yellow-face

The woman next to me in the bus
stares past me out the window
while humming the most tender,
little song, her face yellow
with light. Every so often she clasps
her small, life-marked hands
and blinks away her past.
I imagine a whole history stretching
between the bones of us,
a grand bundle of victories. Oh,
the things we’ve had to forgive
to get here – whole years of silence,
a body filled with fear, the grief
that claimed the empty side of the bed.
The woman next to me in the bus
wears her years like a summer dress,
stretches her fingers like tiny kingdoms.
I look at her and hope that one day
we won’t remember all the things
we’ve had to do to survive,
only that we did.
—  “The Woman In Yellow”
5

I haven’t felt this personally pissed off in a while. BS like this is why I will always be critical of non-asian (but specifically white) “koreaboos”.

Anyone is allowed to be a fan of kpop. Anyone is allowed to appreciate East Asian fashion and media. Liking BTS and Got7 is fine but you have to respect who that media is made for.

Korean idols are for Korean people. Korean icons of beauty are there for Korean people. Korean fashion and makeup trends are for Korean people. As a Korean-American, do you think I see representation of people who look like me in American media? When I lived in a predominantly white neighborhood I always felt alien for my puffy eyes and rounded nose. My first label was always “Asian”. It didn’t matter the accomplishments I achieved I was always Asian first, the rest secondary. I hated my face and language because of the way it tinted everything as ‘exotic’ and ‘other’ to the people I knew. It was only by embracing Korean music and culture as well as Korean standards of beauty and makeup that I learned to love my distinctly Asian features.

Liking our music is fine. Having crushes on our celebrities is fine. I even think your broken Korean is cute as long as you’ll let me laugh with you and correct your pronunciation. But makeup is crossing a line. Trying to make yourself look like another race is absolutely offensive and it ignores all the people who are born with those features and their experiences with them. There are other (better) ways of showing your love for your favorite celebrities without stepping out of your place as an international fan.

I won’t even touch on the blatant white supremacy coming from the twitter user themself because I’m crossing my fingers and praying that this account is a troll. But I wanted to make a psa that making yourself up to be a “white ulzzang” is contributive of white supremacy. Stealing our features with no regard to our upbringing and history is white supremacy. 

(This twitter also does touch on Japanese cultural appropriation as well but I don’t feel like it’s my place to comment on that)