The first episode of 90 Day Fiancé Season 9 has just aired and one couple, Miona and Jibri, is already getting slammed for racial controversy. So far we know that Miona is an influencer from Serbia dreaming of a life in California and Jibri is an American musician and a native of South Dakota who has traveled to Serbia a total of 10 times and fell in love with the country.
Is Miona really black?
While the first part of this story checks out, something else caught the eye of 90 Day Fiancé fans that if proven to be true could turn out very badly for Miona. Jibri and Miona’s story is centered around Miona desiring a luxurious Kardashian lifestyle in LA and wanting to avoid living with Jibri’s parents in South Dakota, but fans have noticed something else: Miona is very unusual looking for a Serbian. That’s because Miona looks black or at least bi-racial. While nobody would have bat an eye had Miona been a product of the American melting pot, for viewers familiar with Eastern European ethnic make-up this came as a surprise.
Is Miona blackfishing?
Serbia is a small country with a population of 6.9 million people. Wikipedia defines Serbia as a homogeneous Eastern Orthodox nation, with Catholic and Muslim minorities, among other smaller confessions. In other words, Serbia is a predominantly caucasian Slavic country where visible minorities are extremely rare. Because of this some fans have accused Miona of “blackfishing”, a term for appropriating black culture when she is in fact caucasian. Internet sleuths have been trying to recover older pictures of Miona to see if she is misrepresenting herself in an effort to appear black and they FOUND them.
Are there people of color in Eastern Europe?
People of color are generally rare in all of Eastern Europe but there are of course exceptions. POC are more prominent in bigger countries like Russia. A very recent example is Elijah from Season 8 of 90 Day Fiance. While we cannot be sure of his ethnic lineage, we can safely assume that Elijah is at least part Asian which is unusual but not unheard of in Eastern Europe.
What is Miona’s real ethnicity?
While it’s easy to assume that Miona is blackfishing we should first consider that there are people of color who reside in Eastern Europe including famous music artists like Timati, Irakli Pirtskhalava, Phillip Kirkorov and others. Their ethnic roots can be traced back to former Soviet regions of Georgia, Tatarstan, Kyrgyzstan and others. It is possible that Miona’s heritage stems back to one of these regions while the American audience incorrectly assumes that her race is simply white or black. However, the 2015 picture taken from Miona’s Instagram tells a different story. Miona looks completely different and well… white.
Is Miona in “black face”?
The controversy comes on the heels of Elijah’s friend Alina, who was fired for inappropriate racial content on Instagram. Miona is not far behind. With her skin tone and hairstyle in 2022, it would appear that Miona is deliberately accenting or actually recreating features associated with African lineage. Her body is also shockingly different with curves that she didn’t have seven years ago. Miona would be perceived as African American in the States which is of course offensive as being black isn’t a costume designed to be worn for a TV show or Instagram. This makes Jibri’s statement that Miona’s Instagram persona is just a scantily- dressed character horrific, because it would support that she is literally in “black face”.
Finally, can we talk about Jibri’s mom?
In the same episode we also met Jibri’s mom, whom Jibri immediately identified as bi-racial to avoid any confusion. Jibri’s mom is also very fair-skinned and aside from her hair, there are very few physical indicators that she is part black. Jibri’s stepfather is white and appears much older than his mom. But before we accuse Jibri’s mom of reviving Rachel Dolezal, and Miona of blackfishing, perhaps we should give them the benefit of the doubt. Of course some fans will still speculate that the only black person in this equation is Jibri’s biological father.
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