Your favorite idols might be looking flawless and dressed to kill now, but that wasn’t always the case. Just like us, K-Pop idols had their awkward phases too – from babyfat and acne to glasses and blatant acts of fashion terrorism!
For this week’s Kpopmap Chart, we’re celebrating the ‘glow up’ stars of K-Pop. These stars weren’t necessarily super attractive kids, but when it was time to grow up, they seemed to really glow up. Let’s take a look at ten idols who started from the bottom (now they here).
1. Highlight’s DuJun
DuJun’s childhood photos have been haunting him ever since he first debuted with B2ST back in 2009. He might have been an awkward turtle as a kid, but nothing says revenge like becoming the leader of one of the hottest K-Pop boy groups around!
2. Goo HaRa
Pre-debut photos of the ex-KARA member prove the star has always had her charm, but her good looks seemed to just keep on growing. Who knew this girl would grow up to be one of the top visuals of K-Pop?
3. BLOCK B’s Park Kyung
The rappers of BLOCK B are among the toughest guys around, but when you look back at school photos of Park Kyung, he looks like he couldn’t even hurt a fly. Allegedly, his classmates used to call him “Cucumber” due to his noticeably oblong face.
4. Jessica Jung
If you only look at pre-debut pictures of Jessica, you’d have no idea that she is now one of Korea’s hottest fashion icons. Whether she had plastic surgery or not (like rumors like to say), let’s applaud a glow-up when we see one. Lookin’ good, Jess!
5. Jay Park
Love him or hate him, you’ve got to admit – Jay Park has an amazing body. The former leader of ‘beast idol’ group 2PM is looking all swole these days, but let’s just say that really wasn’t always the case.
6. BLACKPINK’s JiSoo
As the visual of BLACKPINK, her good looks are well past debate. However, just like the rest of us, JiSoo has had some pretty bad hair days. Check out the mushroom cut she has going on in her high school portrait. We love you, girl, but that’s just yikes!
7. NCT’s Johnny
Now we’re not saying that Johnny was ever a bad-looking kid. We’re just saying that he started from there and got all the way here. NCT’s Johnny has become one of the hottest rookie idols of the year, and we’ve got his glow-up to thank.
8. TWICE’s Tzuyu
When she debuted with TWICE back in 2015, Tzuyu stole the heart of men all over Korea (and the world) with her flawless beauty. However, while her childhood photos were cute enough, it seems like she’s a flower who is only continuing to blossom!
9. WINNER’s Mino
With his stage presence and his confidence behind the mic, Mino never seems to have a problem making the ladies scream. Is it weird that we think his chubby pre-debut pictures only make him more charming?
10. f(x)’s Krystal
Glowing up might be in this family’s genes! Krystal Jung – Jessica’s younger sister – also seems to have gotten prettier with age. These ‘ice princess’ sisters have us frozen in our tracks with their classic beauty.