Han Hyun-Min is a 17-year-old Korean-Nigerian model who has been making waves in the South Korean fashion scene.
The young talent, who made his modeling debut last year, revealed one of his fears in a recent interview with local entertainment talk show “Happy Together.”
Speaking to a panel of interviewers, Han said that he has become afraid of passing through immigration at airports.
He explained that his “foreign-looking” appearance and inability to speak English has led to some uncomfortable situations while going through immigration.
“I am bound to look suspicious. People expect me to have a foreign passport and not a Korean passport. They do this when they see my passport: (mimicking suspicious immigration officer) Is he really Korean?”
He narrated that based on his looks, he gets asked questions in English.
“Then they ask me questions. But I don’t speak English, so it makes me look suspicious.”
He then spoke of a harrowing incident in which he was not allowed to go and immigration officials held him for two hours.
“One time, I was on my way home (to Korea) from England. They would not let me go through immigration because I didn’t speak English. I was held for two hours. I was only released after I called my mom.”
Being the first dark-skinned talent to ever walk the local catwalks, Han faced his share of discrimination early in his career as a model as well.
When he was starting out, he shared that designers would tell him that his skin color wasn’t appropriate for them. He also keeps on being spoken to in English by industry people despite already having known that he’s Korean.
Born to a Korean mom and Nigerian dad, Han may seem like a foreigner to his compatriots due to his dark skin, but he is definitely a Korean.
In order to fulfill his dreams of making it into the international fashion world someday, Han keeps his focus on his work while ignoring the negativity he receives from other people.