Unless you’re a beauty pageant junkie, you might not know who Imelda Shweighart is. But ICYMI, the ex-Miss Earth Philippines’ name is trending for all the wrong reasons. Imelda is in hot water for sharing her sentiments about K-pop in a series of Facebook posts. Here’s what happened.
Where it all started
Are Filipinos losing their identities because of K-pop? #OpinyonMoShareMo
— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) November 23, 2020
It all started when Imelda wrote in a Facebook post:
“I hate K-pop.
Filipinos are losing their identity trying to be like Koreans. Konting pride, please?
Di hamak na mas magaling namang mag-English mga Pinoy kesa Korean. Kala ko ba Chinese nananakop? I think we’re getting it wrong. Lagi na lang tayong sinasakop,”
And it all went downhill from there.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with disliking K-pop. We’re all free to have our own opinions, after all. But disliking K-pop wasn’t the issue here.
So Western influences are ok?
After equating liking K-pop to losing Pinoy pride, she also pointed out that Pinoys are better at speaking English than Koreans. **Newsflash: English is a foreign language.**
Netizens pointed out the hypocrisy, but she doubled down, saying that Western influence is “supreme” and “top-notch”.
Take note miss Imelda is Filipino-German and she even had the guts to say this…🗿 istg i cant handle the double standards she has with western artists and the racism/xenophobia with asian/korean artists 🚶♀️ pic.twitter.com/eDROfz1nh3
— ❈ aeenᴮᴱ⁷ (semi ia 📚) (@soobinluvx) November 23, 2020
Yup, the xenophobia jumped out.
But wait, there’s more
People were already pissed off at Imelda, but she kept going, using Korean stereotypes to make judgy statements like this:
Ayy putangina. Makapag open nga ng Facebook! Not my Tabi. NOT MY SEUNGHYUN, IMELDA! pic.twitter.com/nZBTJ8MYRO
— Shai 👻🐰 (@shaicology) November 23, 2020
There’s no denying that the K-pop industry’s beauty standards are crazy, but just because someone had a nose job doesn’t mean you can look down on their artistry.
Her past stories come back to haunt her
If you’re a public figure, you gotta be ready to face the receipts, cause netizens certainly had them. Soon, one of her old Instagram stories resurfaced. It showed her eating Samgyeopsal (Korean grilled pork belly), and she captioned the photo with “I love Korean food so much”.
oh noe imelda hypocrisy is not nice pic.twitter.com/GnEwdhT50G
— ًyen. (@DAINTYSTELL) November 23, 2020
Yeah, we don’t know what to make of this either.
The art for her new song is…..yikes
Many were quick to call her out for her new song’s art which appears to be mimicking the portrayal of the Hindu goddess Kali.
Imelda, we love kpop because we’re here for the good music. Go and try to make one instead of having an EP with FUCCBOI as title. Come on…. you can’t be serious pic.twitter.com/FpILWW66ek
— K • ♡ • (@yourunnie_) November 23, 2020
Apart from the cultural appropriation (Imelda is Filipino-German), some pointed out that linking this diety to her song “Fuccboi” is straight-up offensive to Hindus who actually worship Kali.
Kali is the Hindu goddess of time, creation, destruction, and power. She is the chief of the Mahavidyas, a group of the Tantric goddesses who each form a different aspect of the mother goddess Parvati. pic.twitter.com/bVatIH7Jos
— si franz is suko na sa life (@bonjourfranz_) November 23, 2020
Liking K-Pop doesn’t make you less of a Filipino
Admiring other cultures doesn’t invalidate your Filipino-ness. It doesn’t mean that you’re trying to be Korean. It just means you appreciate good art! Let people like what they like!
I cant believe this Imelda Bautista schweighart became miss earth ph 2018, Remeber that Idolizing a kpop or a Korean doesn’t mean we are useless Filipino, What’s the matter if we idolize them if that’s what make us happy ,why do you care?, You’re just embarrassing yourself pic.twitter.com/CPy3LBU4XT
— TIYONG⁷ (@KTMINVK) November 23, 2020
And if Imelda Schweighart did some research, she’d know that K-pop fans have actually banded together not just to promote their faves, but have also redirected their passionate energy for the good of society. Recently, K-pop fans raised millions for the victims of the recent typhoons.
Even Vice President Leni has thanked K-Pop fans for their efforts in helping those in need:
Super touching that these K-Pop fans are doing their share through our office’s relief efforts for typhoon victims.
— Leni Robredo (@lenirobredo) November 22, 2020
Moral of the story: Don’t mess with K-pop fans
Though her racism is the bigger issue here, Imelda chose possibly the worst demographic to mess with by zeroing in on K-pop fans. They’re easily the most passionate, most dedicated, and most organized group on the internet, so by telling Filipino K-pop fans that they lacked Pinoy pride, she basically canceled herself.
But really, why limit yourself to certain cultures when people are creating amazing art all over the world? Yes, K-pop happens to be a huge craze right now, but it’s a global phenomenon — it’s not like Pinoys are the only ones who have caught the hallyu bug.
Miss Imelda Bautista Schweighart, I would just like to say being a kpop fan doesn’t mean we’re trying to be like Koreans. We idolize them because of their talent/music/personality, plus points na lang yung visuals nila. Also, if you don’t like the genre, just keep it to yourself. pic.twitter.com/2d24qWDpTh
— ʀ (@wednesjaesix) November 23, 2020
The bottom line
There’s nothing wrong with liking K-pop. There’s nothing wrong with NOT liking K-pop. However, there is something wrong with xenophobia, and that’s the main issue here.
No one has the right to insult other people’s culture, and in fact, the more we appreciate other cultures, the better the world can become. Imelda has since deleted her Facebook account, so we’re not sure if she’s been able to see much of this discourse, but after all this backlash, we hope she learned a thing or two.
On the bright side, she ended the fan wars. (Temporarily, but we’ll take it.)
never knew that only a former miss earth philippines Imelda Schweighart is the answer to unite all filo kpop stans
— kath (@your_oxychen) November 23, 2020
The K-pop fan wars can be brutal, but at least momentarily, the fandoms set aside their issues and united for a common goal. And that’s beautiful. Thanks, Imelda.
What’s your take on Imelda Schweighart’s remarks about K-Pop? Tell us below!