Are Koreans Color Struck?

So here is a post that you will not see on any of my other sites, but is kinda a hot topic for many out there.  The notion of being color struck when looking for love has been around for a long time.  Many get upset with Black men who are in the public eye that they feel are color struck, and many hear stories of Koreans being the same way.  So let’s examine what it means to be “color struck” and what my experience has been in dealing with Koreans in this regard.

Meaning of Color Struck

What I mean when I say color stuck is that there is a certain skin color that someone feels is more desirable or attractive than other skin colors.  For instance, there are some Black men who date Black women, but only ones with lighter skin.  Or some will look at Terrance Howard’s choices when it has come to dating and marriage and would say that “he has a type”.  Some Spanish speaking countries have been accused of being color struck by only showing models with a light brown skin color as being beautiful and not showing of women with darker skin tones as being beautiful.   So with that definition in mind, is Korea a color struck culture?

Korean Can Be Color Struck

The truth is Koreans are not all one skin tone.  There are Koreans that have a darker complexion that what you are used to seeing.  And maybe that’s the problem right there. Korean is known to have almost a cookie cutter standard of beauty.  Be as thin and as light as possible.   Just think of Korean K-Pop girl groups for a minute.  How many of these girls do you remember having a darker skin tone?  How many of them have appeared in photos that looked Photoshopped to make their skin look lighter?  Or how many Korean beauty treatments have you seen that are said to be designed to balance out the skin tone, which seems to lighten the skin tone in most cases?

To say that life in Korean culture as someone with darker skin can be a challenge can be an understatement.  For instance, it’s well known that there are a number of Black people who make up the foreign population in Korea.  However, Black women often have a hard time finding makeup that will work for them since the makeup there is typically only for women with lighter skin.  Korean American culture has been known for having “interesting” views on skin color and keeping the skin color one has as balanced as possible.  Some Korean American women I’ve met have even gone to wearing a glove on their left hand while driving, in part to make sure that their left hand doesn’t get darker than their right hand.  Perhaps the saddest thing I’ve seen in dealing with this issue is talking to a young Korean man who told me that “Asian women with darker skin simply aren’t attractive”.

Where Being Color Struck Comes From

For some, this is a deep rooted issue that goes back to the days of Korean dynasties.  It’s been said that during that time, the wealthy and royalty were indoors most of the time.  As a result, there was little exposure to sunlight and many had paler skin.  However, poorer people worked in the fields, thus having darker skin.  The association of lighter skin to wealth and beauty seemed to be formed then.  In the time after the Korean war when Black men marrying Korean women was seen as a “problem” to some, Korean parents were sometimes told to only allow their daughters to marry White men, in part because “their grandchildren would have lighter skin and be treated better by people”.  This helped to create a stigma towards Koreans who did date Black people or people with darker skin of other ethnic groups.  However, it is important to keep one key thought in mind.

Not All Koreans Are Color Struck

While some judge all Koreans as looking down on people with darker skin, that simply isn’t true. Many Koreans don’t think twice about the skin color of a potential partner.  They’re focused on how they will be treated in the relationship.  And as far as makeup goes, some report that makeup is finally being sold in Korea that is designed for women of darker skin tones.  What about my experience in dealing with Koreans as a Black man with dark skin?  While some people are idiots, most are cool and treat me as a human being.  Once they hear me speaking Korean, or respecting their culture, I’m treated just fine.   No one had a problem trying to set me up with a date, with some telling me that there were plenty of areas where women preferred Black men with darker skin.  And as for Korean men, I’ve met a lot of them who actually like Black and Hispanic women.  When looking at their history of who they dated and who they have been openly attracted to, they are anything but color stuck.

Korean culture can do some racist things and some things that are very insensitive.  But the entire culture or population isn’t that way at all.  Sometimes you have to dig a little deeper to find the root cause of why something happens or why you’re being lied to.  Take it from me, you can find friends and love in Korean culture as a person with dark skin.  While it may not be the optics that  you see, Korean culture probably isn’t as color struck as you’ve been lead to believe.

Welcome to KBOP


Welcome to my new site.  You may have seen some of my post before at and be wondering, “why start a new site?”  The reason for this site is that answers a lot of the questions that people have asked me over the years about Korean life and culture.  However, it doesn’t always answer how I personally feel or some of the things that I’ve been through.  Over the past 15 years, my points of view on life have been molded by by being a Black man in Korean/Korean American culture. Because of this, I can better understand multiple sides of issues that I otherwise would not be able to understand or see without my time spent studying Korean language and culture.

My experiences and viewpoints are therefore different than what you may see from other people in the media.  That is the point of My KBOP and what you can expect to see on this site.  So what does KBOP mean anyway?  It stands for my Korean and Black Oriented Perspective.  This site is where you will gain more insights about how Ahn Daewoong (안대웅) came to by, why I am a waygookin at all times and what others and I have experienced.  I’ll give you the good, the bad and the ugly about Korean/Korean American culture from my point of view.  Be sure to follow along as I explain things and take you on my journey as a Black man in a Korean world.