the situation on bts’ colorism in the japanese magazine
this is a long post, however i believe theres lots to understand on this subject that cannot be dismissed. i have two disclaimers: first, please read until the end before criticizing because when i say i made an effort to include all views i mean it. second, there will be hetero references in this since the interview was about their ideal girl.. i apologize n i dont mean to assume their sexuality or anything.
there are three main parts to this; 1) lets understand the whole picture, 2) be fair and 3) for those who were hurt by the “interview” and to those who want to dismiss them (this is not patronizing, i really fucking sympathize here)
lets understand the whole picture
to begin, I’m pretty much positive they didn’t actually interview bts for the magazine… rather, they drew on old interviews for the magazine… i don’t think the members were actually involved in any way with this magazine specifically. there a few posts about this and i’ll like them, but the best was by @jkguks. they showed how each exact response was recycled from an old interview. the post can be found here. comments have also been made that this magazine is known for such moves in the past and that their credibility isn’t so great. @allforbts pointed out here that the magazine didnt have a photoshoot – they reused pictures from other sources – which probably indicates they didn’t have an actual interview; however this isn’t real evidence. in my own personal opinion i dont trust the person who posted the translations on twitter. yes the translations are correct as far as we all know, but what i mean is… i think she knew the interview was old/reused. everyone that asked about the interview’s date received no response from her. she even made a comment about how many followers shes gained. if she cleared up that the interview was old or reused then this whole thing would die out n she’d stop getting followers. anyway i find it suspicious but i could also just be reading too far into it. the whole point of this is that at this point we can pretty much conclusively say that the interview is recycled n this is not something they said recently. this is not to devalue the weight of their words because it still hurt a lot of people. old or new, getting told your skin color is “unideal” is painful. however we do wanna look at this because we at least now know that their status of “since educated on colorism and racism and now pretty pc/sensitive” is not going to be revoked! they’ve since educated themselves, that is still the truth. this is just the ugly past come to rear its head.
on the other end of understanding the whole picture, i’m going to make a sorta controversial statement. hopefully in fully explaining it, you all will get the full idea… but for the sake of k-armys who are getting attacked by intl fans constantly and also for the sake of perspective – which may lessen the blow of their words for those hurt by them – i need to say this. the concept of colorism is alive and well in korea… it just isn’t the same as it is in the west. in the west – for the most part – we are more ethnically/racially diverse while korea is almost entirely racially/ethnically homogeneous. so how does this effect the meaning of colorism? well because one of the largest identifiable traits when looking at the differences between the world’s races n ethnicities is skin color, race/ethnicity will always be tied to skin color, especially in really diverse areas. in the west where we are consistently exposed to different races/ethnicities as part of our daily lives, a preference of skin color holds not only colorist implications but also racist implications. if some mayo dude said “i think darker skin is ugly on girls” we can safely assume hes a racist fuck on top of being colorist. however, since korea is homogenous, there isnt any real racist implications. let me elaborate: korea has issues with being racist against other poc, however in an interview discussing ideal types where the ideal type is already assumed to be at the very basis korean (or maybe another east asian ethnicity if you’re stretching it), the statement on skin color is directed at people of their shared race. so how is this less problematic? it is still problematic definitely – i’d like to make this clear – but in korea, the concept of skin color amongst koreans as a beauty standard isnt racially or ethnically motivated and therefore its more akin to saying “i prefer blue eyes over brown eyes on white girls” because they’re discussing a physical variance within their own race. in the end, it’s still colorist, but please try to understand that in korea the remarks arent as horrible. they still shouldn’t say that, and really, any discussion of skin color preferences is ugly, but it’s extremely important to be considerate of korean culture. intl fans forget constantly that we are guests to korean culture. if you were invited to someones house you wouldnt bust in there feeling entitled n doing whatever the fuck you want. you’d try and respect their rules and how they run their home. if you had a problem with something there, you’d politely ask them to accommodate you, explaining why that accommodation was necessary. you wouldnt fucking trash them for not having their house already equipped to your preference. thats incredibly selfish. this is the same way. you are guests to this culture, and while you shouldnt allow colorism to continue, this theme of entitlement amongst intl fans – especially when we have done very little to respect their culture; we demand they understand ours while continually paying theirs no regard – is really shamefully. i ask that people reading this do their best to be more considerate in the future. not everything is black n white… lots of things have grey area and we can afford to be more socially conscious. im pretty sure most k-fans have it about up to here dealing with koreaboos criticizing their culture…
this is a short statement but i need to remind you all that most of the members were problematic in that interview and if you are only trashing namjoon you need to fucking stop. you are allowed to offended, of course – i was pretty bothered too seeing how im the opposite to namjoons ideal in every way, my bias who i’d fucking die for – but if your whole focus is “namjoon this and namjoon that” than youre being a biased ass and im gonna need you to sit down. if youre going to be mad, by all means, be mad, but dont fucking pretend the other members said nothing wrong. im sick of people pretending every member but namjoon is perfect and unproblematic. present day he’s probably the most un-problematic member since educating himself on racial issues, feminism, n lgbtq rights, making himself an advocate for them all while idols remain silent…. hmm…. but keeping pushing that “problematic member” agenda sure. yeah lets pretend the facts dont exist ok
for those who were hurt by the “interview” and to those who want to dismiss them
fans who read through the interview n realized they kinda fit their bias’ ideal type – esp in terms of skin color – please don’t make comments on how people need to “get over this”. for many fans, especially non light skinned poc, this really hurt. not only as a “i don’t fit my bias’ ideal type” but also as a betrayal of trust. many non light skinned poc have experienced some type of discrimination for their skin color and many had their sense of self confidence fucked over for it. its not just a “you dont think darker skin is beautiful, aw :(” its more of a, “you are someone i love and support and the fact that you’d call my skin color less attractive – the skin color for which i’ve had to struggle to find my own confidence in – just like so many others, feels like betrayal”. its really hurtful. so don’t be dismissive. you don’t understand. this isnt your discussion, im sorry.
and lastly, to the fans who were hurt by the interview. im sorry boo. im sorry that the industry you support continues to hurt you. im sorry someone you decided to love and support made you feel like that. please remember that the ideal type is such a flimsy concept. they really dont mean anything. those questions were grossly specific n they were so unnecessary, but at the end of the day, they are still made up preferences. the boys wouldn’t find you unattractive for not meeting the bits on their checklist – fuck no. attraction just doesnt work like that. no one falls in love with the person that hit everything on their little “ideal type” checklist. honestly, if you asked me to describe my ideal type n i just listed shit off the top of my head, it probably wouldnt add up to namjoon…. but in every way namjoon perfect to me. im fucking whipped. this is the same. dont take their ideals to heart, dont feel like anything on you needs to change. you are exactly the way you need to be, and dont ever let some guys “ideal type” make you feel any less. n if anyone every tries to tell you that you’re failing to meet their beauty standards… fucking kick them. fcuk them seriously. dont let this shit effect your self confidence. gross comments like that dont deserve a thought in your head