The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

The Voice of the Wildcats

The Paw Print

When appreciation of another culture becomes obsessive

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British Influencer Oli London got plastic surgery to look like a BTS member and came out as “trans-racial” or “trans-Korean”. In our diverse world, we see people respecting other cultures and expanding their views on incorporating other cultures into their lives. However, there is a line between appreciating or liking another culture and being obsessed with it. The internet and students at Woodside believe that Oli London crosses that line. 

Oli London is an internet sensation, especially in the K-pop world. Oli London is famous for being a Caucasian trying to become Korean. They announced that they identify as they/them but also publicly came out as “Korean” and “Jimin”, which received lots of backlash online. Oli London tries to become Korean by achieving the “Asian” looks through plastic surgery, attempting to learn the language, and coming out as “trans-racial”. They are most known for getting procedures to look like BTS idol Jimin and being obsessed with him. Oli London justifies all these actions by saying their love and appreciation for the Korean culture and aesthetics make them Korean. 

“I know them through the KPOP world, their kind of infamous because they get surgery to look like k-pop idols even though they’re white,” sophomore Claire Sonnenburg said. “I feel they’re just a creepy person in general, and I just think it’s really wrong to look or identify as a culture. They have faced a lot of hate recently, and they’re just not really being respectful of the culture.” 

Oli London (left) spent about $250,000 USD on cosmetic surgeries to look like BTS Jimin (right).

Many fans of Korean culture and k-pop find Oli London’s attempts to switch races disturbing and offensive to the Asian identity.

 “A race includes the culture behind it too as well as the experiences you get from it; It’s not just looks,” Brooke MacDonald shared. “Personally, I don’t like them or understand their thinking, and I don’t think they can just become Korean because they like the thought of being Asian.” 

From “marrying” and “divorcing” a cardboard cutout of Jimin, exercising his white privilege, and posting videos online to share their journey of changing their race, many can see how questionable their actions are. 

“[Oli London] is just notorious for wanting to look like an idol,” senior Ismael Velarde Rodriguiz said. “Them trying to change races [is] very, very weird and unnerving to some people.”

Oli London’s impact could also be offensive to Asians as they have undergone 18 procedures to look like a Korean pop idol. They changed their nose, eye shape and size, face, chin, and skin color to embody the “Korean aesthetic” or stereotypical Asian face.

“I think this would have a slight impact on Asians because regular people who are not Asian would look at [Oli London] and think that all Asians have small eyes and their faces look like that,” sophomore Ava Lew said. 

K-pop fans are being affected by Oli London’s obsessive behavior. Because Oli London is likely the most internet-famous K-pop fan, others may think other fans are like this. 

Oli London uploaded to Twitter: “This is my new official flag for being a non-binary person who identifies as Korean.” It is the official South Korean flag with the colors of the Rainbow Flag. This could be seen as racist or disrespectful as Oli London took a national flag and made it his own to portray his transition into the Korean race. (Twitter)

“I think it creates a stereotype in non-fans’ minds that all k-pop fans are crazily obsessed with [idols] or have an Asian fetish,” MacDonald said. “That everyone is willing to go to extreme measures for the k-pop idols when it’s really a wide genre of music.” 

Sonnenburg also sees the negative impacts Oli London has on other communities.

“Their obsession is weird to the point where it seems like they are borderline mentally ill, and I think their idea that they are transracial is really insensitive to the Asian community and the trans[gender] community by claiming to be something that they’re not,” Sonnenburg said.

Besides the overall negative impact Oli London has caused, some feel bad or even sympathize with their situation.

“I think Oli London is a k-pop fan who has taken it too far, but I don’t think they should be getting d**th threats,” Lew said. “They should stop saying that they are Jimin and stop getting plastic surgery.”

Similarly, others believe that fans should be themselves instead of trying to embody another race or person.

“It’s sad that they tried to fully change their appearance to someone they look up to rather than loving themselves,” Rodriguiz said. 

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About the Contributor
Kaitlyn Chen, Staff Writer
Kaitlyn Chen is a freshman and first-year journalist. She enjoys writing about current events and entertainment and hopes that she can become a better writer. 

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