When Alex Reid debuted as BP RANIA‘s rapper in 2015, she was the only black K-Pop idol in the industry. Though she received notable media attention for being a pioneer, she went through countless small hardships that she later detailed after leaving the group.

bp rania

Besides salons not having her foundation shade, she was also influenced into having to straighten her natural curls as no one knew how to handle them. This led to her waking up at 4AM just to do the job by herself.

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Despite these small struggles and the hardships of receiving hate comments, she persevered. In an interview with GRAZY GRACE, she explained how important it was for her to be a model for others.

Being a minority, we all have this experience where we know that we don’t get as many shots at stuff. And it’s so important for us to look at people like, ‘She can do it, I can do it’.

— Alex

Because representation matters, she held on as a K-Pop idol for at least two years.

From my experience, [it was] a very trying position. Sometimes, the only thing that made me hang on was being like, ‘I want to represent’. I want to make sure that I don’t screw this up for all girls like me who have these dreams.

— Alex

Though Alex smiled in front of the camera, she faced many difficulties behind it, making her cheer on BLACKSWAN’s newest black member, Fatou, who is in a similar situation.

Everything looks great all the time but you just don’t know. It’s hard and it’s lonely, so [Fatou] needs to know that she has a support system behind her.

— Alex

She holds no malice towards the new group. In fact, Alex had even privately messaged Fatou to show her support.

Personally, for there to be another black artist represent the community in that genre, it’s so important. She needs to be supported. If she does well, there’s a chance for everyone.

— Alex

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BLACKSWAN’s Fatou | @b_fatou_s/Instagram

If you want to get to know more details of Alex’s idol life, check out her interview with Grace below!