Blogger accused of 'blackfishing' online defends her braids and deep tan
In November, the concept of 'blackfishing' took the internet by storm, with dozens of social media influencers accused of manipulating their appearance to look like a different race.
However, one Norwegian blogger is refusing to back down, insisting there is nothing wrong with her braids and deep tan.
Henriette Otervik's pictures have reportedly been inundated with comments accusing her of cultural appropriation, with critics claiming she gets to look another race, without bearing the social implications.
Speaking to the Metro, the 24-year-old has slammed her opponents, stating that she never set out to look black.
"It was never my intention to pretend to be another race," Henriette told the news website. "Personally, I think the braids looks amazing and that is the reason I got them. I’m not trying to be another race. I just took some braids because I have always wanted them. I think it is cool and I like to stand out. I did my braids in an afrosalon and all of the people who worked there said it was so nice on me and no one of them got offended."
She continued: "Before I styled my hair this way, I told my followers that I wanted to get African braids. I got a lot of feedback and about 95 per cent of them were positive and the rest of them called me racist and that I should not do it."
The influencer, who boasts 39,000 followers on Instagram, went on to speak out about the terrifying messages she has allegedly received, following accusations of blackfishing.
Claiming she had received death threats, she told Metro: "Just because of my braids I have received comments like 'slut', 'hoe', and 'trash.'"
The 24-year-old also blasted the idea of cultural appropriation, claiming everyone should be able to look how they want, and comparing her braids to Norwegian national clothing.
"We used a long time fighting for the same rights, so why should we go back in time and say that only white people can have straight hair and only black people can have braids?" she said.
"My opinion is that we are all the same and I think that none of the races can claim a thing to be 'theirs' and tell [people] that only they can wear it.
"If we take my country as an example; On our constitution day many people wear bunad, which is Norwegian national clothing. People from other countries, who have other nationalities also use them and I don’t get offended by that, I love it! We are all the same, we are human!"
The Norwegian blogger is the latest in a long line of influencers online who have been accused of blackfishing. Perhaps most well-known is Emma Hallberg, a 19-year-old self-described model and influencer from Sweden.