Since 2020, Los Angeles-based model Allissa Shin has been on the receiving end of negative criticism online simply for having an uncanny resemblance to Rosé of K-pop group Blackpink.
The Korean American social media influencer tells NextShark that the online vitriol started after she joined a Facebook group called Subtle Asian Dating (SAD) per the recommendation of her friend.
“Being bullied for my race led me to try to fit in, which resulted in me being ashamed of being Korean and surrounding myself with people of other racial groups,” she says. “In high school, I met a friend who made me realize that I should get more in touch with my ethnicity.”
The friend first encouraged her to join the Facebook group Subtle Asian Traits, an online community where Asians can find topics they relate to, before then suggesting its spin-off group SAD.
In the group, members “auction” single individuals to find friends and prospective dates by sharing photos along with other details.
“I had no idea what it was because I had never even known Facebook groups like this existed, so I left it up to her,” Shin says. “It quickly went viral and the post was flooded with only BlackPink Rosé comments. Someone then took this to Twitter and some Blackpink fan accounts said that I was ‘copying’ Rosé. That’s how it all started.”
Shin has previously responded to accusations of “copying” Rosé via Instagram stories. She once wrote that while she personally did not see the resemblance between herself and the singer, she was “genuinely glad” if people thought otherwise.
“What I do mind is when people are being toxic and making false accusations,” she adds. “I am not going to change my hair, make-up, or fashion because you are speculating that I am trying to look like Rosé.”
Shin says she has recently tried to ignore the hateful comments from those who accused her of copying the looks of their idol.
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“With everything going on at such terrible timing, it exacerbated my mental health immensely,” she says. “But over the years, I got the help that I needed and realized that I am stronger than I thought.”
According to Shin, the controversy “broke her heart” when it started to affect her “friends, loved ones, and even my supporters.”
On March 18, she took to Instagram to share that she and her loved ones have recently been targeted by threats of violence online. She shared several screenshots sent in by a follower, a young girl who Shin says is neurodivergent, depicting a disturbing conversation between the girl and an anonymous user. The anonymous user appears to have coerced the girl into harming herself in exchange for Shin’s personal address.
“[The girl] did this because she knew I had trouble finding who doxxed me and wanted to help me by confirming if this person was bluffing first,” Shin says. The girl also confessed how tough the ordeal was for her, as she had pre-existing thoughts of self-harm. She told Shin that she plans to go back to therapy.
“I’m grateful for her trying to help me, but at the same time, it deeply saddens me that she went to these lengths to do so,” she shares. “I messaged her words of support, but could not respond to her further.”
More screenshots show another anonymous user claiming to have stabbed Shin after following her through an airport. The user appears to have sent one of Shin’s followers graphic images as “proof” of the stabbing, prompting Shin to clarify on her Instagram Story that she had not been injured.
Shin says that public reactions to her detailed account of the incident were mixed, as she has received “supportive messages from very kind people and others who took this to Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube to misquote me and spread the wrong information.”
“Many have asked why I have not spoken up earlier, stating that it was strange and sudden,” she explains. “While it is because I now have the strength to, it is mostly because they threatened not only me but the people I love.”
Shin says she has faced death threats and break-ins in the past and calling the police did not help.
“Recently though, the police department has taken on my most recent case, and the detectives are investigating right now – I cannot reveal any leads at the moment,” she notes. “I am working on taking the appropriate legal action to handle this in a logical manner.”
The threats to her safety and her loved ones have caused Shin to be more cautious about the places she visits and the people she surrounds herself with.
“I seldom step outside and do not visit the places I used to frequent anymore like my favorite restaurants or hotels,” she says. “I do not see my friends anymore because I don’t know who to trust at the moment, so that has been a huge change in my social life.”
Shin notes that while the recent incidents have been challenging, she is optimistic that she will be able to adapt.
“I was much younger when this all started and if I’m being honest, it made me feel weak and hopeless. As I got older and grew as a person – with the support of the people who were defending me – it has given me more strength and the ability to stand my ground.”