The world of K-Pop is known for its strict standards and expectations regarding K-Pop idols. In particular, the topic of weight and looking a certain way is a topic of debate amongst netizens.
Recently, ENHYPEN has come under fire after a recent broadcast raised concerns about comments aimed toward member Sunoo on the topic of his weight.
In the past, the members have been criticized for some of the comments aimed at Sunoo regarding his weight. Concerns have been raised again after comments made during a recent live broadcast.
On July 13, the members of the group sat down with fans after their music show win for the track “Future Perfect (Pass The MIC” on Show Champion.
During the live broadcast, the members answered questions from fans and read out comments that appeared on the stream chat.
One of the comments read said, “Sunoo, your face has been halved,” which is the literal translation of the message. After hearing the message, Sunoo replied, “Oh gosh, no. It isn’t.”
When taking the literal translation of the comment which was regarding Sunoo’s weight, some netizens raised concerns after hearing the reaction from the members. If it seemed like the comment from the fan was saying that Sunoo had lost weight, the members’ response seemed to refute those claims.
Jay: Seriously, it isn’t.
Sunghoon: Pffft. You’re lying! You’re kidding!
While the literal translation was “Your face has been halved,” many others also interpreted it as “You lost weight on your face (because of tiredness?)” By looking at these translations, and the members denying that Sunoo had lost weight, many netizens believed that it shone a spotlight on Sunoo being body shamed by the group again.
In particular, many linked it back to a previous broadcast where the members came under fire for their comments about Sunoo’s weight while filming.
Although the literal translation was shared on social media, others shared that it was possible to interpret the phrase differently. One netizen pointed out that “face halved” was also a Korean idiomatic expression used to describe being “haggard,” which is when someone looks tired or unwell, usually due to stress.
When looking at it through this interpretation from fans, it seemed as if the members were defending Sunoo rather than shaming him about how he looked.
Like all idioms used in different countries, the phrase 얼굴이 반쪽이 되다, which means “to have your/one’s face halved,” can be interpreted in many ways regarding losing fat on their cheeks or face. For this reason, netizens have had mixed opinions on the issue.
The phrase can be related to actual weight loss (which is the original fan translation) or exhaustion but also the person “looking” a bit tired because of exhaustion (which is the other interpretation) or not being fed/taken care of well.
In the past, one fan tweeted an interaction with Sunoo. The caption read: “When I told him, ‘Your face is half in size!’, he loved hearing it this much. T-T F*ck… LOL. Such a baby T-T,” showing that the phrase was used to compliment the idol.
Taking this into consideration alongside the fact that Korean society is known to comment on a person’s appearance and that weight loss is considered a compliment in Korean culture, the idiom is more generally used to praise someone on their weight loss.
The hashtag first started trended in Thailand as a Thai account posted a TikTok video of a complication of the members “body-shaming” the idol and it got over a million views on social media. The hashtag started gaining prominence worldwide after this video was posted, with many adding the recent clip.
Those who found issues with the members’ responses and associated it with “body-shaming” believed that the members shouldn’t be criticized but educated more on the topic of body issues.
Some fans have also suggested that those who are attending the upcoming fan meeting should “educate” the members on why they should not tease Sunoo about his weight.
The reason why netizens have raised concerns is due to the fact that it isn’t the first time the members have come under fire for allegedly “fat-shaming” Sunoo. During several appearances and broadcasts, the members have been called out for making weight-related comments towards Sunoo that have upset netizens.
Yet, although the allegations have resurfaced, ENGENEs also want to emphasize that ENHYPEN truly loves Sunoo. In the past, they have always used any opportunity to praise their member whenever they can.
Regardless of the interpretation of the comment, netizens want to make it clear that they know how much the members care and love Sunoo. Yet, they want to raise awareness and educate the group on how comments on weight can be harmful which is an ongoing issue in the world of K-Pop.
You can read more about the issue below.