Here’s Why JYP Entertainment Recruits Trainees Who Haven’t Hit Puberty Yet, According To A Former Trainee

She was only ten at the time!

The life of a K-Pop idol is often seen through rose-tinted goggles. From long schedules, strict expectations, and lots of pressure, more idols have shared their hardships, and many begin as soon as they start their training. For these reasons, many netizens have been raising concerns about seeing trainees start at such a young age.

One person who has recently shared her own experiences of starting in the business young is former JYP Entertainment trainee Kimberley Chen. The former trainee recently appeared on The KK Show and spoke about her time training to be an idol and her experiences under JYP.

Kimberley Chen | @lekimberleyy/ Instagram

During the interview, she spoke about the time when she first auditioned for the company when she was ten. Raised in Australia, Kimberley was in Singapore when she auditioned for JYP and after wowing them, the company wanted her to travel to Korea to train properly.

In particular, she explained the thought process behind this decision to start her training young, which shocked the hosts.

They were thinking that, since I hadn’t hit puberty and didn’t have my periods yet, it would be the best time.

— Kimberley Chen

After the hosts asked for an explanation because they still seemed surprised by the answer, Kimberley explained that this thought process linked to the idea of certain beauty standards in Korea regarding weight and body shape.

Once you hit puberty, you become more fat, and you might get boobs. You know, when you get your period, you obviously become more womanly.

— Kimberley Chen

If that wasn’t shocking enough, Kimberley then added that the company thought that if she was trained early, they would be able to control the changes that can sometimes happen during puberty, including filling out your body and developing breasts.

So when you go from a little girl body to a big girl body. I’m not naturally skinny, so I got a little chubbier… I gained a lot of weight. So at that time, they thought they needed to sign someone before a person gains weight so that they could help the person not [get too big].

— Kimberley Chen

She also pointed out that, during her audition, the JYP staff asked her a series of questions. They seemed to hint that this idea of her being pre-puberty was also an attractive prospect to have her as a trainee. However, they were very detailed and intrusive questions to be given during an audition for someone so young.

They wanted to know, ‘Have you hit puberty? Are you done, or are you going to hit puberty?’ Like, ‘Are you going to be fatter than now?’ I was only ten at the time. How would it have been possible for me to have had periods already?

— Kimberley Chen

Despite all of these questions, Kimberley added that they eventually offered her the chance to train with them on the condition that she went to Korea with them. However, this was something her parents did not approve of due to her young age.

They wanted me to go to Korea and didn’t allow my parents to go with me. They wanted me to go alone. My parents were very protective, and they were like, ‘No, no way.’

— Kimberley Chen

Although she did end up training at JYP, she didn’t start until she was 13 years old. Instead of going to Korea, she traveled to America, where she trained until she turned 15. Yet, even for someone that young, it would have been extremely daunting.

In particular, the idea that JYP and other K-Pop companies would purposefully choose to pick young trainees to influence their growth to fit in with Korean beauty standards seems unheard of. Yet, it shows the lengths agencies would go to to ensure that they pick those with the best chance of success and fit their expectations.

You can read more about Kimberley’s experience as a trainee below.

Former JYP Entertainment Trainee Reveals How The Company Kept Her Underweight

Source: 百靈果News
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