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Senior K-pop idol HyunA receives backlash for her concerns about NewJeans

Apparently, voicing out concerns about minors debuting as K-Pop idols isn’t a good thing.

HyunA, one of K-Pop’s most prolific and iconic female soloists, recently reached her 16th year working in the K-Pop industry. Apart from it already being such a momentous moment for her (or any K-pop idol, for that matter), the “Red” singer also graced the cover of Cosmopolitan Korea’s March 2023 issue, whilst debuting a brand-new, edgy look.

Cosmopolitan Korea released HyunA’s editorial photos, along with an interview where she talked about her life in the industry. One of the questions in the interview asked her about what she would say to her 15-year-old self, who was still budding in her career.

The “Bubble Pop” singer said that she wants to tell her to eat well; “You got to eat well so that your body and mind can endure it.” HyunA first debuted in 2007 as the main rapper of Wonder Girls when she was 15. She later withdrew from the group following her parents’ concern over her health (chronic gastroenteritis and fainting).

HyunA later on debuted in 2008 as a member of 4Minute, and in 2010 as a solo artist with her first single “Change”. In 2011, she was in a co-ed unit with BEAST’s Hyunseung called “Trouble Maker” and released an EP of the same name. She is also famous for appearing (and later on featuring) in Psy’s most famous song, “Gangnam Style” in 2012.

HyunA is popular for her artistry, which she described as “performance-oriented music” and is trademarked with sexy and sultry styling. Apart from her music and artistry, her relationship with DAWN was subject to the public eye.

Later on in her interview with Cosmopolitan Korea, she mentioned monster rookie girl group NewJeans, who have reached popularity and fame for their music and “Y2K” image. She raised her concerns for NewJeans and their well-being, especially in a grueling industry such as the K-Pop industry.

“Lately, I have been watching NewJeans with a lot of affection. I wonder, ‘Are they eating well?’ I wonder if they won’t be able to eat well because they have to wear crop tops, or if they won’t be able to sleep well because they don’t have time to get some shut-eye. I’m reminded of the times when I was young and I get worried.”

HyunA then gave a message to NewJeans members, giving them the same advice she would have told her 15-year-old self. “Members of NewJeans, eat a lot of Korean food, and don’t forget to take vitamins. And I sincerely hope there is at least one person beside all of you who you can easily confide in.”

Fans have praised and felt sympathetic towards HyunA, who was looking out for her juniors in the industry, as well as reflecting on her own experiences in the past when she was a teenager in a harsh industry.

At the same time, she received backlash for her comments, with others misconstruing her words to make it seem like NewJeans are being treated the same way HyunA was treated when she was just starting. Many others came to HyunA’s defense saying that she was only voicing out her concerns for girls who debuted young in the industry.

Honestly, there was nothing wrong with what HyunA said. In fact, it is heartwarming to see senior idols caring for their juniors, and wanting nothing more than for them to take care of themselves—something that nobody could tell them when they were younger.

In a tough industry such as the K-Pop and Korean entertainment industry, surely everyone there needs someone to look out for them. That is what HyunA, and many other K-pop idols are currently doing to their juniors, regardless of who they are. They know how hard it is to stay in the industry, so of course they’re just worried that the younger idols might not be taking care of themselves well.

And remember, NewJeans’ youngest member Hyein is 14 years old. And soon, there will be others who will debut younger than that. Obviously, the problem here is that agencies prefer debuting minors, at the cost of their childhood.


Other POP! stories that you might like:

IVE confirms comeback with first-ever full-length album in April

BTS’ Jungkook shows all of us what being ‘carefree’ means by deactivating his Instagram account

ASTRO’s Rocky leaves group and agency after 7 years

AI K-Pop idols are already having dating scandals

XG releases performance video of the hit ‘SHOOTING STAR’

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