azalea, will you ever learn? The star’s new music video contains a potentially worrisome case of ‘blackfishing’.
Azalea dropped the video for her latest single, ‘I Am The Stripclub’, two days ago, and it wasn’t long before the backlash began – it might be an Iggy Azalea song but you might not recognise her while watching the clip.
In it, the Aussie rapper looks utterly different, her skin tone completely darkened from her own pale complexion. Her long blonde hair was gone too, replaced by a shiny black hairstyle.
Social media immediately latched onto it, accusing her of ‘blackfishing’, the term for when a white women pretends to be black by using makeup and fashion.
The online fashion retailer Boohoo shared a photo of Azalea wearing one of their dresses in the music video alongside the caption “Iggy Azalea is serving”. It quickly backfired, one Twitter user cleverly retorting “Serving what? Appropriation and brown face?”. See for yourself some of the other shocked reactions:
I don’t know who that woman of color is, but it certainly ain’t Amethyst Amelia Kelly, known professionally as Iggy Azalea, who moved to the United States from Australia at the age of sixteen. https://t.co/wfSWVfvFgp
— Saeed Jones (@theferocity) July 2, 2021
I see Iggy Azalea is back on her bullshit again of blackfishing. She was cancelled last time she did that. Happy to keep her cancelled.
— Tahetoka (she/her/ia) (@amscraig) July 4, 2021
Fans of the star tried to back her, claiming that she had been getting progressively darker over the years as a result of “tanning”. “Bad lighting” was also blamed for the music video. Azalea responded to the controversy as well: “I can’t care about something that ridiculous and baseless,” she tweeted. “I’m wearing a shade 6 in Armani foundation, it’s the same shade I’ve worn for the last 3 years.”
She continued: “It’s the same shade in every music video since Sally Walker. Suddenly I wear a black wig in a club scene & its an issue.”
It might have blown over if Azalea didn’t have troublesome previous with cultural appropriation. She has long been accused of co-opting an African-American accent in her singing style, her Australian accent often nowhere to be heard. In 2012, her song ‘D.R.U.G.S.’ remixed Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Look Out for Detox’ in a concerning manner, leading to her to write a letter of apology.
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