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A British influencer says they now “identify as Korean” after going under the knife to look like a member of K-pop band BTS.
Oli London has reportedly spent more than $150,000 (around £110,000) to look like singer Park Ji-min.
The influencer, who uses “they” and “them” pronouns, sees Korea as their “home country”.
And on Twitter, they “came out” as non-binary and “Korean” by tweaking the country’s flag.
Oli said: “This is my new official flag for being a non-binary person who identifies as Korean.
“Thank you for the overwhelming support. It was so hard for me to come out as them/they/kor/ean.”
While the post has garnered 1,700 likes, it’s been met with a lot of backlash.
One critic said: “I’m sorry, but you can’t just choose to be Korean.
“It’s a nationality and ethnicity – you have to be born Korean!
“Just because you like the culture, doesn’t mean you can take it and become it.
“There is a way to appreciate a different culture, this is not it.”
Another said: “Korean isn’t a pronoun, nor is it a persona you decide to suddenly take on because of K-pop hype.
“I’m glad you identify as non-binary and I applaud you for being transparent about that, but I can’t commend you for taking a whole ethnicity and treating it like a persona.”
A third wrote: “Playing with the flag from another country? That is serious.
“Every flag has a history about it and they have the audacity to change it.”
And a fourth argued: “I’m not Korean but I know for a FACT that this is disrespectful.”
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Despite the backlash, some defended Oli.
A commenter said: “I am sorry that people in the comment section are being rude to you.
“You deserve better. You have my support 100%. People are evil.”
And another commented: “Don’t let the haters deny your true identity!”
Oli responded to criticism on Instagram, writing: “Yes I identify as Korean. Yes I'm non-binary. Yes I look like Jimin. But none of this should be a reason to outcast me from society, to dehumanise me and shame me for being who I am, a non-binary Korean person."
Speaking to the Daily Dot, their representative added that Oli identifies with Korea more than the UK so should be able to call themselves Korean.
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