Now more and more K-Pop idol groups are debuting in their teens or underage. This of course invites public concern about their mental readiness.
Quote from Koreaboo on Tuesday (26/7/2022), one of the groups that is now a hot topic of discussion is NewJeans, a new girl group under HYBE’s sub-label, ADOR.
Based on member data circulating in the media, the oldest NewJeans members, namely Hanni and Minji, were born in 2004, while other members, namely Danielle, were born in 2005 and Haerin was born in 2006.
This means that the other two members are still underage. Debuting at a young age is not a bad thing for a group, considering the trend of idol debut age which is getting younger every year.
However, the public was again shocked when they found out that the youngest member of NewJeans, Hyejin, had just turned 14. This of course adds to the public’s concern, especially for Hyein who they think is too young to debut.
“Adding line 08 with those who are 17-18 years old is a strange thing in my opinion. Even though 17-18 years old is too young to debut in an industry full of high pressure,” commented one netizen.
Although many idols have also debuted at a young age long ago, this still invites public concern because this norm is starting to be normalized. They are also worried that underage idols will become objects of public sexualization, which seems unavoidable considering they are public figures.
In response to the public’s concerns, there are some people who feel more at ease considering that NewJeans is a group that debuted under the tutelage of Min Hee Jin.
They believe Min Hee Jin is trying to present a concept that fits the age of the members. Min Hee Jin revealed that she has a close relationship with all the NewJeans members as well as their parents.
Min Hee Jin is also aware of the many issues that will arise with idols who debut at a young age. However, now that more and more idols are debuting at a young age, he also wants to be directly involved with the group he fosters, and make sure they are treated well.
“Our girl group has done an extraordinary effort. No one is forcing them. However, they still feel anxious and afraid of not performing to the maximum. Our main goal is to entertain. We don’t start by wanting to break records or judge performances by numbers. , said Min Hee Jin.
He continued, “What I really want is for them to adapt to their environment, where they can do their best while having fun. If they don’t feel happy, then there’s no point.”
Although debuting at the age of 14 is a matter of concern for many, Min Hee Jin seems to understand the situation that her foster children might face. However, with her maternal figure she ensures that they are treated well.