Fans who have been on the K-Pop scene for quite some time may know Ryu Sera best as a former member of Nine Muses. Newer fans, however, probably know her as YouTube creator Sera Ryu, who primarily uploads reaction videos to other K-Pop songs. But Sera’s decision to become a reaction YouTuber wasn’t an arbitrary one. There’s actually a sweet and touching reason behind it, as revealed in a new interview with The Korea Times.
For a long time after leaving Nine Muses, Ryu Sera says she avoided television at all costs. Back then, she was suffering so heavily from depression and other mental health difficulties that she wasn’t able to watch TV without thinking about what others on screen were going through in her own life. But during the process of her recovery, she eventually began to watch music shows again.
I started watching music programs again, obviously because music is what I know best and also what I was best at.
— Ryu Sera
Sera admits that it wasn’t easy at first, especially when she watched the stages of rookie idol groups making their foray into the industry. “You can just visualize how they’re being treated backstage,” she says, “getting yelled at and being told to lose weight and such.” However, Sera ultimately told herself that it “wasn’t fair” to project her own personal trauma onto the artists she saw on screen.
Instead, Sera sweetly decided to start thinking about ways to support them—”because I saw myself in those girls.” And that’s how her reaction video YouTube channel was born. By making videos of herself reacting to idol groups of all fame levels from companies big and small, Sera was able to support the artists in her own way, providing a “source of encouragement.”
Especially for artists represented by a small talent agency. I’m not exactly a big artist myself, but I wanted them to feel that I was watching them and supporting them all throughout.
— Ryu Sera
All in all, Sera isn’t not sure whether the industry has progressed significantly since her time as an idol. When asked if she thinks K-Pop still has far to go in that respect, she admitted, “I’m still searching for the right answer.” For example, given the reality of the industry, she still doesn’t think it helps to tell rookies that they’re “beautiful just the way they are,” no matter how powerful that message should be. After all, Sera says, “It means nothing if others stay the same no matter how hard you try to change.”
That said, Sera is still doing her best to make her mark on idols in a positive way with her YouTube reactions—and fans have come to love them just as much. Check out one of her reaction videos here: