‘So white and pure’: ‘Singles Inferno’ cast members’ beauty standards criticized by viewers

Netflix Reality Show Singles Inferno

South Korean dating show “Singles Inferno” has sparked online criticism over some of the cast members’ allegedly shallow beauty standards.

About the show: The hit Netflix reality series, which has hooked viewers from around the world since its first two episodes were released on Dec. 18, features attractive singles looking for love on a deserted island, as NextShark previously reported.

  • 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.” 

Trouble in paradise: Viewers of the series took to social media to condemn the contestants’ comments that seem to place “pure white” skin on a pedestal. 

  • “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.”

Featured Image via Netflix Korea / “Single’s Inferno”

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