Korean Sociological Image #81: Cultural Appropriation

Lee Som -- Oh Boy! Magazine Vol.40 -- Native American Headdress Cultural Appropriation(Source)

Model and actress Esom (이솜; a.k.a. Lee Som), wearing a Native American(?) headdress in one photo from her recent shoot for OhBoy! magazine.

While it’s not directly related, ignorant and/or insensitive cultural appropriation is a big problem in K-pop especially. For an excellent primer on that, with many links and discussions of previous posts and articles, I recommend “Of Misconceptions About Cultural Appropriation in K-pop” by Assoc. Prof. Crystal Anderson of Elon University, at her blog High Yellow. Also, for something more recent, check out “The trouble with kpop” at Radio Palava, or the following video by Youtube user “Itsbrittany lajoyce“:

Meanwhile, nothing against Esom of course, who was likely given little choice in the outfits she would wear. See here for many more photoshoots of hers.

Update: I forgot about another recent example with Lee Hyori, in a photoshoot for the August 2013 edition of Dazed and Confused (Korea) magazine. See Audrey Magazine or Omona They Didn’t! for the details (Update 2: More pictures available here).

(For more posts in the Korean Sociological Image series, see here)

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