Curly-haired white woman who wears fake tan and has lip fillers hits back at TikTok trolls who accuse her of ‘racist’ blackfishing – and denies she’s deliberately ‘trying to look mixed race’
A white woman says she’s been accused of trying to look ‘racially ambiguous’ because she wears her hair curly, has had lip fillers and loves fake tan.
Robyn Warren, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent, says ‘ignorant’ online trolls regularly tell her she’s ‘blackfishing’ – and have even trawled back through old photos of her to try and prove she once had straight hair.
The 22-year-old, born to white parents, says people have accused her of trying to attempt to change her natural features to appear mixed race.
One anonymous troll even set up a TikTok account to investigate her heritage, digging up old photos from her family members’ social media accounts in an attempt to prove she used to be more ‘white-looking’.
She says her TikTok account has been targeted by people attacking the way she looks, accusing her of ‘blackfishing’ and trying to look racially ambiguous
Warren says she ‘can see that blackfishing is an issue. I’ve seen people when you know they’re white and all of a sudden they’ve got box braids and they’re raiding the sunbeds – it’s obvious that they’re trying to look black’ – but says that not what her own style is about
Some of the comments Warren has received on social media – she denies that she’s trying to look different from her white heritage, saying ‘not all white people look the same’
Warren says she has Italian heritage on her mother’s side, which means she tends to tan easily
The TikToker insists that she has never claimed to be or attempted to look mixed race and her curly locks are natural, saying she ‘can’t help how she looks’.
The customer service worker also says that the backlash against fillers and fake tan is ‘unfair’ as she believes it’s the ‘norm’ amongst girls her age.
Warren said: ‘The whole reason people initially started attacking my appearance is because they couldn’t get their head around how a white person can have curly hair.
‘Alongside that I wear fake tan and I had 0.5ml of lip filler.
‘It’s literally a tiny bit of lip filler, before that my lips were naturally big anyway and I don’t even wear that much fake tan – I go darker when I’m on holiday.
‘Because of all three aspects people just think I must be mixed race and when they found out I wasn’t they said ‘you’re trying to be black then’ but that’s not the case.
‘I personally don’t think I look mixed race at all and I can’t help how I look. My mum’s side of the family are olive skinned and tan really well so that’s why I tan well when I go on holiday.
Robyn Warren, a 22-year-old betting shop worker from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent, has tight highlighted curls, full lips – thanks to fillers – and admits she loves fake tan
One TikToker set up an account to investigate her heritage, claiming to have found photos of Warren with straight hair to prove she’s had a perm
The customer service worker reveals she had 0.5ml of lip filler injected into her lips in April this year to even out her lip shape on her already ‘naturally big’ pout
‘A lot of them say I backcomb my hair and try to make it look like an afro but it’s literally just my hair – I get out of the shower and put a bit of product in and it dries the way it dries.
‘Once you admit you’ve had a bit of filler people automatically say ‘you’re trying to be black, you’re not happy with your white features’ but the majority of girls I know have had lip filler and wear fake tan, it’s the norm.
What is ‘blackfishing’?
A newly coined phrase in 2018, ‘blackfishing’ describes someone who pretends to be black on social media for social or financial gain – using make-up, hairstyles, or even surgery to alter their appearance and adopt characteristics typically associated with women of colour.
The term came to prominence after a post calling out the ‘alarming’ amount of ‘white girls cosplaying as black women on Instagram’ was liked nearly 50,000 times on Twitter.
It prompted users to flood the thread with before and after snaps revealing drastic changes to certain influencers’ appearance.
‘I literally just do what everyone else does but because of the way my hair is it makes me seem like I’m not white to some people but I am.’
Warren maintains her curly hair runs in the family on her dad’s side meanwhile her mum’s family has Italian roots in earlier generations, meaning she tans well in the sun.
She started fake tanning at around 18, when most of her friends did and now applies a layer whenever she is going out at the weekend.
The customer service worker also claims she got 0.5ml of lip filler in April this year to even out her lip shape on her already ‘naturally big’ pout.
Because of her curly locks, tanned skin and plump lips, people watching her videos online assumed that she was mixed race.
When she revealed that she is in fact white, an anonymous troll set up an account to ‘expose’ her for ‘blackfishing’, posting old photos of her to prove she used to ‘look more white’.
Warren explained: ‘Someone went on my best friend’s Facebook and found pictures of this girl that looks a little bit like me and just assumed it was me but I hadn’t even met my friend by the time the picture was posted.
‘Then they found pictures of me from when I was younger when I used to straighten my hair every day because I hated my hair.
‘They think that was my natural hair and now it’s a perm but it’s the other way around.
After having a period of straight hair during her teenage years, she says she now embraces her natural curls
She’s hit back at those who’ve criticised the way she looks, calling them ‘ignorant’
‘I’m just myself’: Warren says she just embraces her own individual style and isn’t trying to deny her white heritage
‘I started embracing my curls when I was 14 and then it took me years to get them to properly come back.’
She insists that the main photo used on the trolling account – showing a pale-skinned, blonde girl – isn’t of her, but is of another girl from her area with similar eyes.
But she says the trolls don’t believe her and when said she isn’t trying to change her race and doesn’t want to do that, she was branded a ‘racist’.
She has now been forced to turn the comment sections off on most of her videos as she has been inundated with abuse.
Robyn said: ‘I try my best to defend myself but there’s just no winning at all.
‘I had a comment saying ‘it’s racist to try and change your features to look a different race’ and then when I said I’ve never wanted to be black and they write back ‘RACIST’.
‘I just thought that makes no sense whatsoever because they’re saying I’m a racist for supposedly trying to look black but then when I say I don’t want to look black, that’s racist as well. I literally cannot win.
‘I know that I’m not a racist, I’m literally just standing up for myself but it does get a bit much. It gets upsetting because it’s an awful thing to be accused of.’
The customer service worker has slammed the angry commenters as ‘ignorant’, saying ‘not all white people look the same’ and certain features, including her naturally curly hair, are not exclusive to any race.
She says that these online trolls who attack girls like herself online are taking away from the ‘real issue’ of blackfishing.
She says when she challenges people over the negative comments, she’s accused of being racist, saying: ‘I know that I’m not a racist, I’m literally just standing up for myself but it does get a bit much. It gets upsetting because it’s an awful thing to be accused of’
Robyn said: ‘I think it’s a really ignorant way to see things to think that features like curly hair, big lips and tanned skin are exclusive to being black when it’s obviously not.
‘It’s not like every white person looks the same with blonde hair, pale skin and thin lips but that’s how these people that attack me seem to see it, they’re just really close-minded.
‘I can see [that blackfishing is] an issue. I’ve seen people when you know they’re white and all of a sudden they’ve got box braids and they’re raiding the sunbeds – it’s obvious that they’re trying to look black.
‘But the people that attack anyone online for a bit of lip filler and fake tan just take it way too far. It’s not my intention to look racially ambiguous, I’m just myself.’