Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who gained notoriety for claiming she identifies as Black, defends a TikTok star who says they “transitioned” races
Rachel Dolezal, a white woman who gained notoriety in 2015 for claiming that she identifies as Black, has spoken up in support of Oli London.
London, who is British-born and ethnically white and goes by they/them pronouns, said this week that they “transitioned” races.
London has a TikTok following of over 427,000 and got attention for appearing on Barcroft TV’s “Hooked on the Look” series in 2018 and E!’s “Botched” series in 2019. During those TV appearances, they talked about how expensive and painful it was to undergo multiple plastic surgeries to look like their favorite BTS star, Park Jimin.
During a 2018 appearance on the British TV show “Hooked on a Look,” London said, “I’ve not exactly changed my race. I’m not saying I’m Asian as such. I’m always going to be British and Caucasian, but I would like to look as close as possible to Korean popstars and Jimin.”
Dolezal was responding to questions on the backlash that London received after they announced on June 24 that they “identify as Korean.”
“I do think that the broader issue here is compassion and kindness, and that personal identity is not the big fish to fry when it comes to somebody’s personal choices or how they feel,” said Dolezal, speaking to TMZ on July 1.
“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. There’s a different thing there, and I think sometimes people are confusing those two,” Dolezal told TMZ.
“It just gets caught up in the outrage online, and I think sometimes we don’t take the time to actually listen to somebody’s heart,” she said.
London this week doubled down on claims that they are “transracial,” uploading a Twitter video on June 29 detailing how multiple plastic surgeries have allowed them to finally “feel Korean.” Among the enhancements to their appearance was a procedure to give them what they call “Korean eyes.”
“I identify with the Korean community. Maybe they will accept me more now because I have the look,” London said in the video on June 29.
In the same video, they announced that they opted for their latest round of cosmetic surgeries because they wanted to make their ultimate idol, Park Jimin of BTS fame, proud.
“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,” they said.
London also announced on their Twitter on June 30, saying that they’ll henceforth be known as “Jimin,” taking on Park’s Korean birth name.