HomeStoriesRCTA — Are Some K-Pop Fans Really Trying To "Change" Their Race...

RCTA — Are Some K-Pop Fans Really Trying To “Change” Their Race To Asian?

Idols are used as inspiration for some “transformations.”

Both in and outside of K-Pop, music artists can be the start of huge trends among fans, usually for positive things. Numerous idols are ambassadors for brands because of how far-reaching their influence is.

BLACKPINK’s Jennie for Chanel | Chanel

However, there seems to be a new trend that, in part, has been inspired because of K-Pop idols’ visuals and a desire to emulate them in the most extreme way.

The term RTCA is not new — RTCA or Race Change To Another is a phenomenon where an individual decides to “change” their race or ethnicity to a different one. It is essentially the same as being “transracial,” a phrase popularized after the discovery of Rachel Dolezal‘s racial imitation.

Rachel Dolezal, an American that pretended to be black, led to international coverage and debate over race. | Annie Kuster/The Guardian

According to accounts on TikTok and other social media, RTCA believers will claim a different race/ethnicity, usually Korean or Chinese, they want to be. They’ll then try to “covert” using stereotypical ideas of how that race/ethnicity behaves to aid in their “transformation.”

They will also use K-Pop idols like IVE‘s Jang Wonyoung as examples of their desired appearances


next video will be on subliminals #fyp #foryou #kpopfyp #kpopforyoupage #rcta #rctacommunity

♬ original sound – – rcta ????


#RCTA | i need more rcta / ecta mutuals | #rcta #ecta #racechangingtoanother #ethnicitychangetoanother #rctaisvalid #korean #korea #koreangirl #coquette #subliminal #subliminalaffirmation #subliminalresults #cat #catsoftiktok #catlovers #mutuals #mutuals? #rctamutuals? #ectamutuals

♬ Show me how – ★Alex★

Also included in their “tools” are subliminal videos that are supposed to give the listener their desired result just from listening. East Asian appearance videos on YouTube have racked up hundreds of thousands of views and comments filled with “testimonials.”

While it seems like a joke — and likely is in some situations — the usage of stereotypes to perpetuate ideas of race and ethnicity is inherently harmful, even in a joking manner.

The concept of RTCA makes a mockery of the issues individuals of an actual race can go through, like feeling disconnected from their culture or being questioned because their appearance isn’t stereotypical.

Cathy Park Hong and her book, Minor Feelings, about her experience as an Asian American. | Cathy Park Hong

It is also harmful because RTCA believers disregard Asian identities outside of Korean and Chinese, usually due to their interest in K-Pop and desire to look like idols.  Netizens of these ethnicities have taken to mocking the idea as a way to fight back.


for my 씨발새끼 (cute) rcta audience out there, i hope this helps! ????✨???? – #fyp#rcta#transracial#korean#asian#andGO#japanese#chinese#ulzzang#kawaii#asianfisher#asiaboo#eastasian#racechangetoanother#pls#get#some#help

♬ Kimi No Toriko – Rizky Ayuba

While wanting to imitate your favorite celebs’ fashion and make-up is okay, RTCA, even as a joke, is not something to do.



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