Korean American solo artist Jessi is facing criticism over blocking a fan on social media.
Jessi has become an icon in the K-Pop industry, standing out from the crowd. While she is beloved by many now, she has not been free from criticism.
Since her comeback in 2016, she has been criticized, particularly due to her notable plastic surgery. While it’s the norm in Korea to undergo plastic surgery, especially in the entertainment industry, Jessi was criticized due to her obvious differences. Yet, she proudly owned it, although some netizens still are upset over the changes.
I like how I am now because I’ve tried all I wanted to try and got rid of it. I like me now. I also know that I can’t be perfect.
Likewise, she has been criticized for being “loud,” speaking her mind, and even how she dresses. Jessi certainly doesn’t fit the stereotypical idol image, but that’s what makes her unique, and she always has the best responses when people come at her for these things.
I know you’re not supposed to do this in Korea. But I’m ready to take the criticism. I believe it’s right for a woman to have confidence in her body. If you’re confident, you can show it off. I wish all women could be able to do everything they want.
A reoccurring criticism against Jessi, though, is that she is “blackfishing.”
“Blackfishing” is a term coined by journalist Wanna Thompson in 2018. It is essentially when a non-black person attempts to present themselves as racially ambiguous, normally black, usually to profit off of it somehow. For example, influencers and non-black rappers are often guilty parties.
Blackfishing is a type of interpersonal racism that depicts Black people as stereotypes and portrays Black culture as a product.
— Medical News Today
Another way in that Jessi doesn’t fit the K-Pop idol image is her skin complexion. She consistently has a tanned appearance that, while normal for the average Korean, doesn’t fit the “beauty standards,” especially in the entertainment industry. Unfortunately, many tanned idols feel shamed by colorist remarks to be lighter and even participate in eating certain diets or skincare routines to get a lighter complexion to fit that image.
Even those idols who proudly maintain their natural complexion became the victim of whitewashing by companies who edit their images and even their own fansites. So, it creates a false idea for fans of what the idol actually looks like.
On the other hand, Jessi proudly rocks the tanned look and previously confessed she enjoys tanning. Yet, extra criticism arises every time she travels abroad, goes on vacation, etc., spending an extended period of time outside as her skin tans more.
I love the sun. I never knew that … enjoying the sun, going on vacation, and putting on tanning oil and being tan, liking to have some Vitamin C and D is a bad thing…
So, recently, she posted a series of photos of herself on vacation with “bestie” Liz (@dope.barbiie on Instagram), and she truly was rocking that sunkissed look!
The comment section was filled with positive comments, too, hyping her up.
Yet, some of the photos were met with some raised eyebrows. Netizens questioned her complexion. And one has now revealed that Jessi allegedly blocked their younger sibling as a result.
Jessi blocked my little sister!
Hawa (@lussurr on TikTok) shared a video to TikTok, revealing how her 15-year-old sister, a self-proclaimed fan of Jessi, got blocked by the rapper. The younger sister had commented on one of the recent vacation posts, mentioning that Jessi looked darker.
So, this is Jessi’s latest post, and my sister commented down below, saying, ‘Oh, you look darker than usual,’ which, yeah, she does…
Shortly after hawa’s sister commented, she was blocked. So, now when she goes to view Jessi’s Instagram profile, it reads, “user not found.”
Tell me why the user [is] suddenly not found. The funniest part about it is that my sister is a big fan of Jessi. Well, at least she got noticed by her like…
The video has gone viral on TikTok in just a day. At the time of writing, it has 279.7K views.
Many agree with hawa that Jessi should not have taken such a drastic measure and blocked a fan over that comment. So, netizens are calling out Jessi, tagging her.
Yet, there are still many defending Jessi. Those feel that the lighting was to blame for making Jessi’s appearance look darker than usual because she looks lighter in other photos from the same trip.
Others pointed out that because Jessi has historically gotten hurtful comments regarding her tanned complexion, she may be sensitive to it. So, she may have interpreted it negatively.
Similarly, during promotions for “What Type of X” last year, Jessi had noticed many people accused her of blackfishing since she dyed her hair red for her new concept. She recalled being accused of “wanting to be white” when she had blonde hair as well. She added, “If you don’t like me, don’t watch me. I don’t care.”
So, Jessi has lots of experience dealing with negative comments, and one way she has dealt with it is through blocking netizens.
You guys are always going to have something bad to say about me, but if you don’t like me, get off my Instagram, please, I beg you.
Jessi has not released a statement regarding the recent controversy. However, since hawa’s video went viral on TikTok, she removed the post in question.
Read a previous response from Jessi over blackfishing accusations below: