MAMAMOO‘s Hwasa has become embroiled in a controversy for the way she wore a school uniform.
Hwasa appeared on the JTBC variety show Knowing Bros broadcasted on September 9. She appeared as a guest to celebrate the 400th episode of Knowing Bros.
During the broadcast, Hwasa performed her new song, “I Love My Body.”
Hwasa’s outstanding live performance garnered admiration from the Knowing Bros cast. However, her daring outfit became a topic of discussion. Hwasa wore a shirt and skirt that evoked the school uniform concept in line with the show’s theme.
But unlike the school uniform outfits worn by other female guests on Knowing Bros, Hwasa’s outfit featured a tied-up top, which was deemed provocative. Hwasa and her dancers performed choreography, such as the “split leg” dance move that netizens found sexual—especially in a school uniform.
As a result, many viewers criticized Hwasa for sexualizing the school uniform, an outfit that students are required to wear.
Some argued that Hwasa’s outfit paid homage to a costume worn by American singer Britney Spears over 20 years ago for her song “Baby One More Time.” However, they pointed out that Britney Spears had also faced protests from parents of students who considered her outfit inappropriate for their children. Viewers who disagreed with Hwasa’s school uniform concept argued that it was out of touch with the times.
Earlier, in late August, Hwasa was investigated by the police on charges of public obscenity for doing a “provocative” dance move on stage during a performance at Sungkyunkwan University on May 12.
The police summoned her as a complainant to inquire about the background and intent of the explicit performance that had sparked controversy. The police plan to decide whether to proceed with prosecution after reviewing the explicit content of the performance.
Recently, on singer Sung Si Kyung‘s YouTube channel talk show, Hwasa addressed this incident and expressed her feelings about the negative comments and hate she received online.
I ran to the parking lot because there was nobody there. I fell to the ground and cried, then finally regained my composure after letting it all out.
— Hwasa during her interview with Sung Si Kyung
Hwasa made her comeback with the new digital single “I Love My Body” on September 6.