Over the weekend, a TikTok video posted by user @phuongviviyam went viral online. In her post, the TikToker shed light on how South Koreans feel visually superior compared to other Asian people out there.
The TikTok user discussed about the practice of lookism and racism that she feels are common in South Korea. She later used two famous idols as examples. The idols in question are Hanni (하니), a member of the rookie group NewJeans hailing from Vietnam, and Lisa (리사), a member of the global group BLACKPINK from Thailand.
Koreans love to think they’re the superior Asian race; doesn’t help that everyone so damn thirsty for them now too 😩 #newjeans #hanni
“When (Hanni) first debuted, a bunch of Korean people were like ‘Oh I didn’t even know that you’re Vietnamese because you look Korean.’ That is such a backhanded compliment because it’s basically assuming that you look like us, who are perceived to be the visually superior race…or to put it simply – better looking,” @phuongviviyam said in her video. In addition, the female TikToker also pointed out how BLACKPINK’s Lisa has more international fans as compared to Korean fans.
She claimed that Lisa is not as famous in Korea as she is globally due to her Thai facial features. According to her, “It’s obvious that BLACKPINK’s Lisa is the most popular international member yet she’s still the least popular member in South Korea; it’s mainly because she’s Thai and she looks Thai. Southeast Asian people aren’t as favourable.” At the end of the video, @phuongviviyam remarked that the “lookism and racism” culture in Korea is very real.”
Although the TikTok post was uploaded back in January, the video was reposted on the online community platform The Qoo. Many of them left mixed responses in regard to her remark. Read what they said:
- “What’s with the ‘victim mentality’? F**k.”
- “What is she saying? ‘You look Japanese,’ ‘You look Chinese,’ ‘You look Vietnamese,’ ‘You look Indian,’ you’re supposed to take these literally. Don’t twist the meaning. There is no sense of superiority when someone says, ‘You look Korean.’”
- “It means we’re surprised that she looks so much like Koreans. It doesn’t imply that we’re complimenting you for looking Korean. And I feel if Lisa appeared on TV shows as frequently as Nickhun, she would’ve been very popular.”
- “What are you saying? It literally means that you look Korean, LOL. That includes ugly Koreans too.”
- “But it means what it literally says, though? Doesn’t it imply that it’s fascinating when someone looks Korean?”
- “Hmm, I don’t know much about idols, but isn’t it true that even Western mixed-race idols are rarely the most popular member of their groups? I think our country likes the familiar appearance of Northeast Asians.”
- “What she pointed out isn’t racist, but it’s true that our racism is severe.”
- “I don’t agree with the specific argument, but I feel she’s right about the severe racism.”
What do you think of the K-pop fan’s comment about the matter?
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