Diversity in Kpop: Lee Michelle


leewyToday’s post is related to one particular problem that has faced Korea for awhile. That being the issue of skin tones. Currently lighter skin is still looked up to meanwhile darker skin tones are kinda looked down on.  What set it in motion is beyond me.  Although obviously not everyone thinks that way, a significant enough amount of people still do which makes it difficult for those with darker complexion. The artist I am showcasing today had to deal with such things. Her name is Lee Michelle

She was born and raised in Paju, Korea. She is biracial, born to a Korean mother and an African American father. Throughout her life Michelle and her sister have had to deal with discrimination and bullying. Why? Because she stood out in a country that is still very homogeneous. A country where many conform to a set of standards including particular types of beauty. Now imagine how difficult it would be when no matter how hard you try to meet said standards you fail and are looked at as an outsider because you can’t really change the physical appearance you where born with. It must be even more frustrating for Lee Michelle because she IS Korean. She has lived in Korea all her life and it is all she knows. Yet people gave her a hard time and would regularly confuse her for a foreigner.

With that said I don’t think all that hardship went to waste. I feel it was honed and used in her debut single,Without You. The song tackles these frustrations she had to cope with. I found it to be quite impactful. The way she transitions back and fourth from tender to Soulful vocals is something to bare witness to. You can really feel the raw emotion behind it all. If you are curious what the lyrics are then don’t fret because it has captions so turn them on.

Despite those problems I mentioned she has managed to make a few of songs and do a couple of collaborations. Hopefully she continues down this road and keeps pursuing her passion. In doing so I think she will help people realize that there are more types of beauty out there. ^_^



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