MAMAMOO‘s Moonbyul was in a trending Pann post for supposedly telling PURPLE KISS member Swan to lose weight in a series of screencaps.
Moonbyul: It’s really stressful when the person next to you tells you to lose weight
Moonbyul: It’s not like I wanna say something like this either but
Moonbyul: I hope you know that these people are saying those words for Swanie
Korean reactions were actually rather supportive of this, mainly because that is realistically (and unfortunately) the standard there, and also so they can drag IVE‘s Liz into it as well (which is confusing?). However, international netizens on social media and in the comments are calling Moonbyul out.
Well, I thought it was a weird exchange for Moonbyul to just be telling a junior idol to lose weight, as that goes against at least her image. So I went searching for the source video to check, and the scene is from a video from April 3 of last year, where Moonbyul talked with PURPLE KISS members in a roundtable during a behind-the-scenes video from her Naver NOW program Studio Moon Night. She was giving advice to the group in general, but all the members individually.
When she got to Swan, I guess it was known she was having trouble with pressure to lose weight, and I feel like she gave rather honest advice. Basically that she shouldn’t stress about it and advises that weight will come off naturally, then saying to not take comments about it maliciously, and that she should be enough as a singer, before concluding that all of the members should gain weight anyway.
I guess if you’ve been primed going into the exchange to assume Moonbyul is calling Swan fat (“MOONBYUL POINTING OUT TO PURPLE KISS THAT THEY GAINED WEIGHT”), then it’s easy to read the worst into the part about people not being malicious. However, it’s fascinating to see how this was initially presented in coverage a year ago, when Koreaboo wrote, “MAMAMOO’s Moonbyul Gives Some Invaluable Words Of Wisdom To PURPLE KISS’s Swan”. They likely did that mainly because of the context around it that you now know about, which is also probably why it wasn’t a thing at the time.
Of course, everybody is still free to feel any way they want about the exchange, but I just read it as pragmatic advice about not adding the input of others onto self-doubt by assuming the worst of their comments, and Moonbyul bookended that by specifically saying not to worry about weight as opposed to what is being claimed. Really it was just annoying that people generated a hate thread based on a narrative from blurry screencaps, and that in context there wasn’t much to it and the whole segment was honestly rather nice.