Recently, a topic titled “Koreans think of themselves as superior” was published on the Korean forum “theqoo”, receiving huge attention. In the topic, a TikTok video was attached, where the original poster expressed their opinion that Koreans often consider themselves to be “visually superior” to other Asian races.
The video also mentioned NewJeans Hanni, who has Vietnamese origins, and pointed out that the female idol is loved because she looks Korean.
“When she first debuted, a bunch of Korean people were like, ‘Oh, I didn’t even know that you’re Vietnamese because you look Korean’”, the TikTok user said, adding, “That is such a back-handed compliment because it’s basically saying that because because ‘you look like us’, who is the visually superior race, you look good.”
BLACKPINK Lisa is also mentioned in the video as “the least popular member in South Korea because she’s Thai and she looks Thai”. According to the TikTok, Lisa is not well-received by Koreans because she looks Southeast Asian, and therefore is considered “inferior”.
Adding to this, the TikTok user said that South Koreans tend to have a strong sense of national pride and that from her experience of living in Korea, the country has insane “lookism” and “racism”. She also argued that this leads many South Koreans to look down on other Asian races and to feel superior in terms of physical appearance.
Koreans who watched the videos seem to be divided, as many agreed with the TikTok user’s claims, leaving comments such as, “I think it is true that Korean racism is severe”, “I admit that many of us have such mentality”, and “That’s right”.
However, numerous netizens expressed an opposite views, and made comments such as, “Stop playing victim”, “She is making the wrong assumptions”, “That ‘racism’ isn’t unique in Korea. Isn’t it the same in other nations?”, and “When we say somebody look like a Korean, it just means they have face that can often be seen in Korea”.