Jessi in Thailand jessicah_o/Instagram


  • K-pop idol Jessi recently appeared on the "Fun With Dumb" podcast
  • She addressed the claims that she's "Blackfishing"
  • "Blackfishing" is a term coined by journalist Wanna Thompson

K-pop idol Jessi addressed the claims that she's "Blackfishing" in a podcast interview.

Thirty-four-year-old Jessica Ho, better known by her stage name Jessi, appeared in episode 243 of the "Fun With Dumb" podcast by YouTube channel DUMBFOUNDED Thursday.

The episode featuring the K-pop artist and rapper was titled "Jessi Talks About Love, Babies and Writing Children's Songs." But she also brought up and addressed some of the criticisms she received in recent years, especially the claims that she was "Blackfishing."

"Blackfishing" is a term that became popular on Twitter when journalist Wanna Thompson said she noticed White celebrities and influencers cosplaying as Black women.

"Blackfishing is when White public figures, influencers and the like do everything in their power to appear Black," Thompson told CNN. "Whether that means to tan their skin excessively in an attempt to achieve ambiguity and wear hairstyles and clothing trends that have been pioneered by Black women."

According to CNN, appearing as a mixed race creates marketing opportunities because people look stylish and exotic. People who "Blackfish" use it for social currency and monetary gain, per Thompson.

In the interview, Jessi mentioned that she was often out in the sun in 2022, making her skin tan naturally. However, people assumed she was trying to appear dark-skinned and got hate online for it. "Everybody was saying, 'You were trying to be dark-skinned,'" she shared.

Jessi continued to share that now that she's seldom out in the sun and not tanned, she was accused of trying to be White instead. "What the hell do you want?" the idol aired her frustration.
Before, Jessi shared that she used to respond to criticisms, but she realized that doing so was "a waste of time."

"The internet always wins. So, it's like, I can't win... whatever I do," she added.

Because the "Zoom" singer's natural skin color appears more tan and darker than most K-pop idols, she has been accused of "Blackfishing" and tanning excessively.

Jessi was also accused of frequently using AAVE, or African-American Vernacular English, and allegedly developed somewhat of a "Blaccent."

In a Reddit discussion in 2021, netizens shared mixed opinions on whether Jessi had been "Blackfishing" or not. Some said it's just her natural skin color, while others claimed she might be going overboard with the tan to look racially ambiguous.

South Korean singer-rapper Jessi