Despite the state of things in the world right now, promotion for the most recent ITZY release has continued as it usually would. The girls have been performing their lead single “WANNABE” for the Korean television circuit on things like Music Banks and Idol Radio, the latter of which has been causing quite the uproar in the KPop community as of late.
ITZY’s Lia has recently come under fire following the video of their Idol Radio performance of “WANNABE” where fans and netizens alike claimed that her choreography looked a bit off. Lia has been accused of this before, and she has been one of the most targeted members of the group since their debut. During a Relay Dance (where the members stand in a line and do choreography one at a time) at KCON Thailand in 2019, people accused Lia of not putting nearly as much energy into the choreography as her peers. Now, she has once again been accused of the same thing, and frankly, I’m not having any of it. Here’s why.
They’re performing in a space much smaller than what they’re used to. When you’re doing intricate choreography in a group of people, not having the adequate space to perform can be distracting and very stressful. A larger portion of your focus must be dedicated to spatial awareness of you and your surroundings, which means it can be easy to let your performance go on autopilot in favor of smacking someone in the face or tripping on a cable.
The floor they’re dancing on looks slippery as heck, and throughout the entire video, you can see them slipping and sliding on that glossy hardwood. While this can be helpful for certain moves, most of the time, it makes simple things like holding your balance and shifting your weight nearly impossible. If you’re as obsessive as I am, watch their feet, because throughout the video, you can see each member, especially Lia, slipping quite a bit, and it is most clear at stylized weight changes. There’s a good reason that most dance studios have flooring made out of rubber or silicone, because those materials will give even smooth soles of character shoes and satin ballet slippers a good grip. Speaking of, a lot of performance specific shoes (like those previously mentioned) can have absolutely no traction to them because they are designed simply for aesthetics over function, or made with dance-specific flooring in mind, even though that may not always be what you’re working with.
Her dress doesn’t look comfortable at all - it’s leather/pleather and tight, meaning it’s most likely too hot and not easy to move in. Her hair is styled in probably the WORST way for dancing, and if you’ve never attempted to maintain a sleek middle part with nothing but glittery bobby pins and a dream, there’s no room for your opinion on this matter. You can see her trying to fix it multiple times throughout the video, and I can only wonder if it’s partly because of the fact that female idols get ripped apart online if they’re not perfectly gorgeous and put together at all times, which I can imagine is incredibly stressful and a reason why her focus would be elsewhere. Petition to let all female idols be allowed to put their hair up for performances? I think so. (Please stop making Rosé dance with waist-length beach waves and lipgloss, sincerely every Blink).
The point of a performance is for both the audience and the performer to be having fun. Lia looks uncomfortable, she looks tired, but she looks like she’s trying her best to keep it together. Who are we to assume anything about what's going on in her or any other performer’s life? While the counterargument that this is her job and she should be giving 100% in every performance is valid, I say life happens sometimes. We don’t know if she’s healthy, if she’s injured, if her family is doing okay, if she even gets to see her family, if she’s in a good mental state, or any other extenuating circumstances that we’re not aware of. “Lazy Scandals” are stupid and harmful to artists. Yes, of course performers should be grateful for their platform and the ability to do something as wonderful as they do for a living, but calling them lazy for having problems and struggling is utterly ridiculous. These idols are humans who make mistakes, who injure themselves, who have feelings, and who don’t deserve to be put on such a high pedestal only to be shot down by the people who put them there in the first place. From Jennie of Blackpink to now ITZY’s Lia, these “lazy” scandals need to stop.