As if to catch up to the globalization of not only the entire world but also of its fan base, the K-pop industry has recently been introducing young men and women who not only are of Asian descent, but also have backgrounds from countries other than Korea. In a homogenous society like Korea, and where celebrity worship is about as real as it gets, this can only be seen as a step in the right direction.

The same phenomenon has been seen in Japan in recent years, with the debut of many young mixed-heritage entertainers, television personalities, actors, singers, and even athletes becoming more of a norm than ever before. Having two different backgrounds was rare when I was a kid growing up in Tokyo, and now, it's not such a big deal anymore. There are quite a number of famous Japanese people in various fields, who are known to be of mixed heritage. And in neighboring Korea, some idols are proudly representing not only their Korean roots, but other roots as well. And that, obviously, is a great thing. The only way to be a part of this truly global community is to not only promote diversity, but express it.

Shown below are six Korean idols that are of mixed heritage. Are there any more you would add to this list? 

1. Somi from I.O.I. — Canadian father, Korean mother. She was born in Canada but moved to Korea when she was one year old. Says she was bullied growing up on account of her looks. 

2. Vernon from SEVENTEEN — Born in New York, his father is Korean and mother is American. Vernon has experienced prejudice, both in the United States and in Korea. 

3. Haying from Apink — She has a Filipino grandmother, but she was born and raised in Korea. 

4. Kangnam — Korean father and Japanese mother. He was born in Japan, lived in Hawaii, then moved to Korea to become a singer. Also claims to have been bullied for his background while in school.

5. Yoon Mirae — Born in the United States to an African-American father and Korean mother, she was raised in Korea. Proud of her unique and ambiguous looks now, but like most, has experienced countless stares and discrimination. 

6. Dok2 — Korean mother, his father is both Spanish and Filipino. 

COMING SOON

Lovely Love Lie (The Liar and His Lover)

Starring Lee Hyun Woo and Park Soo Young (Joy)

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