An end to the February fun

Yuna Kim did a TV ad campaign for Smoothie King back in 2009, called “Be White.”

It was gone and long forgotten before being brought back from the ad-graveyard due to some unfavorable tweets by one Douglas Kim, concerning Yuna’s new ad campaign for Maxim’s “White Gold” coffee.

Michael Hurt took to reminiscing with his thoughts on the 3-year old “Be White” campaign over at Groove Magazine last week.

In her ads for Smoothie King, figure skater Kim Yuna says: “Be White.” In Korea, that’s sage advice. Just like the smoothie — and Korean positive associations with things and people “white” — one should be “soft” and “innocent.”

Not to belittle the issues, but in this February of racist fervor (ironically Black History Month) I don’t know which is more (or less) interesting: Jeremy Lin’s ethnicity, Jenny Hyun’s sanity, the dolts working at Starbucks, the questionably racially insensitive overtones in a K-Commerical, the fact that Smoothie King is based in Louisiana and emphasizes their white products to the lactose intolerant, or that no mention has been made that Yuna Kim is perhaps betraying her race by promoting white-themed products.

Toss up.

Skater Kim has also done ad work for Korea’s Maeil Milk. I am unsure where that falls in the scheme of things, though I imagine the chocolate milk companies weren’t pleased. And those with poor vision could misinterpret the company name as being biased towards males.

Maxim’s White Gold coffee does come in yellow and white packaging and the product being contained is brown. There might be some traction there, but I can’t be sure. Let’s see what March brings.

Until then, let’s call Floyd Mayweather and Jenny Hyun; we’ll grab a Whopper, then Starbucks, and Tweet our way to the bottom of this mess.

Meanwhile, the rainbow-colored aliens circle overhead pondering a visit, thinking, “these folks simply ain’t ready.”

  • marcel joseph

    Billy B. Gets it just right here in his article

    “It’s Time to Put an End to the Prejudice Against Discrimination”

  • Brian D

    I think Kim Yuna’s ad campaign is less about “betraying her race” than it is about a poor choice of English that takes on a different meaning when met by people who actually, you know, use and understand the language. That’s how a lot of “English” in Korea seems to go.

    Daniel Henney doing commercials for skin-whitening cream? That’s a little more perplexing.

  • WangKon936


    Korea needs its trust busters too…

  • Q

    “Nineteenth-century democracy needs no more complete vindication for its existence than the fact that it has kept for the white race the best portion of the new world’s surface.” – Theodore Roosevelt, 1897.

    I doubt Kim Yuna meant the same “white” TR used in his book, American Ideals.

  • nayaCasey

    1) Happy Black History Month! So what didja learn?

    2) I hadn’t heard about that “Be White” commercial. Should I have mentioned it to Kim Yuna when I briefly met her last year?

    3) In addition to all of the other stuff Bobby M mentioned, here’s a good one from a black radio station I’ve had some experience with, they are running a “history makers” section in honor of black history month. A lot of the listed history makers seem dubious, at best. And under the “Pop Culture” section, there’s this (I won’t hide or html the links, some of you may know just from seeing the details).

    4) I sent it to a few buddies. Their responses:
    a) “Brother, this can’t be serious.”
    b) “That can’t be right.”
    c) “Are they trying to make black people look bad with that crap? How dare they put that on a history makers page?”

  • Sperwer

    This OP is one long piece of troll bait.

    But it does suggest that the time is right for legislation mandating a billion dollar crash program to tinjer with bovine genetics so that cows start producing milk in politically correct proportions of the rainbow..

  • Bobby McGill

    Naya, great pic. She is truly gorgeous, and you quite the strapping gent.

    And that list is god awful, you’re right. Granted, what boy wouldn’t want to grow up to be Ray-J for at least a few of his moments? 😀

    @Sperwer: It was a fun ramble to write. Though the trolls aren’t biting today; probably looking for deeper waters and what with the weather and all.

  • nayaCasey

    Bobby #7, thanks, it was a fun meeting. Speaking of Koreans believing nobody notime, Korean friends typically ask if that pic was photo-shopped.

    I respond: “Why in the world would Yuna Kim photo-shop a pic with me?”

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