Asian Fishing, as defined by the Urban Dictionary: Someone who is not Asian, but tries to look like someone of Asian descent. Last week, singer song-writer Ariana Grande was accused of Asian Fishing with her new photos – she appeared with heavy white face powder and winged eyeliner which gave her “Oriental eyes”. The photos, taken by New York-based photographer, Katia Temkin, were posted on Instagram. But the original post was taken down when it received backlash.
Ariana had been accused of Black Fishing back in 2018 for her 7 Rings music video. But the most recent allegations have fans divided.
not people saying she’s asian-fishing when it’s literally the flash- how embarrassing. 🧍🏾♀️ pic.twitter.com/OiVmmvLiZW
— HALLS OF IVY ! jake . (@motivesdiaries) December 5, 2021
One of the Internet’s most controversial figures, Oli London, decided to chime in and share their (Oli is non-binary) tweets on it. Oli had caused quite a lot of controversy for getting a huge amount of plastic surgery to resemble Park Jimin of K-pop group, BTS.
As an Asian myself, I fully embrace @ArianaGrande as one of our own. Ari, will you change your name now to Koreana Grande 🇰🇷 or Arigato Grande? 🇯🇵 #ArianaGrande #Transracial pic.twitter.com/Ukk2oEfrxE
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) December 5, 2021
Oli has received their fair share of criticism for ‘cultural appropriation’ of South Korean culture throughout 2018 and 2019. Their fame rose when they appeared on the Dr. Phil show, to much controversy.
In the summer of 2021, Oli infamously documented their eye surgery to acquire the mono-lid feature, which is common to most Northeast Asians. The icing on the cake was when they came out as transracial (defined by Urban Dictionary as: A person who thinks that they can change their family tree by pretending to be another race).
TRANSRACIAL…🏳️⚧️⚧🏳️🌈🇰🇷 #olilondon pic.twitter.com/p0gcoV535D
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) June 28, 2021
They announced that they identified as Korean and preferred they/them pronouns, which upset the Asian community in the West. Many Asians – Koreans, Chinese and Japanese – took to the net to share their frustrations on Oli’s “transracial-ness”, arguing that being transracial is “immoral”.
In conclusion, white public figures who would prefer to brand themselves as racially ambiguous tend to tread a thin line, as you never know when society would deem them as ‘racist’ or ‘inappropriate’.