A British singer who underwent “32 plastic sugery procedures” to look like a member of the South Korean pop group BTS has apologised to the boy band and the Asian community for his “unhealthy” obsession with the star.
Oli London, 32, has issued a statement asking for the forgiveness of K-pop idol Park Ji-min – known by his stage name, Jimin – for attempting to alter his appearance to mimic that of the East Asian singer and dancer.
London, who is also non-binary, said they “generally do identify as Korean and transracial” but, after a “period of self-reflection” and, having undergone “therapy and rehabilitation” to address their alleged “multiple personality disorder [and] overly obsessive behaviour”, they have decided to take accountability for their “past behaviour”
The Instagram influencer claims thier “addiction” to having cosmetic procedures is rooted in childhood. “I just wanted to cut my whole face off and be a different person, somone beautiful and someone with confidence,” London writes.
The UK singer said they lived in Korea for a year at 23-years-old, which “changed them completely as a person forever.”
“I found solace and happiness in K-pop and Korean culture, it gave me an escape from reality and I funneled all of my attention and love into someone who I greatly admired and idolised – Park Jimin [sic].”
In a bid to alter their features to more closely resemble those of the BTS star, London said they underwent 32 rounds of cosmetic surgery.
“I changed my entire life thinking I could become as beautiful and talented as Jimin,” they explained.
In the wake of backlash from social media users regarding his claim to a different nationality and race, London has now vowed to become a “better version of myself.”
They continued: “I apologise wholeheartedly to Jimin, to BTS, to Army [the BTS fandom] and all the Asian community who may have found my obsession ‘too much’, ‘creepy’ or ‘unhealthy’.
“I will always love Jimin and admire him however I am now taking accountability for my past behaviour that I have come to see was not healthy or normal and I promise I will do better and change as a person.”
London still lives in hope of becoming “an honourary Korean citizen one day and be able to live my life freely as a legally recognized Korean.”
They said they recently married, and described his husband as his “very own Jimin (and actually looks like him),” adding: “I have finally found someone who loves and accepts me for who I am.”
Falling short of retracting their previous and vehemently criticised claim that they “identify as Korean”, London continued: “This is how I feel inside but I never want to ever cause offense or for people to think I do not acknowledge the lived experiences and many struggles Asian people face on a daily basis.”
London also claimed that many foreigners living in the East Asian country also idenitfy as Korean, but they are the only person doing so publicly.
They concluded his letter by saying: “I’m sorry everyone, espcailly to you Park Jimin and I promise to do better.”
Social media has not taken well to London’s statement, with many branding it as “barely an apology” and a “publicity stunt”.
One Twitter user wrote “This is barely an apology, glad Oli in therapy but theres still more rehab needed to realize the gravity of the damage they’ve caused to the asian community as a whole, the lgbtqia+ community, and the k-pop fan community…just to name a few.”
Another added: “This isn’t an apology. An apology goes ‘I’m sorry. I was wrong.’ This reads ‘I’m sorry if I offended you. I still believe I’m transracial and here is why’.”