The term “catfishing” exists thanks to the 2010 documentary Catfish and the MTV show the original creators launched after the film’s success.
Essentially, the term means making oneself appear different online than one actually appears in real life. Catfishing is usually found in relationships that are long-distance or carried on through digital correspondence, a.k.a. the ones that make it easy to conceal your identity.
Within the past two years, catfishing has become a big topic on TikTok. There are millions of videos under the #CatfishChallenge hashtag, where people — most women — show how drastically they can change their appearance.
Most of the challenges are done in humor, like TikTok user nikiivictoria did earlier this year. Here’s Nikki’s “catfish” look.
And here’s Nikki on an average day.
Unlike Nikki, though, many creators are actually participating in the act of catfishing.
Recently, a catfish-inspired term has been popping up on the internet and you may have heard it when describing a very famous family that love names that start with K. We’re talking about Blackfishing, or white people trying to give themselves Black features. Ariana Grande is another celebrity that gets heat for her very dark spray tan.
There’s also another way creators are catfishing. Through augmented reality (fliters, for example), influencers and other internet celebs are able to make themselves appear younger than they are.
Recently, TikTok user bekahdayyy called out Diana Deets for augmenting her features to appear younger than she really is.
Using technology, Deets transforms her face to look like a teenage girl.
Deets also has an OnlyFans page, where she says she gets nude.
Hopefully, you can put two and two together and figure out why getting nude while presenting oneself as a teenager is not a good thing.
And the worst part of it all is Deets reportedly saw a spike in views, follows, and likes once she began her digital transformation.
Unfortunately, Deets is not the only creator who has commodified and glamorized pedophilia. Fellow internet creator and sex worker Belle Delphine also presents herself younger than she really is. (She is full of other controversies, but that’s a whole different article.)
And yes, filters and augmentation are very fun, but we are seeing what can happen when those are taken too far.