A photo of Oli London during an interview.

Oli London

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Updated Apr 13, 2023 at 07:01PM EDT by Zach.

Added Apr 13, 2023 at 03:15PM EDT by Phillip Hamilton.

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Oli London is a controversial English social media influencer who gained notable virality starting in late 2018 for undergoing multiple cosmetic surgeries to resemble K-pop singer Jimin from BTS and identifying as Korean, sparking backlash and discussions about the idea of being transracial. In October 2022, London announced that he was detransitioning after previously announcing he was non-binary and began speaking out against "gender ideology," garnering support from some more conservative online personalities.

Online History

Surgeries to Resemble Jimin

Oli London first became the subject of discussion in late 2018 for undergoing multiple surgeries to resemble Jimin from BTS. On October 14th, 2018, the truly YouTube[1] channel, formerly Barcroft TV, posted a video about London's pursuit to look like Jimin, garnering over 2.3 million views in just over four years (shown below). On October 5th, 2018, the Daily Mail[2] published an article about London's pursuit to look more like Jimin, writing that at the time he'd undergone a nose job, jawline surgery and silicone chin implant to resemble him.

As London continued to go viral for his surgeries, he launched his own K-pop career. On February 9th, 2019, London posted his premiere music video for his song "Perfection" to YouTube,[3] garnering over 2.5 million views in four years (shown below, left). He has released 12 songs to the OliLondonVevo YouTube[6] channel since. On September 12th, he featured in another video for Barcroft TV[4] about a jawline surgery, garnering over 1.2 million views in four years (shown below, right). On September 17th he released another music video to YouTube,[5] "Butterfly," garnering over 540,000 views in the same rough span of time.

On November 13th, 2019, AllKPop[7] reported that London appeared on an episode of the botched plastic surgery show Botched (shown below, left). On January 9th, 2020, London appeared on Dr. Phil to discuss his surgeries (shown below, right).

Transracial, Non-Binary Identity

On June 18th, 2021, London made a post to Twitter[8] sharing an original flag design, writing, "This is my new official flag for being a non-binary person who identifies as Korean. Thank you for the overwhelming support it was so hard for me to come out as Them/they/kor/ean 🏳️‍🌈⚧" (shown below).

Oli London @OliLondonTV This is my new official flag for being a non-binary person who identifies as Korean. Thank you for the overwhelming support it was so hard for me to come out as Them/they/kor/ean #olilondon #nonbinary H 5:46 PM Jun 18, 2021. Twitter for iPhone III

The tweet gained over 22,000 quote-retweets and sparked backlash from many, who called the idea of identifying as Korean offensive. On June 30th, the New York Post[9] reported that London received death threats over the claims. On July 1st, London was interviewed by GBNews about the identity, criticizing the "woke mob" for "attacking" him for coming out as Korean (shown below). On July 2nd, Insider[10] reported that Rachel Dolezal, who also claims to be transracial, defended London.

On November 5th, 2021, London released a music video cover of BTS' 'Butter', garnering over 5.7 million views in just over a year (shown below).

2022 Korean Trans Woman Identity,

Throughout 2022, London identified as a Korean trans woman and decided to get surgeries to look more like Rose from the K-pop group Blackpink. [11] London discussed his identity in an interview with Channel 4, posted to YouTube on May 2nd, 2022 (shown below). London posted numerous videos to his TikTok[12] account throughout the year identifying as a Korean woman.

2022 Detransition Announcement, Criticism Of "Gender Ideology"

On October 14th, 2022, after six months of living as a Korean woman, London told E! News[13] that he was detransitioning back to male and reverting to he/him pronouns. That day, he posted a video to YouTube discussing his decision to detransition, garnering over 138,000 views in six months (shown below). In the video, he thanks people for respecting his pronouns as a Korean woman and says he's canceled several surgeries, including a penis reduction surgery. He also tells young people who think about transitioning to be careful, as the surgeries are sometimes irreversible.

Throughout 2023, London began talking against what he calls "gender ideology" that might lead some young people to transition. He also announced the release of his memoir "Detransition." In February 2023, London appeared on Newsmax (shown below, left). In March, he appeared on Fox Business to discuss Dylan Mulvaney partnering with brands, which he opposes (shown below, right). On April 9th, he talked to right-wing media outlet BlazeTV about detransitioning.[19]

Online Presence

Oli London is active on TikTok[15] @olilondon, YouTube[16] @OliLondon and Instagram[17] at londonoli and Twitter[18] @OliLondonTV.

Personal Life

According to an interview with Vice,[14] Oli London first became interested in Korean culture after visiting Korea to teach English in 2013, undergoing a rhinoplasty that same year. He became a fan of BTS, particularly the member Jimin.

Search Interest

External References

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