In the Korean entertainment industry, fair skin is considered ideal, but these K-Celebs with a naturally tan complexion prove that you don’t have to be pale to be beautiful, or successful.
1. TWICE’s Tzuyu
Fans consider Tzuyu to be one of TWICE’s most gorgeous members. She rocks her naturally tanned skin!
2. AOA’s Seolhyun
In 2017, Seolhyun opened up about her tanned complexion while filming Three Meals A Day. She said that, in the past, she believed that women needed to be pale and thin to be beautiful. People used to tell her to lose weight and wear lighter makeup. She feared her darker skin tone would affect her singing and modeling careers, but fans fell in love with her complexion!
3. Lee Michelle
Biracial singer Lee Michelle was born to a Korean mother and an African-American father. Her song “Without You” talks about how she overcame discrimination to follow her dreams.
4. Girl’s Day’s Hyeri
In addition to having a successful singing and acting career, Hyeri has used her gorgeous, tan image to advertise with brands such as Puma and Bohae.
5. BTS’s RM
When BTS debuted, many fans wondered whether RM was biracial due to the color of his skin. RM is 100% South Korean, but he has embraced his natural tan and become a popular member of one of the most successful boy groups in K-Pop history.
6. Girls’ Generation’s Sooyoung
During a 2013 interview with Wide Entertainment News, Sooyoung said that although she is sometimes envious of those with brighter skin, she likes her naturally tan skin tone. So do her fans!
7. Yoon Mirae
During an interview with the French publication Liberation, Mirae talked about her struggles as a biracial woman. In the US, she said she wasn’t “black enough” and in Korea she was called a “Yankee”. Growing up, she endured discrimination and constant stares. The first label she signed with asked her to hide her African American father’s heritage. Later, when African American music was the trend, people were more accepting of her darker complexion. Mirae channeled her frustration and anger into her music.
8. EXO’s Kai
Kai once recounted in an interview how SM Entertainment designated him the “member in charge of sexiness”, despite his initial protests. Kai’s success, both as a singer and as a heartthrob, has proven that his natural tan is indeed sexy!
9. Girls’ Generation’s Yuri
Fans, friends, and fellow idols affectionately nicknamed Yuri “Black Pearl” after her beautiful skin tone.
10. BLACKPINK’s Jennie
People often mistake Jennie for being multiracial due, in part, to her gorgeous, tanned skin. Her complexion is just ones of her many attractive attributes!
11. MAMAMOO’s Hwasa
From her complexion to her curves, Hwasa rocks her ethnic looks like the queen she is! Her unique looks have earned her fans both nationally and internationally.
American-born rapper Jessi has never been one for conventionality, so it’s no surprise that she has embraced her dark complexion as a key part of her signature image. In fact, she has drawn even more attention to her dark skin tone by bleaching her hair blonde!
13. SISTAR’s HYOLYN
Since debuting in 2010, HYOLYN has been criticized by the Korean media for her supposed lack of beauty, but she has defied critics by becoming a beloved, tanned icon!
14. VIXX’s N
For a long time, N wasn’t comfortable in his own skin, but nowadays he has embraced his natural complexion and tries to match it, rather than lighten it with makeup. He talked about his newfound love for his skin during an episode of OnStyle’s Lipstick Prince.
15. Lee Hyori
Many consider Lee Hyori a pioneer for the representation of natural tan in Korean pop culture. Her success opened the doors for many of the tanned idols on this list.
16. Moon Gabi
Model Moon Gabi had worked quietly as a model since her win at the Miss World Bikini competition in 2011, but became a viral sensation after appearing on tvN‘s Talkmon. Netizens fell in love with her gorgeous figure and distinct look. Many people think she comes from a multi-heritage due to her darker skin tone, but she actually gets it from her dark-skinned Korean father!
17. Han Hyun Min
Korea’s first black model, Han Hyun Min, rose through the fashion world despite the racism he encountered. As the child of a Nigerian father and a Korean mother, he was bullied while growing up in Korea. However, he eventually found refuge in fashion and has strutted his way down the catwalk of success.