In a candid revelation, Girls’ Generation Hyoyeon has recently shed light on how hurtful and malicious comments about her physique, particularly her muscular thighs, had a profound impact on her self-esteem during the early days of her career.
During a guest appearance on dancer and choreographer Gabee’s YouTube talk show, “Gabee’s Rising Star,” Hyoyeon, known for her impressive dancing skills, opened up about the struggles she faced during her debut days.
Battling Self-Doubt and Negative Public Perception
As the main dancer of Girls’ Generation, Hyoyeon had a background in hip-hop dance before joining the iconic girl group. She confessed that there were certain songs within Girls’ Generation’s repertoire, such as “Gee,” “Genie,” and their debut track, “Into the New World,” that she didn’t particularly like.
According to her, these songs felt too childish and didn’t align with her personal style. Ironically, these were the songs that garnered immense popularity.
However, what bothered Hyoyeon the most during those early days was her physical appearance. Given her background in hip-hop dance, she had developed muscular thighs, a result of the strenuous popping and locking dance styles she practiced.
She felt uncomfortable performing songs like “Into the New World” in short skirts while exuding sweetness with lyrics, all while sporting muscular thighs, which she believed didn’t fit the image at the time.
Hyoyeon admitted that she disliked her own appearance, and it made her even more self-conscious when she noticed that viewers were also uncomfortable with her physique.
She shared, “I didn’t like how I looked, but people who were watching were also uncomfortable.”
(Photo : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHm3zCLxk80)
What followed was a period where Hyoyeon avoided being seen in public after the release of “Into the New World” due to the negative comments about her thighs. She even contemplated quitting dancing altogether to get rid of her muscle and she confessed
“I legitimately did not walk around after ‘Into the New World.’ [I thought that] I became like this because of dance. I had cool muscles that were made from dancing, but because people said it was ugly, I thought it was ugly and said, ‘Then I won’t dance.’ I was focused on the wrong thing”
Gabee, the show’s host, empathized with Hyoyeon, noting that her reaction was understandable, given her young age at the time. Hyoyeon had debuted when she was just 17 years old.
Despite her initial insecurities, Hyoyeon revealed that she eventually forgot about her thigh concerns, only to realize one day that her muscles had diminished.
Surprisingly, this wasn’t a welcome change for her, as she found dancing considerably more challenging without the strength she had previously gained from her muscles.
Today, as a veteran K-Pop idol in her 16th year as a singer, Hyoyeon continues to dance powerfully, whether she has big thigh muscles or not. She recently released her new song, “Picture,” showcasing her unwavering dance and performing skills, proving that she has risen above the body-shaming comments that once affected her profoundly.