i truly don’t understand how all of the fansites and edit/gif makers on tumblr take pictures of idols, make gifs of them, and then whitewash the living hell out of them and distribute that shit as if it they haven’t just taken the time to edit lies into the face of their beloved oppas and unnies.
how can you claim to love these people so much and then deliberately wipe out the colour of their skin and replace it with something that, because you are colourist and self-servient, is exactly what they aren’t?? isn’t love about loving all of them, including their skin colour, and in turn recognising what that will mean for them as a melanated person? acknowledging, starting dialogues about, and doing what you can, little or small, to make sure the possiblity of them knowing they’re loved for as much of the real them they’re allowed to show just that much bigger?
thinking about the struggles they go through as idols - near-constant scrutiny, control of what they eat, where they go, who they see, manipulated by lighting and makeup, contracts and managers, to be whatever they’re needed to be; barred from dating, sharing their true interests without meeting ridiculous backlash (exhibit a: taehyung and the ryan mcginley photography) - countless bullshit things, propped up by smaller, invisble piles of shitty things we’ll never get to see.
and then to top it off, a handful of colourism not only from their own group members (this has happened in SNSD and Seventeen if I’m not mistaken, BTS too, Big Bang, VIXX, etc), but from the media, and photographers who do everything they can to make them whiter, as white as they can be, and then the fans. The people they work so hard for, give music to, jump through every ludicrous hoop no matter how big or small for…wipe out their skin colour as if it’s nothing more than staining, as if it’s not a part of their fucking genetics, and who they are.
Nothing makes me, being the biggest fan of k-pop and korean music, happier than seeing darker skinned idols proudly, quietly, in ways big and small, anything in between and in any way, claiming their melanated skin. As a dark skinned black girl, setting off on the journey to accept my colouring has been one of the hardest things I have ever had to do, and I wasn’t sitting in the public struggling through it either - so when I see idols spewing blindly ignorant colourist comments, I can’t excuse the things they say, I don’t even try, but I can identify and understand the reasoning. It comes from the same place that so many Korean fans seem to harbour inside them - the fountain of self hatred and colourism, fed by magazines, photoshop, the media, the influences of white oppression and society. (In the cases of non-melanated individuals, it’s racism, deal with your shit.)
I get it, because that was me five years ago, and unless someone or something triggers the change of mindset within them, it’s not going to go away. It takes so much inner strength to undo years of what is essentially brainwashing. It takes courage to do it in the eye of hundreds of thousands of people, a sense of self to maintain it, and in respect to the idols who may never leave that way of thinking behind - I mourn them, because it’s an awful place to be.
What I’m trying to say is this - I love the artists I love for them. I cherish any and all honesty on their behalf, their bare faces, chubby tummies, not-rock-hard-but-not-chocolate abs, thick thighs, thin thighs, acne and eye bags, ridiculous comments, mistakes and all. As one non-white human to another, I love them and their skin colours, and I will never do them the disservice of pretending they’re all something they are not. As a fan to an idol, I love them; as an aspiring artist to another, I admire and respect and downright adore the musicians I blog about.
tl;dr - to the fans who whitewash idols - I don’t know you can claim to love someone so much and then take away pieces of who they are, shout down the offerings of honesty about their true selves, because it doesn’t suit what you think they should be.
That’s not love, in any way, that’s you just manipulating the idea you have in your heads of what they should be to please you.