"Whatever Jimin does, I worship like a God": Oli London thanks Rachel Dolezal for inspiring them to embrace their "Korean identity"

Oli London thanks Rachel Dolezal for inspiring them to identify as "Korean" (image via Getty Images)
Oli London thanks Rachel Dolezal for inspiring them to identify as "Korean" (image via Getty Images)
Barsha Roy

British influencer Oli London has consistently made the headlines ever since coming out as a “non-binary Korean.” The internet supported the Instagram star for coming out as non-binary but called them out for identifying as Korean.

The 31-year-old continues to identify as “transracial,” despite the lack of approval from social media users. Oli London is also known as a BTS and Park Jimin superfan. They have undergone 18 surgeries in the past eight years to appear identical to their idol Jimin.

However, the influencer recently told TMZ that despite their obsession with Jimin and BTS, it was their love for Korea that made them transition their identity:

“It’s not just about BTS, it is also about Korea, it’s about the people, the culture, the food, everything about Korea. So BTS is my ultimate, whatever Jimin does, I literally worship him like a god. People go to church on Sundays, I just worship a cardboard cutout of Jimin and pray to Jimin ‘I wanna look more like you’ but it is a mixture of both. BTS is my obsession but that’s not the reason I have become Korean.”

In the video, Oli London also talks about Rachel Dolezal, an American activist known for identifying as a "transracial" black woman:

“Rachel coming out as transracial and giving her story to the world, did kind of give me some kind of courage, some kind of hope because I have never really heard about people identifying as transracial before…. So Rachel gave me a lot of courage. I do thank her for that.”

Oli London’s statement comes days after receiving consistent backlash over their transition. People have repeatedly taken to social media to tell the "Koreaboo" singer that although they can identify as non-binary as a personal life choice, they cannot change their nationality as a part of their transitioning.

Also Read: Jay Park under fire after his dreadlocks in 'DNA Remix' music video spark 'cultural appropriation' debate

Rachel Dolezal extends support towards Oli London’s “Korean” transition

Oli London previously shared that they underwent several surgeries to identify as Korean because they have been trapped in a “wrong body and wrong culture” all their life. In their “Being Korean” YouTube video, they mentioned undergoing “a facelift, a brow lift, a temple lift, an eye surgery, a canthoplasty, and teeth procedures” to appear Korean.

The move angered several people and led them to accuse the influencer for “cultural appropriation.” Some users even called Oli London an alleged “racist” for using a different nationality as a part of their coming out.

Amid the sharp online criticism, Rachel Dolezal spoke to TMZ regarding the issue and provided her support to Oli London’s “transracial” identity:

“I think the broader issue here is compassion and kindness and that personal identity is not the big fish to fry when it comes to someone’s personal choices or how they feel. I think we need to focus on fighting the public outrage, issues of police brutality, of deinstitutionalizing racism. Those are the issues that I think we need to come together on to fight publicly and to be kinder to people and fight a little bit less on social media against somebody’s personal choices.”

She also went ahead to state that identifying as “transracial” cannot be defined as “cultural appropriation”:

“Cultural appropriation is very different from just being authentically yourself. So being true to yourself is a very different journey and experience than stealing somebody’s culture in order to profit or gain from it.”

Similar to Oli London, Rachel Dolezal also landed in hot waters after identifying as African-American. But nearly six-years later she continues to maintain her identity despite constant disapproval.

Surprisingly, during an interview with TMZ, Oli London denounced the comparison with Rachel Dolezal. However, they did provide support to the latter’s life choices:

“Since I have come out as transracial people are trying to compare me to Rachel Dolezal and you know I respect that she is the way she is and she identifies the ways she is but the only person I want people to compare me to like is Jimin. So please guys compare me to Jimin, that’s the only person I want to be compared to.”

Meanwhile, Twitter users continued to express their disappointment over the issue:

Despite the constant backlash, Oli London continues to maintain their identity. They have also officially announced “Park Jimin” as their Korean name. It remains to be seen if they will address the criticisms in the days to come.

Also Read: James Corden under fire due to a "culturally offensive" Spill Your Guts segment, which allegedly mocks Asians

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Edited by Gautham Balaji
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