By Shannon Lane @shannonroselane
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Videographer / director:
Daniel Smukullia (Day 1)
Jackson Tritt (Day 2)
Marcus Cooper (Day 3)
Producer: Shannon Lane, Ruby Coote
Editor: Sonia Estal
Oli London first hit headlines in October 2018 after news broke that he’d spent over £75,000 on surgeries to look like K-pop star, Jimin from Korean boyband BTS.
The Londoner discovered BTS when he was living in Korea in 2013.
K-pop is a popular genre of music from Korea, and BTS is currently one of the most famous K-pop bands in the world.
Oli is particularly infatuated with BTS band member Jimin, and he has strived to look like his idol for five years.
The 29-year-old from London told Barcroft TV: “Basically BTS debuted in 2013 and I was actually living in Korea at the time, and I was watching some TV and BTS performed and I was just amazed by all of them."
He said: "I want my entire lifestyle to revolve around K-pop and I want my entire look to look like Jimin because for me he is perfection, his jaw shape, his lips his voice, everything.”
In June 2019 Oli went back to Korea to have more surgery done on his face.
He told Barcroft TV: “I’m in very safe hands in Korea, I know it’s the best in the world for plastic surgery, I mean Gangnam which is like the most upscale place in Seoul - and I have the best plastic surgeon who is actually a specialist in facial contouring.”
The 29-year-old had a total of five surgeries with Dr Yun Chang Woon at View Plastic Surgery assisted by Medictel Korea; rhinoplasty, alarplasty, mandible angle reduction (v line jaw surgery), zygoma reduction (cheek bone reduction), and genioplasty with T osteotomy (chin contouring).
Oli said: “I know some people don’t understand plastic surgery but it’s certainly become a lot more normalised around the world and, at the end of the day, I’m doing what makes me happy, I’m following my dreams.”
Oli’s dreams have come with some controversy and concerns surrounding cultural appropriation.
He told BTV: “So I’m not actually changing my race, I have a deep respect for Korean culture. It’s cultural appreciation not cultural appropriation so I’m very, very respectful of Korean culture.
“It’s just I’m really in love with Korean culture. I really understand it, I’ve been learning the language so I’m incredibly respectful to Korean people.
“Korean people love me! They are very kind to me, they are very nice, they don’t have a problem with it.
“As long as it doesn’t affect people, as long as it doesn’t hurt people, I’m doing something that makes me happy and I’m doing something because I love Korea, I love K-Pop.
“It’s just a particular look you get; a lot of people want to emulate Kim Kardashian, people want to emulate these stars, for me it’s a K-Pop star.”
After his previous video with Barcroft TV, Oli started his own K-Pop music career and released the song and music video, ‘Perfection’.
He said: “Since the last Barcroft show I did my life has completely changed, so I was able to release a K-Pop music video, which I never dreamed would happen before, so it was like a dream come true.”
He has now had over 15 surgeries and has spent an estimated £125,000 to acheive his dream look.
Despite having such dramatic surgeries, Oli did not tell his family or friends his intentions.
He said: ‘I’ve got to keep it under wraps just because every time I have surgery I always find it much easier to explain after the procedure just so people don’t worry.'
“Of course people worry about anaesthetic risks with surgery complications, but you don’t have that in Korea, you’re really in safe hands, it’s like the number one destination in the world for plastic surgery.
“So I’m always going to be the same person inside, though surgery improves the real me because I really show myself more. I show my true colours so it really brings out the real Oli.
“Before the real Oli was almost hidden under a shell. I wasn’t satisfied with the way I looked so I’ve really come out of my shell and as you can see I’m smiling now. But after my surgery - this is going to be a huge smile once the swelling goes down!”