In today's age of social media, how one is perceived or presents themselves has come to carry increasing importance. Countless individuals have been able to launch successful and high earning careers through platforms like Instagram and YouTube. The former is notable for virtually creating one of the most coveted and celebrated professions: Instagram model. Instagram models and influencers have taken the fashion and beauty industries by storm, often serving as spokespeople for campaigns by reputable brands, and in some cases, entering into lucrative partnerships with such brands. 

Emma Hallberg, a 19-year-old self-described model and “influencer” who resides in Sweden has recently come under fire for her presentation after her 193,000 followers Instagram followers discovered that the teen was not in actuality, a black woman. “I honestly thought Emma Hallberg was half black,” one user lamented. “The girl was clearly posing as black, as she’s posted by many black pages etc.,” another mentioned after sharing one of Hallberg's older posts. Other Twitter users criticized Hallberg for neglecting to correct accounts who reposted her pictures with the intention of celebrating black beauty, and argued that the teen's choice to use makeup that is significantly darker than her complexion is almost akin to wearing blackface

Hallberg told BuzzFeed News that she identifies as "white" and has never “claimed or tried to be black or anything else." She later explained, "I do not see myself as anything else than white. I get a deep tan naturally from the sun." She went on to add, “It made me sad that some of my natural features are hurting and upsetting people. It also made me upset and scared that I can’t look the way I look naturally, without receiving false accusations, hate, and threats. I do not have any specific intentions other than [to] show my passion for makeup and fashion.”