Oli London Responds to Rachel Dolezal Comparisons, Draws Backlash for Identifying as ‘Transracial’ and ‘Korean’
Viral social media personality Oli London is getting heat for their public declaration that they're "transracial" and "Korean."
Despite not being of Korean descent, London, who is non-binary and also goes by the name "Jimin," after their idol from the Korean music group BTS, claims they now identify as Korean and uses the pronouns "they/them" and "Kor/ean."
"Hey guys. I'm finally Korean. I've transitioned," London recently announced. "I'm so, so happy. I've completed my look. I'm finally Korean guys, I have the eyes, I've just had a brow lift as well. I'm so happy. Finally, I've been trapped in the wrong body for eight years and that's the worst feeling in the world when you're trapped and don't feel like you can be yourself. But finally, I'm Korean, I can be myself and I'm so, so happy."
London explained that even if people don't accept it, "Korean" is how they identify and what makes them happy.
"This is who I am. It's in my DNA," they added. "While I recognize that a lot of people don't understand how I identify and may find it unusual ... being Korean and feeling Korean is part of who I am and how I feel. And I will never allow a single woke person, bully or troll to take that away from me."
London defended their self-identity by revealing that they have undergone "extreme lifestyles changes," including moving to Korea, learning the language, eating Korean food every day, using Korean skincare products and undergoing plastic surgery to physically appear East Asian despite being white.
"All of this shapes me as a person and my identity as a non-binary Korean person," they concluded.
Already a controversial figure, London's announcement comes as a bit of a shock as London previously stated, "[I'm] not saying that I want to be Asian, as such I’m always going to be British Caucasian."
Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who identifies as Black and who similarly drew backlash in 2015, spoke to TMZ about London's announcement.
"I don't know Jimin [London] personally, obviously, so they can speak for themselves in that regard, but I do think that the broader issue here is compassion and kindness, and that personal identity is not the big fish to fry when it comes to somebody's personal choices or how they feel," Dolezal shared.
In response to cultural and racial appropriation claims that both she and London have understandably faced, she defended their respective journeys to be "authentically yourself." Dolezal also claimed she doesn't believe either of them are stealing any culture for personal gain or profit.
For their part, London responded to Dolezal's comments by stating in an Instagram Story that they don't want to be compared to anyone but Jimin from BTS. The 31-year-old spent over $150,000 on 18 different plastic surgeries in an attempt to look like their favorite artist.
London first went viral in October 2018 after Barcroft TV aired two episodes on them titled, "I've spent $100,000 to look like a K-pop Star" and "Caucasian to Asian: My Jaw Bone Surgery to Look Korean."