As most K-Pop fans are probably aware by now, YG Entertainment recently confirmed that they’ll soon be debuting their new girl group, BABYMONSTER, sometime early in 2023.
— YG FAMILY (@ygent_official) December 30, 2022
With all of the artists that have departed YG Entertainment this year, there is even more attention being drawn to the label’s brand-new girl group. In their recently released teaser, the company included a lot of hype for the members, promising to bring something to the K-Pop industry that has never been seen before.
Considering just how successful girl groups were in 2022, that’s a big promise to fulfill, and with more information being released about each of the members, trepidation for BABYMONSTER has already begun.
The seven members — Ahyeon, Rora, Chikita, Asa, Prita, HR (Hyerin/Haram), and Dain — are quite diverse in terms of their backgrounds, which is intriguing to many fans. With a Thai, Thai-Mexican, and Japanese member in Prita, Chikita, and Asa respectively, they’re likely going to be YG Entertainment’s most culturally diverse group yet.
But it’s their rumored ages that has netizens wary of their debut. While their birthdays haven’t been confirmed yet, there have been posts shared online alleging that the oldest member of the group is 17, while the youngest is just 13.
This isn’t the first time that concern about a new group’s members’ ages have been shared online even in this year alone. NewJeans came under intense scrutiny for having such a young average age of their members, for example, and it’s still an ongoing concern for some fans.
If there really is an ’09 liner in BABYMONSTER — rumored to be Chikita — then the outlash over K-Pop idols debuting at too-young ages will likely flare up again. Even with just the rumors right now, there is a fair amount of discussion around how young is too young for YG Entertainment to debut a new idol, especially given all of the scandals that the label and former CEO Yang Hyun Suk have been involved in.
Some people are already doubting that they’ll be able to enjoy BABYMONSTER’s music at all if the members really are as young as rumored.
Considering how many successful K-Pop groups do debut with such young members, however, the trend of idols being barely into their teenage years at the time they debut likely won’t change anytime soon.
We’ll have to wait and see whether or not the rumors of BABYMONSTER’s members’ ages are true. Regardless of if they are or not, there’s no doubt that a new K-Pop girl group from YG Entertainment is bound to draw a lot of attention.