He didn’t trust lettered men. Found them harder to keep in line, more resistant to persuasion. I prevailed. What was your argument? That I was tired of being the only one he had a hard time keeping in line. Flint to Dufresne - X
Hyomin’s full interview for High Cut May 2017 issue
Q. T-ara debuted in 2009 so now you’re going on your 9th year as a girl group. How does it feel putting behind all the times you spent together and preparing for your last album?
Honestly, we didn’t know the news would come out first. We were discussing T-ara’s future just amongst ourselves when suddenly we saw the articles so it somehow,,, felt like we can’t turn back now. “Ah it really turned out like this,” this is how we felt. But deep inside, we thought “since there’s still time left, we have to wait until then to really know.” When we saw the news articles, we shared lots of messages like “I feel strange” in our group chat.
Q,You must have talked a lot regarding the group’s future amongst the members.
We all know that nothing good comes from us splitting apart. The things we have achieved so far, it’s a waste…. anywho, we all cherish T-ara all the same.
Q.But why can’t you be together anymore?
We all want to stay together. But now we are all old, and it’s not like we can force each other to choose the same path. Each of us wants something different as well. However, regardless of which company we are in, I hope we can meet up between ourselves again later. We talked about this before, that’s what we are hoping for. To be honest, reality still hasn’t hit us yet.
Q.The fans and the public will probably feel sad about the timing (of your breakup). Because T-ara had so many ups and downs yet still kept promoting steadily and always achieved good results. Even recently, new evidences surfaced about the bullying scandal, in which T-ara used to be drawn as the ‘perpetrators’, and people started having a new perspective about it as well.
It’s very ambiguous. Lots of time has passed and we started feeling indifferent about it, we can’t even be sure if we had any bitterness deep inside regarding that scandal. We don’t feel relieved that “the truth was revealed,” not at all, we simply hated that it was mentioned again. Because there are lots of such perceptions about T-ara… because we always stay quite or try to be careful but then people start talking about us.
Q.Wouldn’t it be even more sad for the fans that you’re disbanding now after they have sticked together with you all through such crisis?
Our fans is the saddest part about this. Our fans had it tough too. For us, it’s something that we brought upon ourselves. Because we know well about our naive and immature actions…whenever we get criticised or go through difficult times, I believe it would have been difficult for our fans to confidently say “I’m a fan of T-ara.” We want to repay back our fans even if just by a little, we all feel the same about this….that’s partially why we carried on until now. Of course, we also carried on for the sake of our families and ourselves as well.
Q.We heard that you’re very close with your fans.
Yes, there are lots of fans whom we know their names and faces. Our fans are way more mature than we are. I don’t know how to feel about saying this but if I was a T-ara fan, I would’ve switched to another group long time ago. Rather than being thankful for certain words from our fans, we were just very thankful that they treated us as if nothing happened. That’s why… (Hyomin became speechless here).
Q.It must be very upsetting.
Yes. We feel very…. Since 5 years ago, we didn’t have any special goal. But even then, not a single member said that she doesn’t want to do this anymore, we just carried on altogether. We came this far just relying on each other (the members) so it’s a shame (to let go now). (Hyomin started tearing up). We talked about this a lot as well. I think it’s only right to keep going until the end. Because if we were to quit we would’ve quit sooner, and if we didn’t want to do this any one of us could’ve have quit earlier but not a single one of us did.
Q.During T-ara’s peak days, you had lots of schedules that you couldn’t sleep more than 2 hours a day. There were lots of different talks about T-ara, but no one can deny than you were a hard working team. Is there anything you want to praise yourself for when you look back on the past 9 years?
Um….the fact that I became able to just accept and adjust in any situation. In the past, whenever I am put in an unpleasing situation on or whenever something bad happens, I can’t accept it and just get sad by myself but now it’s different. Maybe because I got older as well (laughs).
Q.Have you ever thought that if you can fix just one thing about that situation, everything would’ve turned out better. Have you ever had such regrets about the issues in the past?
“I should’ve held it in,” this is what I thought. We all were so young.
Q.In a past interview, you mentioned “I look up about myself a lot. I know even the rumours other people don’t know about myself.” Do you still do this?
It’s not that hard. I think I became indifferent. Rather than getting hurt over negative talks, I instead gain strength from the small supporting words or positive mentions in between the lines. The public and the netizens wouldn’t just criticise someone who has no fault. People’s criticism wouldn’t turn into praises all of the sudden, so it’s easier that I change, myself. That’s how I thought. It’s important to recognise the problem, that’s why I look it up. I think things changed way more positively through time. Although there were still much more negative situations than positive while promoting in T-ara.
Q.Through the time you promoted in T-ara, what is the period time you felt the happiest to the point where you want to go back to it?
I want to go back to our debut days. The youngest days of our group promotions. (laughs).
Q.On 30th of July, 2009 you debuted through <Radio Star>, I watched it live and I still remember this vividly; Kim Gura’s dumbfounded face when he said “Why are you debuting like this?”
We were fresh out rookies back then so no one even knew our names or faces. All of the MCs were dumbfounded. They told us to introduce ourselves first, they were like “Who the hell are you?” (laughs). We even had a phone call with Kwangsoo CEO during the broadcast.
Q.It was such a one-of-a-kind debut. You were probably even more nervous than on stage.
Of course. It’s a period of time in which one gets nervous over anything. We also were very embarrassed when we saw the script, we thought “who comes out on TV first then introduce themselves (for the first time).” We felt that we must introduce ourselves well so we even practiced doing talent shows for each other. We couldn’t just sing and dance only, so we divided roles between us just like in a school play; Boram unnie did cartwheels, I did musical, Jiyeon did board smashing, and so on. We wanted to show something new.
Q.Do you want to debut in the same way even if you go back in time?
If I had the choice, I do want to do that. It’s a very big opportunity for a rookie. Actually, we want to go on <Radio Star> one last time before disbanding. We did voice out our desire to do that but we can’t be sure if that will happen or not.
Q.Let’s talk about your future. After your last album promotions, you have to slowly start preparing for your solo activities.
There are no plans at all yet.
Q.You don’t have anything you want to do either?
There are lots of things I want to do but…I don’t think it’s the time to do what I want to do. I want to do something I can be good at or learn something new. I have lots of interests in videos and pictures so I want to try travelling alone. I have never travelled alone before. I have lots of fears, also my parents don’t allow it.
Q.Wouldn’t it feel lonely?
During a point of time I used to feel lonely when I’m not dating, but I think I feel way less like that now. I’m my parent’s only child but I still know how to play by myself. The time I spend alone feels lonely yet fun too. Just because I have someone by my side doesn’t mean it will fill up my loneliness or eliminate the hollowness in my heart.
Q.You’re already 29. It’s a point of time where women commonly start having lots of different thoughts.
I don’t think much about it. I was rather depressed last year because it’s the last of my 20s. But this year, it’s already April before I know it. Each new year, I always have something new I want to try but I don’t think I have anything in particular this year. I just enjoy doing what I want to do from time to time and also rest in between. I don’t think this is right but…I will be jobless after T-ara disbands. (laughs). It’s a point of time where I have to start doing something but I just can’t think of anything. I think I’m being the most idle I’ve been my entire life. To think about it, I used to plan a lot when I was younger.
Q.You worked so hard all that time so I don’t think it’s a bad thing to rest a little now.
I think like that sometimes too. I believe it’s a good thing that my anxiety is gone. We used to have so much schedules but then suddenly none so we now know how to be grateful for having work to do.
Q.What kind of group do you want T-ara to remain to your fans?
(Hyomin paused to think for quite a while). There are probably many people who think “T-ara are such persistent kids”, I’ve been grateful just for this alone. I really wanted to continue doing this until the end while hearing ‘persistent’. If I have anything to wish for, I want to be persistent again together with the members. Although no one knows when.
Q.What do you want Hyomin to be remembered as?
I don’t have anything in mind. I’m grateful even if they just say “She does work hard.”
HYOMIN ASKS, TAROT CARDS ANSWER.
Hyomin: This might not be T-ara’s last album…but anyway, this so-called “last” album, will it turn out well?
Answer: This card refers to ‘me’ of the past. It shows that you had lots of thoughts and worries, but even so, you kept your balance and tried your best to work hard. The card that refers to the current you shows that you’re still maintaining your balance. You are maintaining your balance between your past experiences and the positive influence of your future. At last, the card that refers to your future shows that you will have something to gain even in the midst of a stressful situation. It means that even though you might not be necessarily happy, you will still gain something even in the midst of concerns and worries. It means that you will get stronger and will gain new possibilities in the future. You can say that you will have a successful fruit-bearing.
Hyomin: Does this divination sign apply both on me and our team?
Answer: This divination sign applies on the person picking up the card. But of course, since the question is about a team album, it will take an influence on that too.
Hyomin: Will my solo endeavours turn out well in the future?
Answer: This card means that you can be either the superior or the assistant. It means that instead of being confident of the things you have achieved so far, you will start having the desire to try something new. This card that shows a person hanging upside down means that you will start viewing your job in a different perspective. The other card means conflict. You will have a conflict between the thing/job you have done so far and the new thing/job you will be doing.
Hyomin: I’m 29 now. I’m curious about my fate that will approach me in the future.
Answer: The two cards you have picked have the same meaning. One means new news coming to you and the other means letter. If we were to interpret this, it means that someone will confess to you. This card means someone will passionately and enthusiastically ask you out. It’s a person who has known you for a long time. They’ve been faithful all along and never had a change of heart. But even so, you will still hesitate. Because the feelings you have for that person are close to friendship. Looking at the card, that person will confess to you very soon.
It’s funny when people call metal satanic because the godfather’s of Power Metal, Helloween bordered on Christian Rock at times as a result of the majority of the members being Christians.
I know it’s true what J.C. said I got it all clear in my head Seems we were born to be unfair I am a sinner that’s starting to dare to believe Give me your hand until the end And I will walk into the promised land I don’t deserve anything you do But I can’t stop loving you
No more lies, no false religions No more whys and wrong God missions No shiny T.V. priests begging for cash No more wars that no God’s never asked forThere’s a way back out of here One day we’re going home Tell everyone who wants to hear Whatever you do:
I feel bad cause I don't have a specific bias for GOT7 :( instead I have what I call 'Bias Periods' where I get feels for a member for who knows how long. It's not even planned and I just love them all like how can you choose a bias D:
Ahhhh, don’t feel bad anon! Haha this is classic THOT7 syndrome - they’re all kings of kings and HOW to choose just one??
(ignore me, I’m a freak case. Jinyoung just stole my soul and told me to go along with it)
Good evening, lovelies. We have decided to get rid of the flrpinsta tag, and instead replace it with the tag flrpmedia. At this time, we would like to ask everybody to unfollow the former and instead follow the latter.
The new tag will enable us to post more than just Instagram posts, and will allow for other social media platforms, such as tweets and snapchats, etc. We have also decided that, with the addition of the media tag, we will not be permitting tweets as starters anymore. We have added a note to the tracked tags page to let new members know this, too. All tweets should go in the flrpmedia tag, instead.
We just don’t feel a tweet really counts as a starter, is all.
While on the subject of starters, we’d also like to remind everyone of our starter rule, which states you must respond to recent starters before posting your own. This is not optional, guys. It’s actually a really important rule to follow. Nobody wants to be left out, after all.
To let us know you have read this, as it really is important, please respond to the following question, in character, as a reply to this post. Thank you!
It is safe to say that almost the entire world has recently been exposed to the solo debut of Harry Styles, member of the band One Direction. While he was not the first one to start up a solo project – Zayn Malik left the band in 2015 to pursue a solo career, whereas both Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson released solo material in 2016 – he was, perhaps after Zayn’s dramatic departure, the most hyped and anticipated artist out of the original bandmembers.
It’s been two weeks since Harry released his incredibly successful #1 debut single, Sign of the Times, which leads his self-titled LP that will hit stores on the 12th of May. Subsequently, critics have been quick to write their reviews, labeling the rock anthem as an epic song that establishes Harry as a credible artist. Part of the promotional roll-out of Harry’s debut seems to be centered around the cultivation of that notion: Harry Styles is to be seen as an authentic, honest, yet mysterious, credible musician. Given the fact that Rolling Stone profiles itself as the market-leading music magazine when it comes to crediting such artistry, it was to be expected that a profile and cover issue of Harry Styles would follow suit.
In a companion piece, Rolling Stone published a so-called ‘fansplaining’ column on their website – delving into the fanbase that has supported Harry Styles throughout the years, probably aimed at gauging their reaction to his debut. An interesting take, given the fact that the journalistic lens of Rolling Stone seems to focus mostly around discrediting the opinion of young women, particularly those who have been avid fans of the music that One Direction has put out in previous years, and who have supported Harry and his peers throughout that time. Aside from the fact that such an understanding of music is abhorrently misogynist, as it values the middle-aged white male’s opinion as somehow more legitimate than those of women (even when those women were able to recognize the artist’s talent years prior to those men who were blinded by their fragile masculinity), the article also failed to do what it intended: Explain what makes these fans so loyal to their idol.
There seems to be a deep-rooted misunderstanding of the relationship between fans and the artist they support, starting with the idea that all fans are the same. They are not. As such, many internal disagreement can exist within a fandom, while all maintaining the same admiration for the artist. It should be clear that fans are perhaps, aside from the artist themselves, the most critical of the output provided. People might find that contradictory, but I have found this to be true amongst many different groups of fans. It is similar to having a best friend that loves you unconditionally, but that will set you straight and call you out on your mistakes when you stumble. Fans are there to help the artist along, but that doesn’t mean they will not hesitate to analyze, criticize and educate their idol as well as their peers if they feel this is necessary. Such criticism stems from the expectations they have formed about said output products. Most fans will distinguish between music on the one hand, and image on the other hand. This is separate from the expectations and perception fans have from their idol’s personality. However, they will expect both music and image to reflect the personality of the artist – this is where the honesty comes into play.
For those who have been following One Direction’s career and musical development, the style of music chosen by Harry did not come as a surprise. In fact, while many reviewers seem to shy away from making the comparison, it seems that Harry’s music seems to progress most naturally out of the latest albums of One Direction. Songs like Walking in the Wind, If I Could Fly, or the slightly older Ready to Run and Where do Broken Hearts Go all reflect similar soft-rock vibes. It also fits the fans’ perception of what Harry’s personal taste in music is like, as he’s always hinted at big artists from the 70s and 80s as his big musical influences. His continuous rejection of explaining his lyricism is also consistent with the Harry fans have come to know and love over the years – he’s expressed many a times how much he values music as art. And art is interpreted by the person observing the artpiece, he likes that a song might give different people different perspectives, as long as it resonates, it’s enough.
This links back to image. In my view, many fans see Harry as fiercely protective of his private life. And with good reason, given how he had to grow up in the limelight – starting off on the X Factor, a reality show that is as much a storytelling drama series as it is a singing competition. However, this is also where there is a deep dissatisfaction amongst fans. Part of celebrity culture is providing the public with certain glimpses into your private life, and fans are quite ambivalent in their appreciation of this. On the one hand, fans want to see their idols be happy and have the opportunity to talk to them, or get to know them. On the other hand, fans recognize the flagrant violation of privacy in terms of stalkers, paparazzi and ‘inside sources’ speaking to the press.
In Harry’s case, this is where the dichotomy is most apparent. While he himself never speaks out about his private life or relationships, not even his friendships with other celebs such as Ed Sheeran, Alexa Chung or Nick Grimshaw; his private life has quite possibly been most speculated about and most prominent in tabloids out of all the One Direction members. Rolling Stone does an abysmal job at respecting the same mysteriousness they hail Harry for trying to uphold by filling in the blanks and pushing him to talk about relationships he’s chosen not to address in the past. Their leading title for their profile does not focus on the music, or him as a new solo artist, but rather on him ‘opening up about famous flings’. It is a common misconception that fans want to hear him say that he’s single, or want to know the ins and outs of who he beds. Rather, fans want to hear what makes Harry happy. They don’t want to marry him, they want to know if he’s hydrated and well loved by his family and friends – if he’s taken enough holidays and if there’s anything in particular he still wants to achieve or cross of his bucket list; that is if he has one. They want to hear him honour the fundamental friendships that underpin the appreciation and adoration fans carry for all One Direction members. They want to know what inspires him – not who. Does he order a cheeseburger at McDonald’s, or does he enjoy a Big Mac on cheat days?
Similarly, many fans will find the sudden recognition by Rolling Stone and other acclaimed music reviewers to be bittersweet. While they will feel proud of Harry at seeing him succeed and get this approval, they also call it for what it is: a thinly-veiled rejection of One Direction and the Harry Styles prior to his solo debut. It is an honour to be hailed as the next David Bowie or Mick Jagger, but the line between inspiration and imitation is thin, which makes fans wary. What is more – the celebration of Harry’s apparent ‘new honesty and authenticity’ (again a rejection of his previous work) is rather awkward, when the reviews do not seem to provide Harry Styles with the room to be iconic as himself. They make sure to draw comparisons with a multitude of icons from the past, as if every choice he’s made has been infused with the mentality to emulate his predecessors. Fans want Harry to succeed by being true to who he is, and while his music gets recognition, it’s still not perceived as being something that is only fully Harry’s.Finally, it is important to not just address what fans expect from their idol, but also what they take away from them. In Rolling Stone, Harry Styles shared that what hurts him are fundamental issues that are lacking in today’s society – things like ‘equal rights, for everyone – all races, sexes, everything’. He’s a feminist, has been involved in the HeforShe campaign, and has expressed his support for LGBTQ+ as part of One Direction. He was frequently seen waving a rainbow flag in concerts, stated that ‘here at One Direction, we love love. Love is love,’ and has worn rainbow bracelets – most recently even a rainbow pin proudly fastened on his shirt. Moreover, he’s taken great care in answering questions about partners, favouring the word ‘spouse’ and always using gender-neutral pronouns. Harry is proud of the fact that he wears 26inch women’s skinny jeans, and continues to present himself as vulnerable in photoshoots, and to break gender norms by not shying away from the colour pink, silk and sheer, glitter boots, or wearing nailpolish. While some might not see the significance in this, these moves are incredibly powerful and can help people of all ages feel more accepted and comfortable with being who they are – it makes them feel normal and safe in a heteronormative world that is dominated by gender stereotypes. What is more, it reinforces their love and support for the artist, as they agree with their worldview – it’s a connection on a more fundamental level, that is not fueled by romantic love interest, or aesthetically pleasing faces and outfits.
Moreover, it inspires fans to change their views on society, and to extend the same charity and empathy as their idol does. In this respect, One Direction and its individual members have - unfortunately - been grossly underrated. Only recently did Steve Aoki note the incredibly power held by this fanbase in particular, calling the fans ‘an institution, like an army of bees’, recognizing how Louis Tomlinson’s fans were mainly responsible for his debut single’s smash success – creating and coordinating their own promotional campaigns, creating merchandise and posters, and requesting the song on radios. But this dedication does not limit itself to seeing their favourite artist succeed. Inspired by the great amount of charity work that One Direction has done itself, ranging from participating in Comic Relief and being patrons of numerous charities to Louis Tomlinson spending over 3 million pounds to organize a fundraiser in the form of a Princess Ball for ill children, the fans have bolstered this attitude to give to those in need and started charity drives in honour of the multiple members. The popular account 1DFansGive encourages fans to donate money to the charities that Harry and his peers are patrons of or have expressed their support for – with unparalleled, consistent success.
These positive aspects of the unique relationship between Harry Styles/1D and the fanbase are entirely lacking or even erased in media representation, which further fuels the dichotomy and love-hate relationship that fans have with media outlets. They stigmatize his fans as being teenage girls who fantasize about a relationship with him, and therefore are obsessed with his sex life – when this is frankly an insulting and gross overgeneralization. It is off-putting that fans are shamed for behavior they do not demonstrate, all the while the press engages in exactly that same behavior. It is not fans who force the idea of Harry Styles dating Taylor Swift or Kendall Jenner down anyone’s throats – it’s the press. It is not fans that prioritize his romantic relationships over his musical abilities and interests – it’s the press. On the other hand – it’s not the press that makes an artist successful, it’s the fans. And most importantly, it’s not the press that annually raises thousands of dollars inspired by an artist’s activism - it’s the fans. And the press doesn’t even report it; not even when they attempt fansplaining.
My advice? Don’t try something if the verb is derived from a harmful, toxic, divisive, humiliating and belittling behaviour that takes away someone’s voice and agency. Fansplaining is just as appreciated by fans as mansplaining is by women - not at all.
Relationships: Taehyung’s older brother, Yoongi’s childhood best friend+roommate, Hoseok’s college best friend+ apartment mate, Jungkook’s apartment mate, Jimin and Jin’s recent friend & coworker, Jackson’s First Love