I used skin lightening cream that stung my face because I thought I was too brown for K-pop
South Korea K-Pop band Red Velvet. Credit: SM Entertainment
An alternative to Western pop culture
I soon found that there was little room for dark-skinned Sri Lankan girls in Korean beauty standards.
I had swapped the white-washed beauty standards I’d grown up with for yet another unachievable goal.
Gabrielle says Korean beauty standards were impossible to achieve as a brown girl. Source: AAP
The K-pop ideal
I thought, one day I’d get there. One day I could become the person I wanted to be. But as the years passed by, and I went to concerts, bought makeup, albums, and the K-fashion, I was never really satisfied when I caught glimpses of myself in the mirror.
Fighting a losing battle
When she outgrew her obsession with K-Pop, Gabriella says she started accepting her brown skin. Source: SBS
It means that as young people, our identities are ever-changing. It means that sometimes I think I’m gorgeous, and sometimes I can’t imagine being loved. And that both of those existences at the same time are okay.