5+ K-Pop Idols Who Struggled When They Debuted Due To K-Pop’s Toxic Beauty Standards

While debuting should be a happy time for idols, malicious netizens can ruin these moments.

One of the worst things about the K-Pop industry is the toxic beauty standards, as netizens, a lot of times will leave malicious comments towards idols if they don’t look a certain way. This has led to a lot of idols struggling during their debut, as they got criticized right away by malicious netizens. Here’s a list of a few of these idols.

1. Chaeryeong (ITZY)

Chaeryeong was well-known before her debut with ITZY, as she had appeared on K-Pop Star 3, as well as SIXTEEN.

Chaeryeong during SIXTEEN

While Chaeryeong has had a lot of supporters from a young age, she’s also had to deal with a lot of malicious netizens as well. Even when Chaeryeong debuted with ITZY, she had mixed emotions due to these malicious comments.

I don’t know why, but after becoming the debut team which I had dreamed of for so long, I thought it all meant nothing if I was already being hated like this.

— Chaeryeong

Thankfully, Chaeryeong has remained strong throughout all of this and chooses to have a positive mindset regarding these malicious netizens.

Now that I have fans who are rooting for me, if they knew that I’m being shaken by a few mean comments, I think that would make them sad too. So I tell myself not to get sad, time is too precious. I try to control the negative thoughts like that.

— Chaeryeong

2. Hwasa (MAMAMOO)

When MAMAMOO debuted, Hwasa received a lot of malicious comments from netizens who demanded that she leave the group since they didn’t think that she looked like an idol.

Many people complained about my looks. They said things like, ‘How can someone who looks like her be in a girl group?’ They wanted me to leave the group.

— Hwasa

Hwasa didn’t let this affect her too much, as she used this negativity to motivate herself.

I was able to become stronger thanks to those comments. It motivated me to turn their opinions around.

— Hwasa

3. The members of BIGBANG

When BIGBANG debuted, they received a lot of hate from netizens, as they felt that the group was going to fail since they “weren’t attractive”.

“Mr. Hyun Suk what are you doing. They are obviously going to fail. Just look at their faces. They have faces that are meant to fail.”

“Still…how can they compete with SS501, TVXQ, or Super Junior…They aren’t even that good looking kk”

— Malcious netizens

However, BIGBANG ended up proving all of them wrong, as they went on to become K-Pop legends!


When JooE was just a rookie, she received a lot of attacks from netizens, as they left malicious comments about her visuals. JooE even addressed these malicious comments.

Those around me worried more than I did, actually. Of course it’s hard on me too, but I wouldn’t have picked this career if I thought I wouldn’t be able to overcome these things.

— JooE

However, JooE remained positive and decided to not let these people affect her.

It would be harder for me if hid my complexes instead of overcoming them. Luckily, I’m super positive.

I don’t think there is a single standard of beauty. At first, when they said that my photos look better than I do, it hurt. But I think it’s good that it was also an opportunity get MOMOLAND on the radar.

— JooE

5. Rain

While Rain is now a K-Pop legend, he struggled a lot during the beginning of his career. He originally debuted in a group called Fanclub, but they ended up disbanding not long after their debut.

Rain in Fanclub

After Fanclub’s disbandment, Rain auditioned for multiple companies but was rejected by nearly all of them. One company even rejected him because he didn’t have double eyelids. However, Park Jin Young ended up being the person that accepted Rain.

Park Jin Young

Park Jin Young explained that he accepted Rain due to the passion he saw in his eyes.

Rain reminded me of a starved young lion.

He had this look in his eyes, a combination of anger, loathing, and hunger.

I could tell he really wanted to succeed, but with the difficult circumstances, he was not able to make it come true.

He was angry and cynical, yet super talented.

I had never seen anything like that before, and I wanted to help him to make his dreams come true.

— Park Jin Young

Rain ended up debuting as a solo artist in JYP Entertainment and went on to become a K-Pop legend. While Rain is no longer with the company, he still has a great relationship with Park Jin Young.

Idol Struggles & Victories