[Trigger Warning: Bullying]
In a broadcast, Jeon Somi teared up as she recalled the hardships that she experienced being a biracial kid in South Korea.
Jeon Somi Opens Up on Being Bullied as Biracial Kid
Former I.O.I turned soloist Jeon Somi recalled the time she was treated as an outcast in school for being a biracial kid.
On July 13, the idol appeared as a guest in the YouTube channel, “by PDC,” to support the segment hosted by Song Yoon Ah, his father’s friend.
Jeon Somi talked about various experiences after being raised as a biracial kid in South Korea, and how she was able to represent them after being a K-pop idol.
In the broadcast, the “XOXO” singer narrated her first experience of being bullied after transferring to a Korean elementary school.
“At first, friends who saw a biracial child for the first time treated me kindly, saying I looked like a doll. That day or two was a popularity explosion.
The day after I transferred, we had a student election. My entire classmates urged me to join, so I went out without knowing what it was all about until I became the chairman with a huge number of special votes.”
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Apparently, there was a girl who prepared so hard and it seemed like she was frustrated by the result, which ended up with Somi being the target of bullying, along with her friends.
“I was bullied from the 3rd grade to the first semester of the 6th grade.”
For about three years, the idol was made an outcast in their school, such as being taken advantage of, classmates removing her desk, tearing up her library card, or putting her shoes in the trash.
She tried to consult her teacher about it by writing everything in her diary, but there was nothing much that they could do at the time.
As it got worse, Somi even considered getting plastic surgery to fit in.
“I think I just lived day by day. But I often [whined] to my mom that I didn’t want to go to school, and I asked her to make me have plastic surgery to look like a Korean child.”
During this talk, Somi got teary-eyed.
“I thought it was okay, but when I [talk] about it, I am tearing up again. I was really hurt then. They [were] so mean.”
How Jeon Somi Turned Tables From Being Outcast To ‘National Center’ Idol
After three years of being bullied, Jeon Somi proudly revealed that she was able to finish elementary school not being treated as an outcast anymore as she worked hard to change the situation on her own during the second semester of 6th grade.
However, her concerns as a biracial kid continued even when she joined Mnet’s survival show, “Produce 101.” At the time, she thought that she wouldn’t be given the title “national” because she isn’t a full Korean.
However, with her skills, charms, and sincerity, Somi received lots of love from South Koreans and was chosen as the center for the project girl group I.O.I.
“I really wanted to win first place. Since I am mixed-race, I didn’t think I would get the ‘national’ title even if I made my debut. So the happiest thing after debuting was that I earned the title, ‘Nation’s Center.’ I was happiest at the time as if I got approved. I was also able to represent the multicultural families.”
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Written by Eunice Dawson.