aespa’s Skin Tone Editing Triggers Global Debate: Is Whitewashing Acceptable?

A post titled “This Is The Reason Why Foreigners Criticize Korean Editing” has stirred up a storm on social media platforms today, reigniting discussions about beauty standards and cultural perceptions.

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The post, which quickly went viral, showcases a series of images featuring aespa’s Karina, NingNing, and Winter at a New York Yankees game, with some images showing the idols in their natural skin tones while others portray them with significantly paler skin.

aespa
aespa
(Photo : pann.nate)

The Debate Unfolds

The controversy began when the author of the post juxtaposed the original and edited photos, highlighting what they deemed as problematic editing practices that promote unrealistic beauty standards.

aespa
aespa
(Photo : pann.nate)

The edited images, displaying the idols with notably lighter skin, sparked a debate on social media platforms about the influence of such practices on perceptions of beauty, particularly within the Korean entertainment industry.

aespa
aespa
(Photo : pann.nate)
aespa
aespa
(Photo : pann.nate)

One netizen voiced their concern, stating, “Koreans edit the photos to make their skin really white and unrealistic. I think this is a real problem… It isn’t good to make distorted beauty standards.” This sentiment was echoed by others who agreed that such editing perpetuates unrealistic ideals and can have negative effects on individuals’ self-esteem.

Counterarguments and Misinformation

However, the reaction among netizens was not unanimous.

Some argued that beauty standards are subjective and should not be dictated by external opinions.

“Who cares if they like it or not? East Asians like pale skin, so what? Should we change our beauty standards to match them? Lol,” commented one user, reflecting a sentiment shared by many who felt that international criticism should not influence Korean standards of beauty.

Moreover, there were claims of misinformation surrounding the authenticity of the images.

aespa
aespa
(Photo : pann.nate)

Several users contested the author’s assertion that the edited photos were indicative of widespread editing practices, suggesting that the original images themselves may not accurately represent the idols’ natural skin tones.

aesp
aespa
(Photo : pann.nate)
aespa
aespa
(Photo : pann.nate)

“The author is bringing preview photos and claiming they are edited,” one user remarked, questioning the reliability of the comparison.

Reactions and Realizations

The discussion also shed light on the complexities of perception, with some users expressing surprise at the perceived discrepancy between the idols’ appearance in photos and in real life.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE NETIZENS’ DISCUSSIONS:

“I don’t get why it matters whether others like fair skin or not lol. East Asians prefer fair skin, so what’s the big deal? Why should Korea conform to their standards? lol”

“Every time I see idols in person, I’m surprised because their skin is more uneven than I thought. I always thought they were all white from seeing only edited photos, but white idols are rare.” 

“Bringing in a preview and then editing it, okay?” 

“Huh, the photos they bring in claiming they’re unedited seem darker than in real life, don’t they? Winter and Karina are supposed to be fair, especially Winter, she’s seriously pale, what’s up with that?” 

“Regardless of whether you curse or not, what’s the point?” 

As the debate continues to unfold, it underscores the ongoing conversation surrounding beauty standards, cultural representation, and the role of editing practices within the Korean entertainment industry.

While some advocate for greater authenticity and diversity in portrayal, others assert the importance of respecting cultural differences and resisting external pressures to conform.

The viral post has sparked introspection within both Korean and international communities, prompting discussions about the power of imagery and the need for more inclusive representations in media and entertainment.