Meet the Man who Spent $100,000 to look like BTS’s Jimin

The TV series Hooked on the Look holds a reputation for its documentation of the extreme in terms of plastic surgery. Having featured figures like the “Real Life Ken Doll” and the Justin Bieber look-alike, having a Londoner named Oli London going to the surgical extremes should be nothing out of the ordinary.

The reason he’s worth noting, however, is for who this man wants to look like. London became a hot topic on social media for the fact that he wants to look like Jimin, one of the lead vocalists from the Kpop group BTS. In essence, the man wants to “change his race”.

This man has gone all out to try and look like the Korean star, from copying his hair, to buying clothes, to getting plenty of procedures to try and emulate Jimin. He’s gotten multiple rhinoplasty procedures, lip fillers, work on his eyes, jaw shaving, and has had all the fatty tissue removed from his chest, among other things. He’s not afraid to spend the money to look like the idol, and he clearly has the money to spend.

Despite all this, London argues that he doesn’t want to change his race, and that he knows that he will always be Caucasian. However, he still wants to try and look Korean because of his love of Jimin (and Kpop idols more generally). In fact, after getting fillers in his eyes and cheeks to look more “like Jimin”, in the show London comments as he looks at himself that he “looks and feels Korean”, which has questionable implications. It brings London into the uncomfortable category of “Koreaboo”, which involves the idolization of Korean culture based on the idea of Kpop and Kdramas, and the fetishization of Koreans.

While London claims he doesn’t want to “be” Korean, he certainly wants to look it, and he especially wants to look like Jimin, which would most likely disturb the actual singer. The Kpop idol already has to deal with sasaengs that follow him and his group around on airplanes and to hotels, and would probably not appreciate hearing that someone has spent an exorbitant amount of money just to look like him.

The Biggest Announcements from the Nintendo E3 Panel

Nintendo’s E3 panel sent fans through a doozy. Packed full with announcements, Nintendo provided both good news and bad news for excited fans, particularly those of Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing.

During the panel, Nintendo announced a full sequel to 2017’s Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, which came as a surprise to many. There’s not much on the new game beyond the teaser trailer, but it appears to take on a much darker tone than the original, exciting many. Some have excitedly compared the teased darkness to the darker tones of Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, which still stands both as one of the highest rated Zelda games, and one of the most popular.

Banjo-Kazooie was also announced to join the Smash Ultimate game, alongside another hero from Dragon Quest. The DQ hero will be released sometime this summer, while Banjo will come out sometime in the fall.

A teaser for Luigi’s Mansion 3 was released, awing audiences with amazing graphics and revealing a gooey Luigi doppelganger named Gooigi. Gooigi will be available through the co-op playthrough of the game. It’s an interesting turn for the franchise, one that will be sure not to disappoint.

The release date for the adorable remake of Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening was announced to be September 20th. Combining Legend of Zelda and Super Mario, the game has adorable graphics, and will have the option where you can build your own challenging dungeons to play through.

A new trailer for Fire Emblem: Three Houses was released, revealing more of what the storyline is actually about. The new game will take a sharp turn from the older Fire Emblem games, with four different routes that players can choose, and will hopefully see more success than Fire Emblem: Fates. The game is set to be released July 26, months in advanced of the previously set date.

The long-awaited Animal Crossing had its date pushed back to March 20 of next year, disappointing fans that had been eagerly awaiting the game’s release on the Switch. Despite this, the graphics look lovely, and will have many updated features that the previous Animal Crossing game didn’t have.

Last but not least, Nintendo announced the edition of Pokemon plus support for their new games Pokemon: Sword and Pokemon: Shield. Although it is not much of an announcement, the E3 panel comes just a week after the Nintendo Direct reveal of the new Pokemon world, including the reveal of new Galo region pokemon. The game is set to drop November 15.

Director Pushes Back the Release Date for the ‘Sonic’ Film

This past weekend, director Jeff Fowler announced that the release of the Sonic film to February 14, 2020, three months after the originally planned release date.

The announcement brought relief to the art and animation communities, who had been anxiously searching for updates since the heavily demanded redesign of the Sonic character was announced. Messages of happiness from the communities rounded about social media, all of them positive towards the push back date. Even some memes were made, joking about how people could now take out their “hot date” to see Sonic on Valentine’s Day, noting that the release date now falls on the holiday.

Aside from the jokes and happiness, some artists and animators have pointed out the fact that Paramount actually listened to people’s demands to push back the release day and prevent their artists from being “crunched” and overworked, relating it to how the gaming industry, which is notorious for “crunching” their workers, now has no excuse to do so.

Both the movie and gaming industries have a long history in overworking their animators, arguing that the “crunch” was necessary in order to release games and films in a timely manner. Their claims for necessary “crunching” have previously been met with dissatisfaction, but begrudging acceptance, particularly as the animators did not have the legal protection to stand their ground. With the announcement of the push back, however, the “necessity” falls under great question.

The End of Game of Thrones: How a Good Show Can End Badly

*Warning for major Game of Thrones spoilers down below*

Last night was the series finale of Game of Thrones, which brought the end of both the show and a decade-long era. The eight-season show was both the most expensive ever produced, clocking in at around $10 million an episode, and the most globally popular.

However, even as the show ends with record viewership, the final two seasons left both fans of the books and of the show extremely disappointed. Episode after episode left a stream of complaints and critiques on social media, culminating in an explosion against the final two episodes.

Many fans wonder: what went wrong? It could be argued that the directors and writers of the show gained too much liberty once the show passed the point where the books have (hopefully temporarily) stopped. The writers and directors were only given a vague idea of where the author George R.R. Martin wanted to go, and had to fill in the rest while wrapping everything up by season eight. With such a colossal and complex plot to wrap up with little idea of where to go, it becomes easy to cut too many corners and create a disappointing ending.

Another argument for what went wrong can be timing. As the show progressed, the seasons got shorter, while the episodes stayed the same length. The show was attempting to eliminate major antagonists like Cersei Lannister and the Night King too quickly in order to wrap up on a planned schedule, which left fans feeling disappointed, and with the sense that wins against the villains were undeserved. It took four seasons to kill Tywin Lannister. It took six to uproot the Boltons from power and take back Winterfell. All of the sudden the Night King, who had been an important antagonist since season 2, is defeated in one single battle? And Cersei, who had been a mastermind of manipulation to maintain power, is killed by falling rocks? The wins feel completely undeserved.

Finally, and possibly the most important argument of where the show could have gone wrong, was the progression of character arcs. Before season 6, the show had the complex and already establish character arcs to work with, which allowed for incredibly interesting characters that attracted viewers. They may have diverged at certain major points, but the characters still acted how they most likely would have in the books.

Once they went beyond that point, they progressively lost sight of those character arcs. They held on pretty well for the sixth season, started getting shaky for the seventh season, and completely threw the characters away for the final season. Jaime Lannister, who had grown so much throughout the seasons, all the sudden was back to being a selfish person only interested in Cersei. All character development was thrown out just before his death, causing outrage among viewers.

The more notorious case, however, is Daenerys Targaryen. The beloved Mother of Dragons fell quickly into madness, becoming everything she tried to avoid. Which is all fine and well, if it had been properly fleshed out. Rather, her sudden fall to madness was crammed in two episodes, culminating in the final snap and turn to destruction. It was a slap in the face, both for the character and for the viewers. Perhaps if there had been more episodes the develop the madness arc, then there would not have been such an issue as there was. But because it was shoved in the span of a few episodes, it didn’t feel like a deserved fate for Daenerys.

The show overall left a bitter taste in the mouths of many disappointed fans. There have been petitions to change the final season (which is not going to happen), and constant criticisms flowing through social media. People have likened the show’s end to that of How I Met Your Mother and Lost, both of which had very disappointing endings.

Why is the “Beauty Community” So Controversial?

For the past two years, the online Beauty Community has been rocked with wave after wave of new scandals. Racism, petty feuds, scams, and now, sexual predators have torn the community apart, and given it a bad reputation, bringing the community so far from the grace it used to hold. How did this happen? There’s several reasons.

1. Petty Feuds

The Beauty Community has become notorious as-of-late for nasty, and public fights. Beauty gurus will one day decide to air their dirty laundry through passive aggressive, or even outright accusations, against the person they are having problems with on social media, leading to huge dramas and nasty splits. Of the top 11 scandals that happened in the beauty community in 2018, 7 of them were feuds between each other and with makeup brands.

It’s not difficult to tell why these fights suddenly break out on social media. The beauty gurus, in making these posts, are attempting to bring both their fans and other people to their side, against the person they are fighting against. They are attempting to create a mob mentality to worsen the reputation of the person they’re fighting with, possible even ruining their reputation. It just adds to the pettiness.

2. Overload of Sponsored Content

Sponsored content has become a new norm on social media (particularly Youtube following the 2017 “Ad-Pocalypse”), and is often seen in many videos both by big-name Youtubers and small ones. You’ll often find at the mention of a sponsor at the start/end of a video, or even find the video center around the products that the sponsor is trying to promote. The latter has become a problem in the Beauty Community.

Makeup companies and beauty brands have flooded the Beauty Community, asking the gurus to make videos on their products. The amount of sponsored videos has become overwhelming to many viewers, who now complain that most of what the beauty gurus are producing is “unoriginal” and lacks creativity. People have become tired of finding another beauty video just being about a sponsor.

3. Racism and Apology Avoidance

Last year, beauty guru Laura Lee was exposed for having made extremely racist tweets, after she tried calling out Jefree Star for his racist past. The sudden revelation created shock waves throughout both the beauty community and social media, and quickly became one of the top Youtube scandals of 2018.

Lee’s apology video for her racist tweets was short and over-dramatic, drawing even more criticism, and hatred against her. She was not the only beauty guru to have been exposed during the whole ordeal, as others like Nikita Dragon, Manny Mua, James Charles, and others were also exposed for their racist tweets, though they quietly slipped under the rug.

The racism that has become evident in the beauty community has been excused many times by fans wanting to protect their favorite, although this only adds to the resentment against the beauty community. The defense only encourages the gurus to make fake apologies and move on with their lives, especially since their career only seems to get temporarily hurt by it.

James Charles Has Yet Another Controversy

This week has been a big week for Youtube controversies, especially centering around beauty guru James Charles. The 19 year old has come under fire for trying to pressure straight/questioning men into hooking up with him, causing him to lose a record 400,000 subscribers in less than 24 hours- and is still losing more.

The controversy began over a series of caught Coachella pictures of James Charles with aspiring model Gage Gomez, which has led to a fling of odd and “immature” social media behavior by James Charles, and an online battle around the beauty guru community.

The battle has led James Charles’ mentor, Youtuber Tati Westbrook, to come out with a video exposing the 19 year old. She revealed stories of his behavior trying to manipulate straight men, and how she had warned him to get help before such behavior ruined his career.

One story in particular, which took place at Westbrook’s birthday dinner, reveals that James Charles tried manipulating the waiter, and describing the graphically sexual things he wanted to do to the waiter, in front of her friends and family. When she tried to call out his behavior, he simply responded with “I don’t care, I’m a celebrity”.

Westbrook also called out James Charles for trying to manipulate and exploit straight men, then turn around and play himself out to be the victim. She claims that she is fed up with his behavior, after trying to help him “grow out” of his behavior for the last few years.

Reactions from observers are negative, with many saying it’s time to “cancel” James Charles, especially as this controversy isn’t the first for the beauty guru.

Some Highlights from the 2019 Met Gala

Today in New York was the 2019 Met Gala, an event that is not only the place to dress in creative outfits fitting each year’s theme, but also where funds are raised for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Fashion Institute. The Gala also marks the opening of the annual fashion exhibit, last year having been “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination”.

This year, celebrities had outfits designed based on their interpretation of “Camp: Notes on Fashion”.

Lady Gaga: Tonight, the host donned four different outfits on the carpet, beginning with a large billowing pink dress.

Gaga’s 1st outfit
Gaga’s 2nd outfit of the carpet.
Gaga’s 3rd look of the carpet-once again in pink.
Gaga’s 4th and final look, stripped down and black.

Cardi B wore a red dress that flowed out to a large circular trail tipped with feathers. The dress reportedly took 2,000 hours to make.

Cardi B in a dress designed by Thom Browne

Billy Porter, dressed in gold, came down the carpet carried by six shirtless men in a form reminiscent of the Egyptian Sun God Ra.

Billy Porter riding atop his carrier down the carpet.

Lizzo joined the gala dressed head-to-toe in pink, notably matching the pink carpet. What really caught people’s attention was the unveiling of her neon pink hair, after having recently appeared at the GLAAD’s in neon green.

Lizzo showing off her stunningly bright pink look.

Zendaya got to live the fairy tale life for a moment, wearing a replica of the original Disney’s Cinderella dress. She even came with her own Fairy Godmother.

Zendaya posing with the Fairy God Mother, who is pointing a smoking wand at her.

‘Sonic’ Director Agrees to Change Design of Sonic

Earlier this week, the first trailer for the new live-action Sonic was released, leading to a wave of criticism from the internet. The model of Sonic that appeared in the trailer was thought to be much worse than what had been seen in teaser posters, with the classic hedgehog looking like a weird fuzzy nightmare with human teeth.

The new trailer led to floods of memes, particularly surrounding the actor Jim Carrey, who is set to play the antagonist Eggman, saying that he will “carry the whole movie”. It also led to many artists editing the Sonic design to appear much more like his classic model from the games, leading to questions of how one artist can make a better design for a character in seemingly a few hours, when a company spent years making a monstrous design.

Well, the level of criticism seemed to reach the director, who understood what he needed to do loud and clear. Yesterday via Twitter Jeff Fowler announced that they would be changing the Sonic model to make him appear more like his classic features, which he imagines would appease fans and critics.

The announcement comes just six months before the supposed release date of the film, which excites some, but worries others, particularly artists. The media industry is rife with exploitation for artists, especially as these artists cannot unionize and advocate for themselves. The idea that they would have to change the main character’s model in just six months, with no announced push-back date, leaves the very great and dangerous possibility that these artists will be forced to work overtime for little pay in order to fix the design.

It’s not as though the artists can protest for better work conditions, either. With the media industry being so competitive, these artists can face harsh punishment for pushing back, or even get fired, and be replaced by someone willing to work the hard hours. It leaves the artists in a classic position of either doing what they’re forced to, or find themselves without a job.

The announcement to change the Sonic model comes only a week after developers and artists expose the exploitative work conditions in trying to quickly crunch out new content for the popular game Fortnite.

A Character’s Weight Gain in Avengers: Endgame Sparks Controversy

Although these spoilers are minor, if you don’t want to see them, don’t read beyond this point.

Within the last few days, online complaints and protests about how a character who developed PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, has been portrayed in Avengers: Endgame. The complaints come just days after the film’s world premier, and just before the film’s official release date in theaters.

The problem that has caused these complaints is that the character who has developed PTSD is portrayed in a purely comedic light, and is made the butt of the joke. In the film, the character Thor (spoilers) is the one who develops PTSD, and isolates himself following the events of Infinity War. He turns to alcohol as solace, causing him to gain weight, which further adds to the comedic nature, which has sparked the complaints by people.

The fact that the trauma and alcoholism is used as a joke instead for a movie that is destined to be a global box office hit is a low blow. Rather than exploring such topics, they de-legitimize the issues by treating it as a running joke.

The interesting fact is, while they make Thor’s trauma out to be a joke, they at the same time portray another character with PTSD in a serious light. Tony Stark, a.k.a Iron Man, had developed PTSD throughout the films, and it becomes increasingly visible through his reactions and his behavior. Tony is portrayed with his traumas in a serious light, although it may not be immediately noticeable, as it only shines to the forefront at certain points.

The contrast in portrayals creates a paradox for the Marvel company, placing it in a confusing position regarding portraying the nuances of mental health.

Why is 4/20 a Thing in North America?

This past saturday, the “unofficial holiday” known as 4/20 occurred, landing on the first day of Passover and the day before Easter Sunday. Events celebrating the “holiday” appeared throughout the US and Canada, with some events even occurring in the UK and New Zealand.

Those in non-cannabis culture countries who see jokes and mentions of the event may be asking “why is this a holiday?” or even “what does 420 even have to do with weed?”. Well, in order to understand the first question, we need to first look at the second.

The association of 420 and marijuana started in the 1970’s in San Rafael, California. A group of high school students and marijuana enthusiasts, going by the name of “Waldos”, met up at 4:20 pm every afternoon by a statue in order to search for that they believed to be a was a pot plot. They never did find the pot plot, but began using the term “420” as a code for anything pot-related.

How did the term expand beyond just the group of Waldos? One of them became involved with the band Grateful Dead, when they worked with said Waldos father on a real estate deal. The bassist of the Grateful Dead became friends with the Waldo, and heard the 420 slang and took a liking to it, kick-starting its spread throughout the United States.

The “holiday” itself came around starting in 1990, and has grown in subsequent years. The event really bloomed internationally in cannabis culture countries in the early 2010’s, when 420 became a popular meme after the legalization of recreational marijuana in the state of Colorado. Recreational marijuana use already existed in Canada, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Portugal, and Chile, although celebration of the 420 event only existed, and only really continues to exist in Canada.

Marijuana remains almost entirely illegal throughout most of the rest of the world, which keeps celebration of the event mostly in North America. Cultural differences and perceptions of marijuana also locks the event within North America for the most part, although the internet has been spreading awareness of the event throughout the West.

Blackpink Plays at Coachella

This past weekend, Kpop girl band Blackpink played at the first weekend of Coachella, becoming the first Kpop group to play at the musical event. They played a total of 13 songs, and became number one trending on Twitter, drawing thousands of Tweets by fans.

The quartet was given prime line-up for Coachella, appearing on the main stage Day One. They will also perform again this upcoming weekend, the 2nd weekend of Coachella. This performance will also be their first performance in the United States, although they have announced a full US tour for later this year

Blackpink, which is comprised of Jennie, Lisa, Jisoo, and Rose, first debuted in 2016 with their hit single “Boombayah”, and blew up to the highest performing female Kpop group with their mega-hit “Ddu-Du-Ddu-Du” just last year. The group comes from YG Entertainment, a key company in the Kpop industry that has recently come under fire for the Seungri scandal.

The band was personally invited to the line-up by the head of Coachella, and joined alt-rock Hyukoh, avant-garde Jambinai, and Japanese electro-funk trio Perfume, drawing lots of attention from fans.

BTS Cause an Online Storm with their SNL Performance

Lat night, Kpop boy band BTS performed on SNL with host Emma Stone, making them the first ever South Korean artists to appear on the show. Their performance was marked by much anticipation, with great excitement from the fans and plenty of advertising from the show itself.

They performed the day after the release of their new album Map of the Soul: Persona, performing their single “Boy with Luv” and their popular “Mic Drop Remix”, causing quite a storm on all social media platforms, namely Twitter. Fans fawned over the perfect choreography and the live singing, and even some mentioned how one of Rm’s outfits was from “Persona: Intro”.

Their performance on the show brought a jump in SNL viewership ratings that hasn’t happened in years. It also put the show as number one on trending lists, another feat for the show.

BTS’s new video for “Boy with Luv”, featuring Halsey, has already broken 116 million views in two days.

Why I’m Not Excited to See ‘The Rise of Skywalker’

Yesterday morning, Lucasfilms released the newest trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The trailer has brought about quite a bit of excitement for the film, which is expected to be released December 20 of this year. I can’t say I fall into this same boat.

My disinterest in the newest episode, which will wrap up the new sequel trilogy, isn’t because the jedi is a woman, or there is “too much diversity”, whatever that means. It’s more the fact of just how disappointing the trilogy has been up until this point. The new trilogy, when first announced, had so much potential to be good and unique, and actually bring something new to the Star Wars series, but fell short on so many points.

The biggest problem I saw was just how copy-paste the story line for both Episodes 7 and 8 were. Episode 7, which which kicked off the new trilogy, was mostly taken straight from Episode 4, with a sprinkling of Episodes 5 and 6 in there. It was unoriginal, but the production value and potential that existed in each of characters made it forgivable.

Episode 8, however, was unforgivable. It was literally Episode 5 in reverse, with an attempt at an original plot line that had ultimately no purpose other than to build a half-baked “romantic” relationship between Finn and Rose. It was an unnecessary waste of an entire hour.

The other unforgivable aspect was how they turned Rey into a Mary Sue. For those of you who don’t know what that is, a Mary Sue is pretty much a basic female character that is insanely overly powerful, and is instantly an expert at whatever they do. Rey, who had the potential to become a really good jedi, was wasted as she practically became a master jedi in about two weeks, rather than the months and even years Luke spent training. The jedi, canonically throughout both the original and the prequel series, spend years mastering their jedi capabilities, but apparently that’s not actually necessary cause Rey is suddenly just became a master. It ignores everything that’s been established about the jedi until that point.

Episode 8 as a whole was a pain to watch, and the series is bad for wasting so much potential by being unoriginal in order to “appeal” to people and make money. And its not like it’s because they can’t make original plot lines that are good. They 100 percent can, and did, with Rogue One. It’s just pure laziness. They simply want to push out “canon” content that will make immediate money, and don’t quite care how its done.

Marvel Announces New Filipino Superhero

Today Marvel revealed an exclusive cover featuring the new superhero Wave from the Philippines, who will join the Agents of Atlas team in the upcoming crossover War of Realms: New Agents of Atlas.

Director and comic writer Greg Pak first revealed Wave on Twitter back in February, and then posted a first photo of what she looks like March 8. Artist Mico Suayan, who did the new cover for “War of Realms” Issue 1, revealed earlier today that he based the image of Wave on the new cover off of Filipina actress Nadine Lustre, sparking rumors of whether or not she will portray her in possible future adaptations.

Wave, whose alter-ego is Pearl Pangan, wields two long swords based off the Filipino kampilan, the weapons of the ancient hero Lapu-Lapu. She is part of a new set of Asian superheroes that will appear in the new storyline, which will be set in Asia.

The new issue will be released in May, though preorders for the comic have been opened up. The reveal has drawn overwhelmingly positive reactions from fans, particularly from the Filipino community.

Government Crackdowns on Chinese Pop

Chinese-Pop, despite its popularity within China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, is rarely though of in the rest of the world. The genre lies continually in the shadows of the longstanding J-Pop, and the now booming K-Pop industries, although it has in recent years drawn more attention.

C-Pop has drawn an increasing amount of attention in recent years as it has come under the eye of government scrutiny for its “moral divergence”. The government, under Xi Jinping’s regime, has pushed for a return to more traditional Confucian morals, which argues a loyalty to hierarchy, and is used as a rejection of Western influence, and has recently turned its attention towards “cleansing” Chinese popular culture.

Back in January of 2018, the Chinese media regulator came out with an edict that said Chinese TV shows “should not feature actors with tattoos (or depict) hip hop culture, sub-culture and immoral culture,” in essence bringing the growing heyday of Chinese hip hop to a grinding halt. Hip Hop, which originated in the urban black population in the US, is a prime target for the “moral straightening” program that the Chinese government is aiming to implement, as it exists as the epitome of Western influence

Another, more recent possible act by the government, was the blurring of men’s pierced ears in January 2019. Both actors and C-Pop singers alike are now appearing on TV with blurred earlobes, which almost immediately drew criticisms from fans. The fans argued that the blurring of earrings, which was never explicitly implemented by the government (although most likely heavily suggested) reinforced the traditional, outdated standards of beauty for men and women.

In the regions outside of the major cities, the move to blur the earrings for the most part seems to have support, as traditional beliefs of hierarchy and gender still dominate. Men wearing earrings, to the rural population, was seen as “degrading” to the social status and strength of men.

The government is suspected with having a heavy hand in the decision to blur the earrings, as it would be another feature of the “moral straightening” of Chinese pop culture, and would function as a rejection again of Western culture.