LE SSERAFIM’s HUH YUNJIN calls out the K-pop industry’s hypocrisy

Samia Orva, Staff Writer

Critic Rating: 8/10


The K-pop industry has become infamous for unrealistic — and oftentimes toxic — standards. Idols are expected to conform to the expectations of the public and upkeep their doll-like “image” at all times. Recently, some idols have discovered the courage to speak out against the cruelty in the industry, especially that which occurs behind the scenes. Among these icons is Huh Yunjin of LE SSERAFIM, who hopes to break the standards through her music.


Her song “Idol≠Doll” can be described as a mix of pop-rock with a trap-genre instrumental. Yunjin’s powerful vocals and her style of singing brings out the message of the song and the frustration she feels towards the industry. 


In the two and a half minute track, Yunjin criticizes the hypocritical nature of the public towards idols. Artists are expected to act a certain way, but even when satisfying those standards, backlash is inevitable. Yunjin condemns the fact that many equate “idol” as a “doll to f*** with.” Not only are idols’ every action over-analyzed, but their looks are picked apart too. Oftentimes, these artists are only recognized for their appearance, not for their talent or hard work they put in to be there. The industry overly fixates on the idea of beauty, projecting unattainable standards onto artists and promoting them to their audience. This obsession with “perfection” leads idols to be criticized for every little flaw that doesn’t fit the cookie-cutter mold: “When all they see is vanity / They pick apart my body / And throw the rest away.” One day a person could be praised for being beautiful, but in a matter of moments, everyone could completely turn on them. With one little mistake, these people who were once idolized suddenly turn into villains; Yunjin highlights this hypocrisy singing, “어제는 인형 같고 / 오늘은 ‘이년’이라 해,” which translated to English is “Yesterday, you said I looked like a doll / Today, you called me a b****.” 

Many listeners appreciate the uncensored, straightforward nature of the lyrics. In an industry where most matters are kept behind closed doors, Yunjin does not shy away from telling it how it is. She is a commendable artist with a mission to reform the K-pop industry. “Idol≠Doll” is an empowering song that I recommend, even to those who don’t normally listen to K-pop. It’s a great fit for those who love catchy music and strong vocals, but also value meaningful messages.