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- The show’s female contestants are influencer Song Ji-a, entrepreneur Kang So-yeon, model An Yea-won and newcomer Shin Ji-yeon.
- Meanwhile, the male contestants include fitness buff Moon Se-hoon, personal trainer Kim Hyeon-joong, entrepreneurs Oh Jin-taek and Kim Jun-sik and K-pop artist Choi Si-hun.
- Controversy erupted following the first episode in which some contestants made comments that international viewers found to be “politically incorrect.”
- In their formal introductions, these contestants confidently proclaim how good-looking they are and appear to be dismissive of people who are not their type.
- Oh, who describes himself as being “a bit of a perfectionist,” stated that “I’m sexy, so I want to be with a sexy woman.”
- Song, who describes herself as “sexy” and “cute,” said none of the other girls on the show could beat her.
- After seeing Shin for the first time, Moon commented that “she seemed so white and pure.”
- In a later episode, Choi also praised Shin, noting that she was his type because “I like people who have light skin.”
- “Watching #SinglesInferno and their obsession with ‘pure white’ skin is a bit unsettling,” one Twitter user wrote.
- “I’m also side eyeing the guy who said he likes Ji-yeon because her skin is so white and pure,” another user commented.
- “The obsession these men have with the white and pale innocent face and being skinny is actually sick like you’re missing so many things,” said another.
- Some users, however, acknowledged that the contestants’ comments could be attributed to Korea’s culture and standards of beauty.
- “It’s so weird watching single inferno and hearing them talk about skin color, light skin = pure and white .. difference in culture I guess but wondering what they think about black skin lol,” observed one viewer.
- Korea’s preference for pale skin “dates back thousands of years” and “predates Western influence on the country,” according to The Korea Herald.
- “American reality shows do basically the same thing lol,” a viewer pointed out. “All shows like this are shallow af. It’s why people watch trash reality tv not for substance and political correctness.”