South Korean beauty blogger raises ire of Chinese netizens after posting Korean Hanbok video
Published: Jan 06, 2021 11:28 AM

South Korean beauty guru Pony (Park Hye-min) (middle) dresses in white dress with a white bag. Photo: IC

World famous South Korean beauty guru Pony (Park Hye-min) published her first New Year make-up tutorial on Friday. Taking the traditional Korean Hanbok and its matching make-up as its theme, the video has garnered criticism from Chinese netizens who claim that the beauty influencer was using a traditional Chinese hairpin in the video showcasing Korean culture. 

Titled "Hello, 2021. Hello, Hanbok!" Pony's more than 10-minute-long tutorial shows her wearing a Hanbok and a delicately designed hairpin decorated with white flowers and pearls in her hair. The make-up artist walks fans through the process of transforming her bare face to a beautiful soft makeup look by showing them the detailed steps and cosmetic products to use. Like many of Pony's previous videos, her tutorial has proved massively popular, earning nearly 200,000 views on YouTube as of Tuesday. 

Despite some showing their appreciation by commenting on her pretty makeup as well as her professional skills, some other viewers claimed that Pony's white flower and pearl hairpin was actually a type of traditional Chinese hair accessory known as zan.  

"Pony brought Chinese hairpins to promote the Handbok look, I like it, Chinese hairpins are so pretty," posted a netizen under the YouTube video.  

"The whole look is so fresh and soft with the white Hanbok and delicate Chinese zan, the oriental beauty," said another. 

However, Pony's choice of using the hair accessory in her Hanbok look provoked a different interpretation in China, as some netizens criticized her for "borrowing" Chinese culture. 

"She can hardly deny that this [hairpin] is not from China, even if this isn't a 'Chinese' hairpin, it was made in China anyway," one netizen posted on Douban, a Chinese review site, along with a screenshot to show the same hairpin being sold on China's major e-commerce platform Taobao. 

"Using Chinese culture to promote a Korean look? Are you looking for a fight or what?" posted by a netizen on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo. 

It is apparent that this is a continuation of the cultural "copying" dispute that has been bouncing back and forth between China and South Korean netizens in recent months, which has included incidents of South Korean netizens accusing a Chinese TV drama of copying the traditional Korean Lantern festival and another one in which Chinese netizens fought back against South Korean netizens' accusation that a Chinese comic artist had stolen the design of the Korean Hanbok in one of his drawings. 

As an influential beauty blogger, Pony has a large fan base in China. Her official account on Bilibili, China's YouTube-like streaming platform, has nearly 100,0000 followers. Such a large following can be a major source of income for vloggers, and also demonstrates their popularity, which can attract more commercial opportunities.  

"Sister, you have a lot of fans China, made a lot of money there, I think we deserve a clarification from you," a netizen posted on Douban, urging Pony to make a statement. 

"She's a fake? I saw this [video] on YouTube, but has anyone ever seen it on Bilibili?" posted another on Sina Weibo, questioning whether Pony published the controversial video on the Chinese media platform.

Until now, the beauty blogger has not responded to the issue, while the comment area on her official Sina Weibo account has been turned off.