With how many different outfits and concepts K-Pop idols have throughout their careers, it’s not surprising that there have been instances where they have worn something controversial or inappropriate. Sometimes this comes in the form of cultural appropriation, while others have to do with curse words, naughty images, or otherwise. Keep in mind that in most of these cases, the idols weren’t in control of what they wore and often don’t even know the significance of what they’re wearing until it’s pointed out to them. Here are 15 of the most controversial and criticized outfits worn by K-Pop idols.
1. Uchae (NATURE)
This shirt that read “I’m only wearing this T-shirt so that I don’t distract everyone with how awesome my t*ts are” was heavily criticized for obvious reasons.
2. Tzuyu (TWICE)
Like Uchae, this shirt that says “H*es take off your clothes” was criticized for obvious reasons as well. JYP Entertainment apologized for it later on.
This idol grew stirred up huge controversy for their outfits that closely resembled Nazi uniforms. Their company apologized, but refused to change the outfits.
This bright red ensemble was seen by some to be too much like a “pr*stitute’s outfit” to be appropriate to wear on stage. Sunmi wasn’t having it, however, and fought against the backlash.
For their music video for “BAAM”, the girls showed different cultures through their outfits, but some of them — namely the Egyptian and Mexican depictions — were seen as racist and stereotypical.
6. CL (former 2NE1)
In her “Baddest Female” music video, people criticized her dressing like a stereotypical chola girl.
7. OH MY GIRL
The members were met with harsh comments due to their outfits seeming to fit a “Lolita” theme, which is highly criticized and controversial.
8. Jihyo (TWICE)
Jihyo was criticized for dressing like a stereotypical Native American for Halloween, even introducing herself as “Indian Jihyo”.
9. Bonus Baby
The members of this group were criticized for their “infant”-like or “Lolita”-themed outfits complete with bibs.
10. Jimin (BTS)
Jimin was criticized for wearing this shirt, which showed pride for Korea’s independence but also depicted an atomic bomb explosion. BTS was even removed from some Japanese programs because of it.
For their “Yayaya” music video, the members dressed up in stereotypical Native American outfits.
12. Girl’s Day
During their “Twinkle Twinkle” era, the Girl’s Day members wore white safety shorts with lace underneath their outfits that some think resembled diapers, leading to criticism, especially since some of the members were underage.
13. Zico (Block B)
Zico received criticism for wearing a jacket in his “Tough Cookie” music video that appeared to have a confederate flag symbol on the sleeve.
14. Hyeri (Girl’s Day)
Hyeri unknowingly wore this shirt featuring the rising sun symbol, which was used on flags during Japan’s invasion of Korea under which atrocious acts occurred. She profusely apologized for her ignorance.
15. Minzy (former 2NE1)
Minzy went on 2NE1 TV once wearing leggings that appeared to just have Care Bears on them, but upon closer inspection showed them in inappropriate ways. They were later blurred out and the company apologized for not noticing sooner, especially as other 2NE1 members had worn clothing from the “naughty Care Bears” line before.