Ever since joining BP RaNia in 2015 and becoming the first ever African-American K-pop group member, Reid has faced her share of scrutiny from both supporters and detractors chiefly due to her non-Korean background.
Speaking to Billboard, Reid said that her African-American background has meant she's been held to a higher standard than other non-Korean K-pop stars. She has been subjected to accusations about skin bleaching and appropriating Korean culture in order to maintain her place in the industry. Reid faced a wave of criticism for wearing a traditional Korean Hanbok for a recent BP RaNia photoshoot, yet no one questioned whether the group's Chinese member should be wearing Korean clothing.
Beyond cultural differences and constant instances of miscommunication, the struggles extend right down to the little everyday things. When her group recently came back with their new single "Start a Fire", Reid received a considerable amount of whitewashing criticism for not appearing with her natural curly hair. But as the singer explains, this hairstyle change only occurred because no one could style her hair in Korea, forcing her to do all her own make up and styling.
As recently as a few days ago, Reid was embroiled in a new wave of controversy when BP RaNia's choreographer claimed that she was not participating in the group's dance routine due to her own "personal reasons", only for Reid to reply with a tweet suggesting that there's more going on behind the scenes.
But despite all the scorn and hardships, Reid has received a considerable amount of support and is as motivated as ever to succeed in K-pop. It goes without saying that Reid is determined to succeed in an industry that places a premium on conformity and looks - and it certainly appears that she is going to do it on her own terms.