- Oli London is a white British influencer who has faced backlash for saying they identify as Korean.
- The influencer previously said they had 32 plastic surgeries to look like BTS singer Park Ji-min.
- On Monday, London apologized to the BTS star and the Asian community for previous comments.
Oli London, a white British influencer who said they had 32 plastic surgeries to look more like BTS band member Park Ji-min, has apologized to the singer and to the Asian community, saying their behavior was “obsessive,” as well as “wrong and unhealthy.”
London, who has 1 million TikTok followers and uses “they” and “them” pronouns, has previously faced backlash and criticism from experts and academics for saying they identify as Korean.
The influencer has publicly said they have undergone eye surgery, liposuction, penis-reduction surgery, and other procedures in order to “look more Korean.” Members of the Asian community previously told Insider they thought London’s surgeries promoted racist stereotypes about Koreans, accusing London of cultural appropriation.
On August 29, London posted a YouTube video titled “APOLOGY VIDEO (My Apology to Jimin & the Asian Community).”
“It was wrong of me to try to emulate Ji-min in such an obsessive way,” London said. “I can’t be another person, I just need to love myself.”
London said they suffered bullying at school, which led to self-esteem issues, and when they discovered Park they saw him as the “path to happiness” and tried to “become” him.
London said they had no “bad intentions” but they “realize now it wasn’t the right thing to do.” They said they had realized they could be happy without trying to emulate Park thanks to their recent marriage to a person they describe as a “Ji-min look-a-like.” In an interview with Newsweek and SWNS in early August, London said they were paying for their husband, Danny Richardson, 19, to undergo plastic surgery to look like Ji-min.
London went on to say they still “identify as Korean.”
In a statement provided to Insider, London said they consider themselves to be “transracial” — a term they have used to describe themself many times in the past.
The statement went on to say they hope to become an honorary Korean citizen and “live as a legally recognized Korean.”
London also said they had been going to therapy to deal with an “addiction to plastic surgery.”
“I changed my entire life thinking I could become as beautiful and as talented as Jimin. But I have finally come to realize this was wrong and unhealthy,” the statement continued.
The concept of being “transracial” is highly disputed. In July 2021, Braden Hill and Stevie Lane from Edith Cowan University in Australia wrote that the term is “a prime example of racism” as a person cannot identify as “transracial” in the same way people identify as transgender, because a person does not inherit their gender in the way they inherit their race.
While the video received some support in the comments, many viewers criticized the video, saying they did not think the influencer should have apologized while maintaining that they identify as Korean.
“You can love Korea and recognize what its culture has done for you (which I am genuinely happy for you) but that doesn’t make you Korean,” one top comment with 229 likes said.
London told Insider in a further statement that they were aware of this criticism, but responded by reiterating that they “identify as Korean.”
“My love for Korean culture is unchanged. I have just come to realise my overly obsessive behaviour with Jimin was not normal and was due to my deep-rooted unhappiness inside due to the years of bullying I received about the way I looked as a child,” they said.