K-Pop’s squeaky clean reputation can often come with harsh repercussions for idols who appear to defy it. Johyun, a member of the Asia Bridge Entertainment girl group Berry Good dressed up as Ahri, the fox spirit for her appearance at OGN’s Game Dolympic: Golden Card 2019, a prominent E-Sports competition and event.
Donning fluffy fox ears and showcasing prominent cleavage, Johyun truly embodied the character as she appeared in her K/DA K-Pop incarnation. Johyun was one of several pop stars present who will be competing in an idols only competition helmed by Kim Hee-chul and Shin Dong-hae from boy band Super Junior, who each lead their own star-studded gaming squad.
Unfortunately, the fox demon costume’s less than conservative apparel resulted in controversy and attacks on the idol’s character.
Online critics accused Johyun of being vulgar and inappropriate. However, several fans, many of which identify as members of the band’s fan club, the Berry Good Gallery, also leapt to the performer’s defense. They cited that the cosplay is extremely faithful to the character of Ahri and also maintained that Johyun likely dressed up on behalf of her label and the event’s producers.
Ironically, the seductive, mystical Ahri is a member of the half-human vastaya race, who exist in nature and would likely not understand the faux pas of sexy clothing in public.
Eventually, Johyun took to social media to address her scantily clad outfit’s scandal.
Via Instagram, she defended the costume. “I’m also human and a regular Korean woman whose emotions and thoughts waver as a result of criticism and words of support,” she wrote. “I believe we should respect everyone regardless of their gender because we all grew up in different environments and think differently. I love everyone that is living in the same era as I am.”
Prior to Johyun’s headline, K-Pop stars Hyolyn and Hwasa of Mamamoo suffered damage to their public image for dressing too friskily for the public’s tastes.