Do South Koreans feel “optically superior” to other Asian peoples? Netizens are divided over the TikToker claim

Do South Koreans feel “optically superior” to other Asian peoples? Netizens are divided over the TikToker claim

A TikTok claim that South Koreans feel visually superior to other Asians has gone viral on an online Korean forum, drawing mixed opinions from netizens.

At TikTok, the user @phuongviviyam spoke about lookism and racism, which she believes are rampant in South Korea, and cited two K-pop idols as examples. She spoke about it first Hanni Since New jeansand pointed out that despite the Korean people’s usual discriminatory views towards Vietnamese and Southeast Asians, Hanni has been well received by the Korean media because she “Korean passport.

When she debuted, a few Koreans said, “Oh, I didn’t even know you were Vietnamese because you look Korean.” And when you say that, it’s such a dubious compliment because it’s basically saying that you, because you look like us, are perceived as the visually superior race… uh, you’re good looking.

— @phuongviviyam

She then contrasted the public perception of Hanni with that of Hanni Lisa Since BLACK PINK. According to her, Lisa is not as popular in Korea as she is abroad because she has Thai features.

And we can clearly see that with Lisa from BLACPINK who is clearly the most popular international member, but she is still the least popular member in South Korea and that is because she is Thai and looks Thai. As if she looked Southeast Asian.

— @phuongviviyam

She closed the video by saying that after two years in South Korea she realized that “lookism and racism“are in the country”fou.”


#lossingsupport🥺 #youtubeshort #foryoupage #foryou #fypシ

♬ Son Original – Sandip Chaudhary

When a Korean netizen reposted TikTok content with screenshots and translations, the post immediately went viral, garnering over 100,000 views and over 1,000 comments in less than a day. Netizens seemed very divided in the comments, with some accepting TikToker’s views while others calling it “victim mentality.”

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  • “What does she say? ‘You look Japanese’, ‘You look Chinese’, ‘You look Vietnamese’, ‘You look Indian’, you should take her at face value. Don’t twist the meaning. There isn’t one Feeling of superiority when someone says, “You look Korean.”
  • “It means we’re surprised you look so Korean. That doesn’t mean we congratulate you on looking Korean. And I think if Lisa had appeared on TV shows as much as Nickhun, she would have been very popular too.
  • “And what is with this?”
  • “LOL, what’s that again? lol I believe in nationalism, and even then I don’t think we’re superior.
  • “What are you saying? It literally means you look Korean, LOL. That includes ugly Koreans too.
  • “But does that mean what it literally says? Doesn’t that mean it’s fascinating when someone looks Korean? »
  • “Hm, I don’t know much about idols, but isn’t it true that even Western multiracial idols are rarely the most popular members of their group?” I think our country loves the familiar look of Northeast Asians.
  • “What she said is not racist, but it is true that our racism is serious.”
  • “I don’t agree with the specific argument, but I think she’s right about the harsh racism.”
  • “While we are very racist towards Southeast Asians, the example here is wrong. Kazuha is an idol who is often said to have Korean looks and is Japanese. It’s just about some faces that Koreans prefer.
  • “The argument in the video isn’t very strong, but I understand what she’s saying. But to see a feeling of superiority in this is an exaggeration. However, “Koreans are insanely racist” is a very accurate statement. »
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