Lamar raps about finding a “natural” girl with real hair and stretch marks in the song, as Kim dances next to him, and the multicultural model found herself inundated on social media with accusations that her hair is actually a weave.
“That part is extremely frustrating,” Kim, 21, told Elle. “I’m a little puzzled because a lot of it comes from African American women. I’m just like, why wouldn’t you empower another African American woman who’s just trying to pave the way for her career and also just represent us as women in a music video that has now gone viral.”
“I would just think they would be happy with that, but everyone finds something.”
The video was a big break for the model — a job she agreed to do after the casting director, a good friend, suggested her — though Kim didn’t know much about the role going in.
“They basically told me: ‘You are the natural girl that is represented in 2017 in the society that has a ton of imperfections, but still loves herself and still doesn’t care what anyone else thinks.’ And also: ‘You are the music video girl vixen. You are that very exotic pretty girl that the normal girl transforms into,’ ” she says. “I was very blind going into it.”
Kim says her race is often brought up during casting meetings. “[I’ve] gotten a few different odd responses from black producers, when they’re like, ‘are you just Filipino or are you just Asian?’ A lot of people don’t really see that I am black. It’s been a journey,” Kim says. “I have gotten denied by some agencies and some projects for either being too multicultural or even being ‘too pretty’ for a role. … I’ve gotten denied for being black a few times. Surprisingly, that has happened and I have gotten ‘not black enough.’ ”
“My mom is full Korean, but she’s adopted, so she’s very Americanized now. I am Korean, French, and African American, and that’s what I am aware of. My dad is black and French.”
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But Kim is focusing on all the positives that came from the video.
“I do this because I love this honestly. Nothing more nothing less,” she wrote on Instagram. “I am truly blessed for you all.”