While K-Pop idols debuting under the age of 18 isn’t anything new, the influx of girl groups debuting recently with members as young as 14 has been controversial to many.
NewJeans‘ Hyein and Lapillus‘s Haeun are two of the youngest idols in the industry right now at the age of 14, while others like several CLASS:y members, IVE‘s Leeseo, and LE SSERAFIM‘s Eunchae are just 15.
The entertainment industry can be really dangerous for young women, especially those who are underage, and based on recently resurfaced advice from more senior female idols, the K-Pop industry isn’t much different.
In a 2016 episode of MBC Music‘s Star Show 360, the members of SISTAR met the young idols of I.O.I and gave the young idols advice about older men in the industry that might not have good intentions.
Men. Be careful of men. When you’re a rookie, male seniors won’t leave you alone, but not all male seniors are nice people. Become a hermit. Just stay at home and don’t meet up with guys.
— SISTAR (Star Show 360)
And SISTAR’s members were the only ones speaking up about the potential predatory behavior of male seniors. Former Hello Venus member Nara also once spoke about how her label showed her a list of dangerous senior men to avoid for her safety.
hello venus’ nara said that her agency (Fantagio & pledis?) showed her a list of dangerous senior colleagues too
— 🌻 eli ♡ weme yoojung debut (@dodumchi) September 8, 2022
A recent Reddit post discussing these instances has garnered a lot of attention, with many fans expressing outrage or worry for young female idols who could be exposed to these kinds of men.
We sincerely hope that the young women who are excitedly starting their K-Pop careers are being looked out for and taken care of, and don’t experience being taken advantage of.