Before TXT‘s Hueningkai and Kep1er‘s Bahiyyih Huening made their debuts in the K-Pop world, their older sister Lea Heuning spent two years as an idol in the girl group VIVA. Looking back on her experience, she spoke about the downsides of idol life with &ASIAN.
Although Lea Huening would be willing to debut again, she admitted that being an idol came with many sacrifices. She recalled not being allowed to have anything personal, “When I was an idol, I couldn’t have my [own] things. I didn’t have my channel; I didn’t have my Instagram; I didn’t have anything for me.”
Since she’s now a model, TikToker, and YouTuber, Lea Huening shared how freeing it was to finally have those things. She feels “more in control and more free,” especially since her new company helped her with them. That wasn’t the only part of idol life that took a toll.
Lea Huening revealed that everything from her diet to her time was accounted for and watched closely.
But when you’re an idol, there is a big schedule. I have to dance, sing, practice, eat—but I couldn’t eat a lot, only eat a little—and then [more] singing and [practicing] the same routines.
— Lea Huening
Having lived on both sides, Lea Huening admitted that her life right now gave her far more freedom to do all the things she couldn’t before. She said, “I can do what I want… [I’m] more comfortable right now, than before when I was an idol.”
Having a sister who’s experienced the ups and downs of being an idol must be useful to her younger siblings. Although her idol life is in her past, she’s still bringing joy to fans in other ways.