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Jesy Nelson has said she is “very aware” of being a white woman, following allegations of “blackfishing”.
“Blackfishing” is a term used to describe non-Black people who have altered their appearance to appear Black or at least racially ambiguous, by using makeup, hairstyles or cosmetic procedures.
The former Little Mix singer has been accused in the past of “blackfishing”, allegations that have only accelerated with the release today (8 October) of her debut solo single “Boyz”. The track features Nelson rapping in an accent about being attracted to men who are “so hood”. Its accompanying video also sees her sporting grills on her teeth.
Asked about the “blackfishing” allegations in an interview with Vulture, Nelson said: “The whole time I was in Little Mix I never got any of that. And then I came out of [the band] and people all of a sudden were saying it.”
She added: “I’m very aware that I’m a white British woman; I’ve never said that I wasn’t.”
Nelson was also asked about her social media accounts blocking people who accused her of blackfishing: “I don’t know about that. Maybe it was my team.”
The piece adds that Nelson cancelled two additional follow-up chats to address the blackfishing accusations and instead chose to supply a statement: “I take all those comments made seriously. I would never intentionally do anything to make myself look racially ambiguous, so that’s why I was initially shocked that the term was directed at me.”
The former Little Mix singer has previously talked about how she no longer speaks to her bandmates and that she left the group after experiencing mental health issues.