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‘Single’s Inferno’s Song Ji-a under fire for wearing fake designer clothing

Social media influencer and YouTube sensation Song Ji-a (also known as Free Zia) is under public scrutiny for wearing knock-off designer clothing on South Korean reality dating show Single’s Inferno.

As one of the most popular contestants of the show, netizens and viewers clearly had their eyes on her and on her social media accounts. Ji-a was often seen wearing high-end brands like Chanel and Dior on the show, with fellow contestant Moon Se-hoon commenting that “she was the most ‘bling bling’ and fabulous” among all the female contestants.

After the show aired, Ji-a was later accused by online users in web forums, saying that she had been wearing counterfeit designer items on the show, such as a pink knitted Chanel top, a Marine Serre-style dress, a Dior logo tube top, and a pair of earrings from Van Cleef & Arpels. Some eagle-eyed netizens compared Ji-a’s photos with BLACKPINK’s Jennie, saying that there are slight differences in the color in pattern in comparison to the real thing.

On January 18, 2022, Song Ji-a posted a handwritten letter on Instagram, apologizing for “disappointing and hurting” people because of the controversy. She also mentioned that “she will recognize the severity of the issue and reflect” upon her actions and that she will “live more responsibly” in the future.

With her online persona Free Zia focusing on luxury fashion and lifestyle content, it became understandable that the issue blew out of proportion in Korean social media circles, with others saying that they felt “deceived and misled.”

However, for her international fans, it’s a whole different story. Contrary to Ji-a’s fellow countrymen, international fans have been showing their support for the influencer and see no need for her to apologize for that. Some have even been commenting on how unnecessary the hate was towards Song Ji-a.

From an international fan’s perspective, the situation does seem to have been blown out of proportion, considering the tendency of Korean online users to focus their hate-bomb on a single person. But, in an article by Steffi Cao from Buzzfeed where she interviewed Korean-American social media agency owner Courtney Park who translated Song Ji-a’s apology on TikTok, she said that it’s not a surprise to see a difference in the reactions of Korean netizens and Western fans.

In that article, Park explained that “South Korean culture is highly image-conscious” and that “there is a bigger emphasis on where you shop versus how you look for Korean content creators,”. Aside from those being the main reasons why Korean netizens are in an uproar, lying is also a big no-no in South Korea’s highly conservative culture.

So, there we have it. What do you think about this whole controversy, was Song Ji-a just being a material gworl, was she wrong, or do you think that this shouldn’t even be an issue?

 

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