ITZY looked stunning in their latest August 17 comeback, “Not Shy”. But unfortunately, the members have received hate about their looks in the past. Today, Chaeryeong confessed just how hard the malicious comments have been on her.

Chaeryeong just turned 19 years old, but she’s already been in the public eye for 7 years. She competed on SBS‘s K-Pop Star 3 in 2013, then became a contestant on Mnet‘s SIXTEEN (the show that formed TWICE) in 2015.

chaeryeonghate_1
| Mnet

Sadly, her early fame also came with hate comments. Chaeryeong says the hardest time of her life was around a year before ITZY debuted. She likely expected that things would get better when she finally faced the public as part of a group, but the malicious remarks didn’t stop there.

chaeryeonghate_2

I don’t know why, but after becoming the debut team which I had dreamed of for so long, I thought it all meant nothing if I was already being hated like this.

— Chaeryeong

Not long after the group’s debut, the hate became so bad that Chaeryeong’s own mother took to the internet begging netizens to show her “innocent and precious” daughter some mercy.

chaeryeonghate_3

It’s very easy for you to say hurtful things about Chaeryoung. Even if you guys don’t find her pretty, you don’t have to leave hurtful comments on every article and video without hesitation. It’s so sad and hurtful to see my innocent and precious daughter get scolded for her appearance. Please look after her, you don’t have to be nice to her but please don’t be hurtful. Please

— Chaeryeong’s mother

And even now, over a year after ITZY debuted, the hate Chaeryeong faced still affects her. She confessed she’s noticed that she developed habits as a result of the comments, like “standing on the sides when taking pictures, or trying not to stand out“.

chaeryeonghate_5
| @ITZYofficial/Twitter

Some people are just really mean.

— Chaeryeong

Fans hearts shattered as Chaeryeong broke down in the live premiere broadcast clip where she talked about her hardships. She had to take a moment to gather herself after revealing how much she relates to fans who have low self-esteem regarding their looks.

chaeryeonghate_6
| @ITZYofficial/Twitter

When I read through comments on the internet… when I come across ones that say, “Must be nice to be pretty”, I just get sad… I’m just the same… I just want to hug them. I feel sorry for myself too…

— Chaeryeong

Chaeryeong went on to explain how her experience makes ITZY’s lyrics all the more meaningful. Most of their songs focus on a message of self-confidence and having pride in what makes you unique. While some people have criticized ITZY’s song themes as being “childish”, they’re important to Chaeryeong because they give fans inspiration.

chaeryeonghate_7

I know that there aren’t many people who behave like the lyrics of our songs. To have such self-worth and self-confidence… there aren’t many people like that. I’m not singing this song because I’m confident and self-assured. All I know is I just want to give off the right energy to others.

— Chaeryeong

And thankfully, despite everything she’s faced, Chaeryeong is still doing her best to stay strong. She told fans she’s trying to take care of herself these days, both for her own good and to reassure MIDZYs.

chaeryeonghate_8
| @itzy.all.in.us/Instagram

Now that I have fans who are rooting for me, if they knew that I’m being shaken by a few mean comments, I think that would make them sad too. So I tell myself not to get sad, time is too precious. I try to control the negative thoughts like that.

— Chaeryeong