MONSTA X’s I.M Wrongfully Targeted For “Fatphobic” Messages That Were Just Mistranslations—Here’s What He Really Said

I.M was accused of fat-shaming after netizens shared mistranslations.

Content Warning

This article includes descriptions of body image issues or eating disorders that may disturb some readers.

MONSTA X‘s I.M is facing serious backlash and criticism from the group’s own fandom after some recent comments he made on the UNIVERSE app.

The launch of the UNIVERSE app came with its fair share of criticism. From the “creepy” AI voice calls to the lack of subtitles and translations for international fans. It provides little to none, and automatic ones are inaccurate. Now, that’s coming into play here and affecting the idols.


I.M was sharing some personal thoughts with fans in which he believed would likely be a safe space. He briefly messaged about his lack of motivation to exercise, a struggle many of us could relate to.

MONSTA X’s I.M | @OfficialMonstaX/Twitter

Fans on Twitter have been sharing inaccurate translations made by another fan, spreading mistranslations that many assumed to be accurate at first. As a result, there were mixed reactions to his messages, and many netizens became upset due to what they believe was insensitive language used by I.M. Some have even gone as far as accusing him of fatphobia and fat-shaming.

While the content is similar, his original words may not have been as bad as many originally thought. So, we have provided our own translations to help bring more understanding.

| UNIVERSE via @always_ohhoho/Twitter
  • “I must be burnt out…”
  • “I don’t want to exercise”
  • “But I do it every day”
| UNIVERSE via @always_ohhoho/Twitter
  • “I must not be burnt out..”
  • “I say I don’t want to, but I do it every day”
  • “If it’s hot, I say it’s too hot to work out, but I still do it every day..”
| UNIVERSE via @always_ohhoho/Twitter
  • “And if it’s cold, I say it’s too cold…”
  • “It’s not just me”
| UNIVERSE via @always_ohhoho/Twitter
  • “If you feel attacked, please go exercise”
  • “If you have the strength to hold chopsticks, but say you don’t have the strength to exercise, that is just an excuse”
  • “You say you gain weight just from drinking water? You should think about what else you consumed like water”
| UNIVERSE via @always_ohhoho/Twitter
  • “It’s because you’re burnt out from exercising that you brought you here”
  • “I fully understand those words and I use it as well”
| UNIVERSE via @always_ohhoho/Twitter
  • “Work harder~”
  • “But you don’t have to do it as I do”
| UNIVERSE via @always_ohhoho/Twitter
  • “I just want you all to know the importance of exercise”
  • “If you like me for that, that’s enough for me”

Other fans are speaking in defense of I.M, explaining inaccuracies of translations and cultural context. For example, when he used “chopstick,” he was likely using it as a Korean idiom meaning “If you can do the small stuff, try doing the hard stuff.” 

Many are also reminding others of I.M’s own insecurities. None of us are without our own personal struggles.

And, some are simply wishing him the best and praying for him because we all know that we do not know everything someone is facing. Rather than immediately judging someone, we should always approach a situation with an open heart and mind.

Source: Image, UNIVERSE and Twitter (1), (2) and (3)