On December 30, 2022, YG Entertainment had fans excited after they revealed the first glimpse of their upcoming girl group BABYMONSTER.
Since then, YG Entertainment has slowly been giving fans teasers on what they can expect from the group and the members.
The latest member to be introduced is 13-year-old Chiquita from Thailand. When the rumored lineup was being discussed, many believed that there was going to be a Thai trainee and that she was extremely talented but also very young.
All of this was cemented in the video’s introduction of the idol’ singing “Bedroom” by JJ Lin and Anne-Marie.
Of course, considering how YG Entertainment was clear and open with the young idol’s age, it isn’t surprising that the video has gained mixed opinions from netizens worldwide.
Many of the comments under the video seemed to focus on the talent of the young idol, praising her unreal voice and their surprise that she is an amazing vocalist and dancer.
Yet, while many have praised her talent, it isn’t surprising that the main topic is about the idol’s young age.
13 years old is extremely young to debut, and some of those who don’t see much of an issue with it have raised arguments about other idols debuting, along with the fact that Chiquita will be 14 by the time she is set to make her proper debut.
While many have shared that it isn’t uncommon to debut so young, others pointed out that, seeing the negative experiences many young idols have had, companies should’ve learned by now.
It seems as if the OP isn’t alone. As expected, a large majority of K-Pop fans have voiced their concerns about someone so young debuting.
Many unsurprisingly focused on the stress and pressures that come with being an idol.
The industry is one of the toughest, with demanding schedules and constantly being critiqued. Many fans expressed their desire for companies to wait until trainees are old enough to ensure that they are not taken advantage of and allow them to grow.
One fan even pointed out how uncomfortable they felt about the stage name “Chiquita” which, in Spanish, translates as “Little Girl.”
Along with the general consensus against idols debuting so young, others have raised concerns about minors debuting under YG Entertainment due to the past history of the company and founder Yang Hyun Suk.
In the past, Yang Hyun Suk revealed that he had met and fallen in love with Lee Eun Ju, who is 12 years his junior. The two had secretly dated for nine years before marrying without a wedding ceremony in 2010.
Yang Hyun Suk confessed that he had begun to like Lee Eun Ju after catching a glimpse of her on television. At the time, Lee Eun Ju was in her second year of middle school, when she would’ve been around 14 years old.
The camera caught her briefly. About 3 seconds? I saw this little kiddo doing the dishes and I went, ‘huh?’
— Yang Hyun Suk
Considering the age of Chiquita, it wasn’t surprising that netizens also raised concerns about minors debuting.
yg met her wife when she was a kid, groomed her and disbanded her gg to marry her btw https://t.co/t3flJMmDbm
— leo (@YUJ1NER) January 22, 2023
Although there have been many groups, such as CLASS:Y and others, that have thrived despite the young ages, netizens are worried that it’s becoming too much of a norm. Many are hoping that YG Entertainment ensures to have an appropriate concept for the members and protect them.
You can read more about the initial reactions to the young ages of BABYMONSTER below.