Whitewashing, whether through the use of makeup or photo editing, has long been an issue in the K-Pop industry, and sadly doesn’t seem to be changing all too quickly.
The beauty standards for K-Pop idols have been rather strict for a long time, and though many idols don’t fit the “standards” and go on to have successful careers, the pressure can still weigh heavily on them.
Idols with naturally darker skin have dealt with a lot of issues over the years, from being teased by their fellow members and other idols and the public to being made to wear makeup that is far too light for them. Whitewashed photos of K-Pop idols, even those with already fairly pale skin, is still very prevalent in the industry.
Recently on Reddit, a post was made discussing the recent poor foundation choice used on the young members of Kep1er. Given that many of them are still in their teens, the possible ramifications that whitewashing could have on their mental health is even more upsetting.
Titled “Makeup in kpop is just insulting at this point”, the post talks about a video that was taken of the Kep1er members during their recent time at KCON LA. Xiaoting is brought up in particular due to the “geisha-like” appearance that she has in the video due to how light her foundation is.
Here is the video in question, linked to the same timestamp in the Reddit post.
The comments on the post are majorly in agreement with the original poster, and bring up other common instances of whitewashing other K-Pop idols as well.
Others bring up that the “mis-matched” foundation choice isn’t an accident, but rather a choice made by the idols’ stylists due to South Korea’s beauty standards.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be a trend that’s going away anytime soon, though hopefully the more that it’s addressed, the more likely it is that changes will be made!