In the latest “Episode 12” of the hit K-Drama Itaewon Class, actress Lee Joo Young‘s character, Danbam Pub’s Chef Ma Hyun Yi, faced the biggest moment of her life as she prepared for the final round of a cooking competition.
Unfortunately, she fell victim to a publicized outing — when her opponent team, Jangga Co., leaked her most private information to the press and revealed to the world that she is a transgender woman.
Ma Hyun Yi takes off from the scene, shocked and afraid of the hatred she could receive from the outing. While Park Saeroyi (played by actor Park Seo Joon) tries to comfort the distressed chef and tells her it would be okay to give up the competition…
… her teammate Jo Yi Seo (played by actress Kim Da Mi) inspires Ma Hyun Yi in a completely different way.
Over the phone, Jo Yi Seo reads Ma Hyun Yi this poem, written by cartoonist Gwang Jin who created the original web comic series Itaewon Class:
I’m a rock. Go ahead and sear me. I won’t budge an inch because I’m a rock. Go ahead and beat me up. I’m a solid rock. Go ahead and leave me in the darkness. I’m a rock that will shine all alone. I don’t break, I don’t burn, nor do I decay, as I go against nature’s way. I survive. I’m a diamond.
— Gwang Jin
And these inspirational words fuel Ma Hyun Yi to get back up on her feet and confront her fear…
… creating the most chilling scene in Itaewon Class by far.
— 춘식 (@chun6_) March 7, 2020
I’m Ma Hyun Yi, the chef of Danbam Pub. I’m a transgender. And today, I am going to win.
— Ma Hyun Yi
The soundtrack titled “Diamond”, recorded by the vocalist Ha Hyun Woo of the band Guckkasten, also soared in searches and popularity after the episode. The song’s lyrics, featuring phrases from the poem, immediately became an anthem for those in need of some self morale boost:
Viewers became 200% captivated by actress Lee Joo Young’s portrayal of “Ma Hyun Yi the Diamond” in this final few moments of Episode 12 — and the internet is celebrating the 2020 “International Women’s Day” with her breathtaking “Female Power” scene:
— 씨네21 / CINE21 (@cine21_editor) March 8, 2020
[That woman is stronger than anyone I know.] Did everyone watch Ma Hyun Yi’s awesomeness yesterday? She’s only getting started though, the real drama is about to go down in the next episode! What are we going to do about this beautiful diamond of a woman? Today is March 8, the International Women’s Day.
— Twitter @cine21_editor
With that said, Itaewon Class fans can’t wait for the next episode to see how Ma Hyun Yi and the Danbam Pub family will overcome the struggles being thrown at their faces!