Rita Ora accused of "blackfishing" after the internet discovers she's not Black
11 August 2020, 12:22 | Updated: 11 August 2020, 12:38
"Rita Ora not being Black... so she's been blackfishing and culture appropriating this whole time?"
On Sunday (Aug 9), a Twitter user tweeted a photo of the British singer with her parents as well as images of her repeatedly wearing historically Black hairstyles. It read: "Finding out rita ora isn't black at all and both of her parents are white albanians is so trippy. the girls BEEN blackfishing.
"like the girl isn’t black in the slightest this is kinda freaking me out. yt women really slip into black personas so easily [sic]."
Rita was actually born in Prishtina, Yugoslavia (now Kosovo) to Albanian parents. Her family left Kosovo for London, UK, in 1991 when she was just a baby because of the persecution of Albanians during the disintegration of Yugoslavia.
Rita has never hidden her Albanian roots but she has said that people have assumed she has Black heritage before. During a guest appearance on The Wendy Williams Show in 2016, Wendy said: "I thought you were half-Black and half-white, or something like that." Rita replied: "Everybody usually does. I might as well be. But no, I'm Albanian."
Rita has been previously pictured wearing box braids, cornrows, gelled down baby hairs and even an afro, which has been considered cultural appropriation. Celebrities like Ariana Grande, Kim Kardashian, Jeffree Star and Bhad Bhabie have previously received backlash for sporting the same hairstyles.
Rita's love of Black hairstyles and her tanned skin tone led many fans to believe that she is Black or mixed-race.
Now she's being accused of blackfishing, a phenomenon which sees white people deliberately make themselves appear racially ambiguous or Black.
finding out rita ora isn’t black at all and both of her parents are white albanians is so trippy. the girls BEEN blackfishing pic.twitter.com/rGDLUh1obe— ❂ (@slitmyclitt) August 9, 2020
im not gonna say i thought rita ora was black, but i didnt know she wasnt. pic.twitter.com/dEwQPVmyr2— 𝔫𝔢𝔴 𝔰𝔬𝔲𝔩 (@addisnefs) August 9, 2020
I just found out that Rita Ora isn’t black... like at ALL. She’s literally the same ethnicity as Dua Lipa. pic.twitter.com/nxKcDvaDzd— Miss Gworl (@ukilledmyvibe) August 9, 2020
I NeVEr ThoUghT rITa OrA WaS bLacK.— BLACKLIVESMATTER (@BlahblahBeaa) August 9, 2020
Okay good for you. Someone us were bamboozled. And you can see why.. pic.twitter.com/tu8dOo8TR4
rita ora not being black .... so she’s been blackfishing and culture appropriating this whole time pic.twitter.com/UV3Z1J22Y5— dicks up for dabin (@taehyungmuslim) August 9, 2020
However, others defended Rita insisting that she can't help having features that could be considered ethnically ambiguous.
i thought we all knew rita ora wasnt black.. pic.twitter.com/ZbQuijFZNk— ًkeia is dreaming of jwy (@8tzki) August 9, 2020
Rita Ora since 2012 every time she gets asked where she's from: I'm from Kosovo, Albanian— Ǝ (@toldbydoci) August 9, 2020
Twitter 2020: She made me think she was black
Dear, any black person that thought Rita Ora was “black”. Are you fucking kidding me? Get your shit together. pic.twitter.com/KDTpOkBuOF— IIBroGodII (@_IIBroGodII) August 9, 2020
Baby no one thought Rita Ora was black........ https://t.co/qXn15wBiVI— Ira Madison III (@ira) August 9, 2020
How is it blackfishing when someone mistakes you for being "mixed" cause you have "ambiguous" features though. Rita Ora didn't used fake tans or lip fillers so claimed to be mixed. The only issue is that she wore braids in some occasions in the past.— albanianranting (@albanianranting) August 10, 2020