Ex-Fiestar member Cheska (Minji) has recently held live streams on her twitch channel where she candidly answered fan questions about her time in the K-Pop industry. The livestream replays have since then been deleted, but here are cliffnotes on what she said:
- Minji was getting bullied by Yezi and Jei. [Quote]
"We would fight for like, the stupidest reasons, like, uh, from misunderstanding each other.
So I’d always be the one who would go up to them and be like ‘I think we misunderstood each other, I’m sorry for misunderstanding you. They would never say sorry to me. I would always be like I’m sorry for this, and they’d be like ‘ok’. Like they wouldn’t talk to me at all.
And then I’d be like, I feel like we should talk more, I feel like we should communicate more, cause for me, I feel like communicating is like, the number one solution to problems, so I’d be like ‘I think we should communicate’ and the person would be like ‘no. I don’t want to talk to you’. That’s what they’d be like, ‘we have nothing to talk about, I have nothing to talk about with you,’ and I’m over here like ‘what, we have so much to talk about cause we misunderstood each other’."
- Worst of the bullying came from Yezi. It was because of competition and insecurities and Minji spent the whole time putting herself down to raise Yezi up. She was jealous of Minji's English abilities and while Minji helped her write rap lyrics, Yezi would mistreat her. After Minji left the group Yezi called her up and asked for her help on lyrics. Minji wrote her lyrics for the song One More but was never credited.
- IU gave her a shout-out on Twitter and that was the happiest Minji ever was in k-pop. The same day IU visited their MV shooting set and Minji was fangirling over her, then Yezi made Minji feel bad about it. [Quote]
"Working with IU was actually really fun, that was the best part. She’s really pretty you guys, she’s really pretty, she’s really nice, but I had to stay away from her.
IU, I think was my most positive memory.
I had to stay away from IU because the maknae, which is Yezi, was jealous because IU shouted my name out on Twitter and I was getting recognition because she shouted my name out, and she was giving me an attitude, and everyone else was like, eh. I needed the group to be on my side, I chose the group instead of IU, so I had to stay away from IU, for me to survive in the group."
- Jei also bullied her. The girls did not get along. Since Jei was the leader, Minji asked her if they could try to get along and Jei said "we're not here to make friends, we're here for business."
- Minji was bulimic before their debut and lost a lot of weight. Because she became "pretty" the company wanted to switch the visual role to her instead of Jei. She was bullied because of that so she gained weight back so Jei would stay visual.
- Cao Lu was a "two-faced bitch" but didn't bully her. [Quote]
"Cao Lu also got bullied too. Even though I said she was a two-faced bitch, she didn’t do anything wrong, she’s just a two-faced bitch, like I said on my other live.
Everyone got bullied in this group, except Yezi and Jei. Basically, Yezi was the [real] leader, who was hiding behind Jei, who was actually the leader [on paper]. We were getting controlled by the maknae, basically. Everything was messed up.
I’m not gonna lie, Cao Lu is pretty smart. Her family is pretty rich, from what I know, but she isn’t. She’s from a wealthy family. She hit #1 in China as a solo artist. To be honest, I don’t know why she came to Korea to restart as an artist. If it was SM, JYP, YG, I’d understand why, but LOEN? But, she’s smart. Maybe that’s why, where the two-faced thing comes in. She knows how everything works. She knows how to treat the elders with respect."
- The message she sent to Zelo on Weekly Idol was fake. She said "I never liked Zelo, I just had to think of someone that I liked and it was for a show." She didn't go into why she didn't like him.
- One time she went to the bathroom and Hyorin was outside, seemingly in line after her. When Minji was done she told Hyorin that the bathroom was free and Hyorin gave her a stank eye and didn't say anything. Minji realized she was just there to smoke (Note: She later said on Twitter that she only said Hyorin wanted to smoke because her (Minji's) manager told her that. She didn't observe it or knew it directly). Instead of saying that, she just looked at her rudely. [Quote]
"There was a time I was actually going to perform on the same stage. I think it was in Vietnam. I saw Sistar and I was going to go to the bathroom. I used to smoke cigarettes but I couldn’t let my company know or I couldn’t debut. I quit smoking by the way, it’s been 9 months. Back then I smoked cigarettes. I was going to go to the bathroom and I was waiting in line. Then it was my turn, I peed, and I came out and was washing my hands and Hyolyn was next in line. I was like “oh you can use the restroom, there’s no one in here, I was the last person.” And this is what she did *looks around in annoyance*. This is what she did. I was like “wtf” Is she being mean because I’m new to the industry? Soyou was really nice, but that’s what Hyolyn did to me. I was like “ok” and I just washed my hands and left. It’s because she wanted to smoke a cigarette. She could’ve just been like “oh I’m here to smoke a cigarette”, that’s it. But instead she was just like *imitates*. Yeah very toxic. I don’t know why she did that to me. I’ve seen so many people look at me like that in the Korean industry."
cheska describing hyolyn #$^#$*^&#$&$# please help me pic.twitter.com/EqKZrD4ztD— christina (@bpdisband) February 29, 2020
- [Trigger Warning: Sexual Harassment and Rape]"I have all the dark sides, I really do, except for you know, sexual harassment.
There is a lot of sexual harassment, but I haven’t been through it… Actually I’m lying, I’ve been through sexual harassment.
It’s poretty disgusting, as soon as I came to Korea, I got manipulated. I don’t wanna say this, but I did get raped. I don’t think I told anyone about this.
If you guys know about my Instagram, I posted this one this I don’t want to share about, it’s when I got raped. Um… yeah.
I pretty much went through all of the negative side of K-Pop basically. I don’t want people to feel bad for me or anything, because I’m a strong girl, I’m a strong woman. To be honest, I didn’t want to say this because I feel like my parents would know about this, I don’t want them to know about this.
He was cute though, so it’s fine. I got manipulated, that was my first time I came to Korea, I was under a different company, not under LOEN. Yeah… he was a sack of shit [though].
I feel like I became a stronger person after going through that, because I know that girls at a young age, can go through that. Since I went through that. I feel like I can help girls who get sexually harassed.
I was young, I didn’t have any power. It’s a hard subject. You never know who’s been through shit. You never know who’s been raped.
This happened 9 years ago, when I first came to Korea, so I’m way over it. That’s why I’m not crying about this.
I cried a lot because of this, I didn’t like myself, I didn’t love myself, because I thought I was nasty."
- She was forced to do double eyelid surgery or she wouldn't be able to debut. The company wanted her to do a bunch more to her face but she and her parents refused.
- The stories about sexual harassment in the industry are true. "If you're 17-23ish it's easier for the guys to manipulate you because you're so young and you have no experience."
- The girls had no creative input whatsoever. The company sucks the creativity out of you and replaces it with how they want you to be. She doesn't know how to be cute but she was the cute member. She was a dancer and vocalist but she was forced to rap. She hated everything they released after their debut and hated how they styled her.
- She was offered a spot on Unpretty Rapstar but declined. [Quote]
"If I wanted attention, I would’ve went on Unpretty Rapstar, because their producer called [my boyfriend, GEEKS’ Lil Boi], yeah.
The producer asked him to ask me if I wanted to go on Unpretty Rapstar, and I said no. The producer wanted to talk to me, and said ‘are you sure, can you think about this one more time?’ and I was like, nope, don’t want to do it."
- Almost all the rappers on Unpretty Rapstar used ghostwriters. [Quote]
"There’s rappers who don’t use ghostwriters, but like 9/10 of the rappers on the show have ghostwriters, they don’t write their own raps, they don’t write their own lines.
I didn’t go on the program because I didn’t like the program. It was a fake program. It’s all about performance. Someone writes for you, someone makes the beats, someone writes the lyrics, you just perform it. That’s it. I’m not about that kind of stuff.
If I wanted to perform with my actual beat and my actual lyrics and music, it would take a month or 2 months for one song to be ready, that’s how long my process is for making a song. But for the show, you have to be fast, really fast. The lyrics have to be done in sometimes a day, sometimes 3 days, sometimes a week."
- She wasn't allowed to talk in English whatsoever. She secretly spoke in English with High4's Alex and he was there for her, but she had trouble trusting anyone.
- LOEN forced her to lie about being born in the States. [Quote]
"My company actually lied that I was born in the States, I had to lie about that.
I was born in Seoul, and I moved to Birmingham, Alabama when I was 2. I lived in the states since I was 2 years old.
The company made me lie about my birthplace, because they wanted me to look like I was immediately born in America, which kinda sucked for me because I had to lie about that and make my family lie about that."
- Once they cut filming Weekly Idol because she got her period and started bleeding. [Quote]"While shooting Weekly Idol, I was on my period, and I started bleeding, and I was like ‘Oh!’, and my stomach started hurting, and I looked the stylist, and we gave each other looks, and she got it, so she told them to cut the filming.
She went to the store and got some pads, and some panties too. I had to throw away my favorite panties, not my favorite, but one of my favorite. I have like a million panties, I have a collection of panties, I love panties, I love underwear. So… it was one of my favorites and I had to throw that away."
- She said she came to Korea in the first place because she was promised to become the "next BoA" but she ended up in a girl group instead so it was a scam. She never wanted to debut in FIESTAR but was forced to due to her contract.
- Her company didn't tell them about the trainee debt and they never spoke about finances to the girls after they debuted, meanwhile their debt must have been racking up. [Quote]
"This is true. We all didn’t make any money for years. She (Cao Lu) says she’s given $500, maybe $460 something per month. The $500 we got for a month, I had to pay [the company] back. I got $500 each month, but in the end, they told me to pay them back. Basically it was a loan. I don’t know if she had to pay it back, but I had to pay it back. It’s fucked up.
We didn’t have time to talk about this kind of stuff. We were way too busy to talk about money. We were trying to get famous, you know. So, like I wanna say we were working hard for the fans, but we were really just trying to get famous, to get money. But we really didn’t know how much we were making and stuff, because we were too busy practicing vocals, dancing, working out, basically it was that everyday."
- Her company released news about her dating a rapper after she left the group.
- Her parents didn't closely read her contract. [Quote]
"Do parents read the contracts their kids sign? It’s really long. No. Think about this, your kid really wants to be a K-Pop idol, and they send you a contract that’s really really long, but your kid wants to be a K-Pop idol, an artist. And the company is saying they’ll do it for you. Would you sign it or not sign it? Would you read the thick contract? Every single page? Maybe you would, my parents didn’t.
‘Would you let your kid become an idol?’ Fucking no. I would beat his/her fucking ass if they say that. I would spank that kid’s ass til it bleeds. He or she could be a dancer, pianist, anything music related except a K-Pop idol."
- They demanded a million or so dollars for her to break the contract but she was able to talk them down to $15,000.
- Referring to a Youtube video of before-and-after photos of K-pop idols, she pointed out that Blackpink's Lisa, Twice's Nayeon and Red Velvet's Irene and basically "every girl group member" got plastic surgery. When talking about Blackpink's Lisa, Cheska said: "This, she went through surgery, but it's natural surgery... It's not like [singer] Park Bom. Her face is gone." She says "we all know Park Bom is addicted to plastic surgery." She also shared the various surgeries people have done, like inserting silicone into the forehead or cutting the side of the lips to make it bigger.
- Hyemi and Linzy didn't bully her. She said she liked Linzy and that Hyemi is "very cool" and she really liked her. Everyone except for Yezi and Jei got bullied once or twice.
- Girls' Generation were rumored to be not getting along. [Quote]
"Girls’ Generation. I know they didn’t get along well.
I just know they didn’t get along well. If you’re in the K-Pop industry and you’re a trainee or you debut, you listen to all these rumors like this boy band got surgery, or this group, these members don’t get along well these days.
I think it’s the managers talking. Their managers talk to our managers, gossip gossip, and they tell their groups what they heard…"
this is what she said for people wondering pic.twitter.com/VQXOUpFFb2— oh yves I am #⃝ (@loonaalbum) February 29, 2020
- Soyou and Hello Venus Lime are sweet. Broyn Eyes Girls, 9Muses Kyungri, Sandara Park, G-Dragon, Twice, Exo, VIXX, Block B, NU'EST, Ladies Code and Yezi (?????) were nice. She heard Stellar's Hyoeun is nice too.[Quote]
Brown Eyed Girls. Um…
I don’t know about the groups, but I can say members.
Lime, in Hello Venus.
Kyungri, you all should know Kyungri from 9MUSES, Kyungri is nice.
Sandara Park, she was nice.
G-Dragon was nice.
CL was very… very busy. She’d be very busy. She wasn’t nice or mean. When we would greet her, she would just pass by, she was a busy person.
Oh TWICE was nice, yo TWICE was nice.
EXO was nice, I remember seeing them.
What’s that boy group name, VIXX? VIXX was nice.
BTOB, I never got close to them.
I’ve never seen BLACKPINK but I’ve heard they’re really pretty and really skinny.
Block B is nice, yeah Block B members are really nice. Block B is nice, but I don’t like Zico.
NU’EST is nice.
Rainbow is actually one of the most non-celebrity looking groups in real life.
Ladies Code, they’re really nice.
Crayon Pop, they were cute. From what I remember, they were cute, they looked like little Teletubbies.
Yezi is nice. But she didn’t like me. She treated me like shit, but she’s a nice person. She treated the people she likes, I did nothing wrong to her, but I just think she thought of me as a rival, which made her hate me, or not like me. I tried my best to make her like me, but it didn’t work. But yeah, she’s a nice person, just she wasn’t nice to me. She was a bitch to me. I can say she was a fucking bitch and I want to punch her, but she was nice to others."
- Mamamoo get along well.
- Her relationship with Geeks Lil Boi is still going strong.
- Here's a twitter thread about more things she was talking about. I think she did 2 AMA streams that amounted to 8 hours.
source: Minji's twitch (deleted), asianjunkie, koreaboo 2, u/Uwaaa, fianto_duri, u/gonnathrowitoutthere 1 2, @loonaalbum, asiaone, bpdisband