Why Are Black Travelers Always Mistaken For Celebrities?
By Sharelle Burt
Many black travelers took to Twitter Thursday to discuss the times they’ve been mistaken for a black celebrity while on vacation.
Influencer and podcast host Aminatou Sow (@aminatou) posed the very random question, hoping other users would participate. She asked:
black travelers! I want to check something! have you ever been overseas and people thought you were a celebrity? [bonus if you don’t look like that celebrity at all!]
— Aminatou Sow (@aminatou) December 13, 2018
The host of the podcast ‘Call Your Girlfriend,‘ Sow started to tell her tale of how she once lived as Grammy-award winning rapper Missy Elliott while staying in a Mexican villa. She even went as far as signing autographs and taking pictures. “A scam,” Sow said. “People called me ‘La Missy.'” Sow mentioned another time when people referred to her as someone famous when they knew for a fact she wasn’t. “Like my ex’s racist grandma who always called me TINA TURNER especially when I wasn’t around,” Sow remembered. “Had to hit her with ‘that sounds the same in all languages ma’am.'”
Soon enough, other Twitter users began to blow her timeline up with times they were mistaken for a celebrity. One follower mentioned a time when travelers thought she and a friend were members of Destiny’s Child.
yes. in acapulco, they thought my sister and i were 2/3 destiny's child. i can't stress enough how little either of us look like any of the members.
— rebecca (@theotherrussell) December 13, 2018
Another said while she was vacationing in Cabo, people thought she was Queen Bey, Beyoncé herself. @Meanrice even shared a picture of a tourist taking a photo with her.
She was a good sport… pic.twitter.com/wRbrcCKF28
— when is the impeachment party? (@meanrice) December 13, 2018
The celebrities mentioned varied from rapper Nelly to songstress Macy Gray to even former First Lady Michelle Obama. The one that made Sow crack up the most was one follower saying he was mistaken for none other than the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
My mom is a preschool teacher, teaching her kids about MLK. My dad, a bald black man in a suit, comes in to take her to lunch, and a kid looks up at him in reverence and says, “Martin Luther King??”
— Gabalab (@puffgabby) December 14, 2018
Now, we aren’t sure how recent this was, but we do know that Dr. King has been gone for decades, dying in 1968. Maybe its time for black travelers to start profiting off of their celebrity doppelgangers.
Switzerland 2014…someone thought I was Rihanna…I had red braids 🤷🏾♀️🤷🏾♀️
— Tofunmi (@Tofunmi_AA) December 13, 2018
In the Philippines, I got mistaken for Randy Jackson from American Idol. Like people wanting photos with me. I was like, 30 at the time.
— Jonathan James (@JonathanJames30) December 13, 2018