MAMAMOO’s Hwasa may not fit into everyone’s conventional idea of ‘pretty’, but that doesn’t mean she’s not gorgeous—and she knows it. Here are 8 times she said to hell with beauty standards and rocked it as the unapologetically beautiful woman she is.
1. When she spoke up about colorism
While many K-Pop idols are fair-skinned, there are plenty with a naturally darker, more tanned complexion that’s just as beautiful. Hwasa is one of them—but unfortunately, she’s often the target of colorist hatred.
Even today, Hwasa is still the target of jokes about her skin color from netizens. But instead of brushing it under the rug, she tries to call attention to it where she can. In one interview, she even mentioned how she was labelled a “problem child” because of her skin color when she was little.
2. When she vowed to set her own standards
At MAMAMOO’s concert, Hwasa told a heart-wrenching story of an audition she once attended. Though she wowed the casting agents with her singing and performance, they ultimately turned her down with a cold comment: “You’re fat and not pretty”.
Thankfully, she didn’t let that stop her. At first, Hwasa ran home in tears. But then, those words became a major turning point for her. Knowing her dream was to be a singer, she promised herself one thing—to set her own beauty standards.
If I don’t fit into this generation’s standard of beauty, then I will have to become a different standard.
It’s something she’s repeated time and time again. She’s also encouraged her fans not to try to fit into the existing standard of beauty, assuring MooMoos that being yourself is much more impressive.
It’s cooler if you decide those standards on your own. Something that’s really like you. I believe that’s what true beauty is.
3. When she warned fans against dieting
Unfortunately, dieting is often unavoidable for K-Pop idols, who need to keep up a certain level of image and fitness with each comeback. But that didn’t stop Hwasa from warning fans against diets. She said that despite the industry’s pressure, she and the rest of the MAMAMOO members try to eat freely as often as they can.
If you keep dieting, it’s not good for your mind or body.
4. When she gave Kang Han Na confidence
When actress Kang Han Na expressed shame over a revealing dress on Happy Together 4, guest MC Hwasa assured her that it’s not something she should want to remove from her past.
Hwasa complimented Kang Han Na on her cool choice of outfit, which even prompted Yoo Jae Suk to add “I don’t think it’s something you need to erase.”
5. When she shut down the debut hate
Debuting should be a happy time for idols, who trained for so many years to stand in the spotlight. Unfortunately for Hwasa, her debut was fraught with cruel comments from netizens telling her that “MAMAMOO would be a pretty girl group if it wasn’t for Hwasa”. Many of them even demanded that she should leave the group.
But Hwasa found the strength to shut down that hate and keep it from affecting her. Hwasa has said that all those critical comments early in her career only made her stronger. Instead of letting herself be hurt, she optimistically took on the challenge of changing everyone’s perceptions of her.
Those negative comments made me say, “I’ll show who I am properly”.
6. When she cut her hair without permission
K-Pop companies often impose restrictions on their artists’ hair, asking them not to cut or dye it without the CEO’s permission. RBW was the same with MAMAMOO before debut; the CEO had expressly asked the members not to cut their hair before their first single was released.
But Hwasa wasn’t about to pander to the idea that short hair isn’t attractive enough for debut. Not only did she cut it without permission the next day, she boldly revealed it to the CEO by asking if he liked it.
7. When she wore that bodysuit
And that’s not the only time Hwasa made her own decisions without consulting the CEO. One of Hwasa’s best known media moments is from the 2018 Mnet Asian Music Awards (MAMA) in December 2018, when she wore a very revealing red bodysuit. Given that many netizens criticized the outfit for falling outside the usual girl group standard, most idols would seek permission before wearing something like it.
But CEO Kim Do Hoon revealed that he didn’t know about the outfit beforehand, saying he was surprised by how short it was when he watched the performance. But above all else, he said he trusts the MAMAMOO members and believes they should choose their own outfits since they’re the ones who have to wear them.
8. When she said performing is what’s most important
It can be easy for anyone to get caught up in looks and appearances, so it must be even harder for K-Pop idols not to focus on them. But ultimately, Hwasa says that the most important thing is that she gets to sing on stage happily.
No matter how I’m criticized, in the end I’m going to sing in front of those people. I’m so happy standing on this stage itself