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'Get it Beauty' Is Criticized For Colorism After Honey Lee Black Face Photo

BY Adrienne Stanley | Aug 20, 2015 08:58 AM EDT

OnStyle's "Get It Beauty" is facing criticism from domestic audiences, following their depiction of Honey Lee (Lee Ha Nui) in an edited black face photo. While the actress herself did not don black face, she was present for the segment which questioned what the former Miss Korea would look like if she had dark skin. 

During her appearance on "Get It Beauty," the star can be seen laughing at the altered image. "It's too much," said Lee, during the broadcast. 

While her participation in the segment does not directly reflect the views of the actress, it is another example of the continuous use of inappropriate imagery like black face, in Korean entertainment. 

The use of the photo and humorous reaction to the concept of darker skin could be perceived as examples of colorism and racism. Colorism, a term which refers to discrimination and preferential treatment of individuals based on the color of their skin, continues to have a presence on Korean variety shows. 

The questionable segment gained further attention when photos from the taping were published by the Korean outlet News24. In the article titled, "What if Honey Lee Was Black,"  the reporter describes the segment which focused on skin care during the summer. 

According to the article, the actress was present on the show to provide tips on skincare following sun exposure. The darkened photo was used as an instructional tool, as Lee answered quiz questions about sunscreen and sun exposure. However, the segment included repeated jokes about Black skin and  analogies to American pop star Beyonce were made by the emcee of the program, making the use of the photo less appropriate. 

In addition to the focus on summer skincare, Honey Lee provided her dietary tips and gave viewers insight into how she maintains her beautiful image. 

What are your thoughts on colorism? Do you think segments like these are acceptable as Korean entertainment continues to reach audiences beyond its borders? 

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About the writer: Adrienne Stanley is a contributing editor for KDramaStars. She is also a contributing writer for KpopStarz, MTV Iggy, Viki and CJ Entertainment's KCON blog. Her passions include a love of K-pop and Asian drama. When she is not writing, she is hanging out on Twitter (@retrogirladdy).

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