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British Influencer Has Surgery To Look Like BTS's Jimin, 'Comes Out' As 'Transracial'

Oli London defends surgeries to look like Jimin, comes out as transracial

Oh, boy, this one’s a doozy…

British influencer Oli London “came out” in a YouTube video on Thursday, claiming that they were now Korean after having 18 surgeries to look more like BTS singer Park Jimin. The nonbinary internet personality compared their struggle to that of transgender people, saying they “transitioned” to be Korean, and even changed their name to Jimin.

Related: BTS Talk Being ‘Mocked For The Way We Look,’ Facing Anti-Asian Discrimination

In the video (below), they said:

“I know it’s a little confusing, nobody has ever come out as Jimin or Korean, but this is something you guys know … I’ve really struggled with identity issues with who I am.”

The 31-year-old, whose stunts included marrying a cardboard cutout of the K-Pop star in Vegas, explained:

“I identify with the Korean community. Maybe they will accept me more now because I have ‘the look.’ Maybe people will think I’m actually Korean, which will make me really happy. They can see how much I love their culture. This is the extreme length that I have gone to because I love Korea so much.”

They added:

“I just want to make Jimin proud as well. Jimin is my ultimate idol and I want him to be proud. I’m sure he’ll be proud that I look exactly like him now. I have his eyes. I finally have Jimin’s Korean eyes and they’re so, so beautiful. I’m so, so happy with my new look and I can’t wait to see the final results when all the swelling goes down.”

In all honesty, we can’t imagine that a pop star would be flattered or proud that someone had surgery to look more like him; it seems like the kind of extreme behavior that someone in the public eye might find unsettling, and even scary. The whole “identifying as Korean” bit aside, permanently modifying your body to resemble a particular famous person doesn’t seem like a healthy expression of fandom.

That said, Oli also stated:

“I finally had the courage of undergoing my racial transition surgery.”

We’re by no means experts on the subject, but transitioning race (or more specifically, ethnicity) and gender don’t seem to be comparable to us. There is no one “correct” version of gender expression, and being a “man” or “woman” can mean something different to every person. But a person can’t simply “become” Korean, because ethnicity involves sharing specific cultural traditions.

And while Oli may have mimicked racial identifiers of Korean people (through surgeries which included a facelift, brow lift, temple lift, eye surgery and a teeth procedure), truthfully, no one is going to mistake them for a Korean person. That means the way we interact with race in the world will not apply to them. They will never be the subject of, nor fully understand, the kind of anti-Asian racism that a Korean person might face.

See them try to defend their decision (below):

Yet on Twitter, Oli doubled down, writing:

“Being Transexual is the same as being TRANSRACIAL because you are born in the wrong body.”

“TRANSRACIAL is a thing! I invented it! If you can be transgender you can be TRANSRACIAL. Live your life to the fullest, be who you want to be and spread love. [TRANSFLAG,RAINBOWFLAG,GENDERSYMBOL] #olilondon #trans #transracial”

Funny that Oli should claim to invent “transracial” as if we haven’t been through this all before with Rachel Dolezal, the wannabe Black woman who embedded herself in her local NAACP before being exposed as a white person. (Rachel later changed her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo.)

Related: Revisit Rachel Dolezal’s Story HERE

In 2017, Ijeoma Oluo wrote for The Stranger:

“Dolezal is simply a white woman who cannot help but center herself in all that she does—including her fight for racial justice. And if racial justice doesn’t center her, she will redefine race itself in order to make that happen. It is a bit extreme, but it is in no way new for white people to take what they want from other cultures in the name of love and respect, while distorting or discarding the remainder of that culture for their comfort.”

This sentiment definitely applies to Oli — their “transition” has been a spectacle for years. Now, they’ve thrown in with American conservative Republican personalities like Ben Shapiro, who are attempting to weaponize Oli’s identity against transgender activists. They’ve offered to appear on Fox News with Sean Hannity or Tucker Carlson, and have touted their email for “media and TV inquiries” on their page.

While we are sympathetic to what seems like Oli’s true identity issues (we doubt anyone would spend at least $150k, per TMZ, on surgeries otherwise), a genuine expression of love for Korean culture (or K-Pop fandom) wouldn’t mean cannibalizing that culture, centering oneself, and profiting off of it.

It was only in February that they were speaking out against AAPI hate, saying they wanted to “uplift the Asian community and elevate their voices and give them an opportunity to share their incredible culture, values and talents with the world.”

See some of the Twitter reactions to the situation (below):

Thoughts, Perezcious readers? Clearly there’s something more serious going on with Oli. The viral influencer made an appearance on E!‘s Botched in 2019 after having already spent $250,000 on cosmetic surgery to look like the Korean star. Wanting a rhinoplasty, surgeons Paul Nassif and Terry Dubrow actually turned him down over a concern for “extreme” danger.

We hope London finds peace with themself, but that peace shouldn’t come at the expense of Koreans.

[Image via Oli London/YouTube & Adriana M. Barraza/WENN]

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Jun 29, 2021 08:10am PDT