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.
In her new cosmopolitan interview, #HyunA mentioned rookie girl group New Jeans when asked what she would tell her 15 year old self, watching them reminds her of herself & worries back then so she hopes they will eat well and take care of themselves#NewJeans #현아 @Cosmopolitan pic.twitter.com/5MvB8tC56E
— hyuna source (@hyunasource) February 23, 2023
#HyunA: "These days, New Jeans are someone I’m watching with love. I think 'Are you eating well?', & I wonder if they won’t be able to eat because of wearing crop tops or won’t be able to sleep because they don’t have time. It reminds me of when I was young & I worry." pic.twitter.com/Fj9zTT6MPy
— hyuna source (@hyunasource) February 23, 2023
hyuna's message to newjeans in her cosmopolitan interview.
"i've been watching newjeans with a lot of affection these days with the thought of "are you eating well?" make sure to eat korean food and take vitamins & i hope there's one person next to you who you can confide in"🥺 pic.twitter.com/sJRRbMgtqt
— fau (@newjimuse) February 23, 2023
The amount of female idols who have an eye on New Jeans speaks so much volume on how ladies, especially the young ones are treated in the industry. And indeed, as Hyuna said I really hope someone is beside them to take care and protect the girls https://t.co/Kh7oyYoXma
— ~horangi power~ (@jolly_jiwoo) February 25, 2023
I’m so glad new jeans have many people especially women who have been in the industry a long time take care of them and genuinely care for their well being ❣️ we love you queen hyuna 👑💕 #NewJeans #hyuna https://t.co/BJWqvs1rDY
— itsana (@its_anat7) February 23, 2023
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.
These quotes are fucking insane newjeans come on here every single day saying they’re HAPPY, CONTENT & have creative freedom with their music, they get paid, they see their families a lot and they get breaks. can you guys just listen to the GIRLS for once? https://t.co/543w1I5wuF
— pussy facing the worldٰ (@iconicjeans) February 24, 2023
People are mad at Hyuna for *checks notes* being worried about newjeans situation when she *checks notes again* was also barley a teenager in the idol industry and all she said was they she’s hopes they’re doing well !?
— Free Ricky from Mnet jail (@AngelsRaes) February 25, 2023
the qrts are acting like she explicitly said newjeans are being mistreated when all she is doing is expressing concern at the potential thought of them not being able to eat and sleep… like hyuna knows this shit firsthand ??? https://t.co/nzQF0oh4uP
— alex 🐻👩🏽❤️💋👩🏽🪞HOPE ON THE STREET (@YEONSW0RLD) February 25, 2023
There was a tweet with 4K+ qrts just dragging newjeans now y’all wanna act like big sisters oh ok,,,,,pack that fake two face bullshit concern and place it elsewhere https://t.co/DBP7nvR9xB
— Tracy’s NewJeans⁷🪞🛣️(FAN ACCOUNT) (@ijbolhobi) February 25, 2023
how stupid do u have to be to see a woman who debuted at 14 in an industry known for exploiting and mistreating young girls show concern for other girls debuting in that industry and spin it into hyuna 'fantasising about newjeans being abused'like bffr https://t.co/Upjvw5H4jT
— haumea! (@HAUM3A) February 25, 2023
hyuna was nothing but sweet and caring in this statement and new jeans stans somehow made it seem like she said something hateful or vile to them https://t.co/LsQHu8VFWq
— MAIA DAY ☽ (@fIowerIds) February 25, 2023
How do ppl read this and think "ah she might be jealous newjeans are successful" no bro do you see how Hyuna got sexualised at such a young age and go thru hell? She's worried for the girls dont be stupid https://t.co/cuh3S5Q8sQ
— Isagi lock's (@Sday_23) February 25, 2023
Notice how even hyuna is wishing the newjeans girlies well and hoping they take care of themselves and not think too hard about the standards around them and all you weirdos are thinking up trauma p0rn in the qrts? Yall are very odd and need to check that shit https://t.co/3nwpsZa3gl
— military spouse hobiuary (fan account)🌊 (@bora_carr0t) February 25, 2023
the discourse about hyuna and new jeans is hilarious bc we have teens on the internet telling a grown woman who debuted at the same age as NJ that what she’s saying is wrong.
she knows more than you. “it was a different time” do you have proof of that?
— aviva (@softfordawnie) February 27, 2023
for a second i thought they was jumping my sister but if anyone has the experience to comment on newjeans debuting young its hyuna https://t.co/3tQiSYUPhe
— jo mama ⍨ (@tajiwajiwa) February 25, 2023
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.
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