British social media influencer and singer Oli London, who identifies as “nonbinary,” defended his decision to undergo 18 cosmetic surgeries in an attempt to also identify as a “transracial” Korean.
London, a white male, recently underwent what is being called “racial transitional surgery” in order to appear more like K-Pop BTS singer Park Ji-min, who's also known as Jimin.
“Hey guys! I’m finally Korean. I’ve transitioned,” London said in a video posted to social media.
“I’m so, so happy I’ve completed my look … I have the eyes [and] I’ve just had a brow lift, as well,” London said, who now identifies “Jimin.”
“I’ve been trapped in the wrong body … But finally I’m Korean — I can be myself. And I’m so, so happy,” the British influencer said.
London insists that he did not undergo 18 surgeries in eight years for social reasons. The cost of all the surgical operations was approximately $150,000, reports say.
“Nobody would do this for attention — nobody would go through this much pain, this much suffering,” London said.
In a statement to SkyNews, the 31-year-old man said: "I'm not about negativity or sparking controversy. At the end of the day I'm a human being living in my truth. It's an unfortunate reality for so many to have to hide who they truly are."
While trans identities have emerged with considerable fanfare and social acceptance in recent years, particularly in light of the ongoing push for LGBT causes worldwide, the idea that someone can identify as another race is viewed much less favorably in that it appropriates ethnicity as an individual persona, but London sees no distinction.
He tweeted Friday: “If you can be transsexual you can also be TRANSRACIAL. Why are there such double standards & hypocrisy with people criticizing me for being Korean? It’s the same as someone who was born in the wrong body and wants to become a man or a woman. I was actually born in the wrong body!”
Not everyone was so enthused.
"This is actually unbelievably degrading to Koreans like me if he asserts that simply getting surgery to make his eyes more slanted makes him Korean,” tweeted Kangmin Lee, a Korean man who describes himself as a “revivalist” and cultural conservative in his Twitter bio.
According to EOnline!, the British influencer wants to make the Korean pop star he admires and surgically altered his face to resemble, proud.
"I just want to make Jimin proud as well," London said.
"Jimin is my ultimate idol and I want him to be proud. I'm sure he'll be proud that I look exactly like him now. I have his eyes. I finally have Jimin's Korean eyes and they're so, so beautiful. I'm so, so happy with my new look and I can't wait to see the final results when all the swelling goes down," he said.
BTS, also known as the Bangtan Boys, is a seven-member South Korean pop band whose popularity has soared both in their native country and around the world since they were formed a decade ago.
In March, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry named the K-Pop group as the bestselling artists of 2020, besting Taylor Swift, according to the BBC. The Korean boyband released two hit albums last year called “Map of the Soul” and “Be.”