[Twice] Jeongyeon: Weight Gain?

Created on 22 Feb, 2023
Last Update on 28 Jun, 2023

Throughout 2020~2022, many curious and interested people noticed something strange about Jeongyeon:

  • Absences
    Several Twice concerts and events were taking place without her, meaning only 8 girls instead of the original lineup of 9.

    Twice without Jeongyeon at 2020 MBC Show Champion.

  • Partial Participations
    In the shows she appeared in, her participation was partial or just sitting in a chair.

    At the Twice in Wonderland concert held on March 6, 2021, Jeongyeon participated only by singing or sitting on a chair.

  • Overweight

    1) Jeongyeon's fancam during the recording of 'The Feels' music video in 2021. Watch the video: Jeongyeon 'The Feels' fancam
    2) Jeongyeon's fancam at TWICE's world tour in Los Angeles, May 2022.

Among the various official notes released by JYP, one of them informed that JY would be absent from Twice activities until he recovered from psychological problems:

About Jeongyeon's health situation
August 18, 2021

Hello, this is JYP Entertainment.

We would like to inform you about TWICE member Jeongyeon's current health situation.

Jeongyeon is currently experiencing panic and psychological anxiety.

Although Jeongyeon was moving forward with his agenda by taking concurrent recovery measures, we value the health of our artists as the most important issue. Therefore, after in-depth discussions internally accompanied by professional medical measures, we have decided that it is necessary for Jeongyeon to have enough time to focus on her recovery and rest.

After discussions with Jeongyeon herself and other TWICE members, we inform you that Jeongyeon will not be able to attend TWICE activities for a while in the future schedule.

As the artist's label, we will provide the best procedures for Jeongyeon to recover with enough time.

We kindly ask for your love and support for Jeongyeon's full recovery.

Thank you.

Source: JYP Entertainment | Twice Fan's

The news quickly spread across the web:

Twice's Jeongyeon takes second mental health break ahead of English single release The Feels
August 19, 2021

  • K-pop star Jeongyeon is taking a break from K-pop group Twice to deal with panic and anxiety issues
  • A growing number of K-pop artists, including Jeongyeon's bandmate Mina, have taken breaks for similar reasons

Source: South China Mourning Post

Internet reaction

As most of the news did not report the reason for this JY crisis, it was up to readers (who in large numbers do not assiduously follow the group) to imagine the reasons. The most common ones were:

  • JY could be going through personal problems and would like to dedicate himself more to his family.
    – JY could be dissatisfied with the position in the group and would like more prominence.

Bearing in mind that these are the typical reasons to see among celebrities of that age.

So far, a large number of Netizens have been left with the impression of JY's weakness:

  • Ordinary people struggle daily with these same issues, but they have to work hard and keep moving forward. Without the luxury of taking a break.
  • She is in a business where image is as important as talent. It is necessary to pay attention to aesthetics, considering that employment depends on it.

No wonder there was a flurry of trolls body shaming JY (ie: jokes and derogatory comments about overweight). On the other hand, supporters of JY have argued that, among other things, body shaming a person who is no longer mentally well only makes the situation worse. One of JY's most prominent defenses was:

“It seems healthy that idols show their real image and not the same as usual, companies promote a type of malnutrition campaign forcing idols to be extremely thin regardless of their health and knowing that there are fans who imitate this type of behavior thing"

However, what really lightened JY's image was explaining the reason for the crisis better...

Reason for Crisis

During the recording of the More & More video, JY started to feel severe pain in her neck:

Jeongyeon wearing a neck brace while filming the More & More music video.

When looking for specialized medical care, it was diagnosed that she had a herniated disc. Treatment would involve surgery and medication with adverse reactions such as edema (swelling of the limbs), increased appetite and mood swings. In June 2020, JY herself did a live where she clarified this.
Watch: TWICE Jeongyeon VLive

Even so, subjected to so many adverse events:

  • recent surgical intervention
  • medical treatment
  • severe pain in the neck and spine
  • overweight, bloating and mood swings due to medication
  • unable to train
  • risk of body shaming

... the warrior JY even performed at some of the group's concerts and events.
Watch: What happened to Jeongyeon from TWICE.

However, at some point it became evident that the pressure was too great and that JY would not be able to continue. That's when JYP released the official note of August 18, 2021 shown above.

Lessons That Should Be Learned

The standards of aesthetics and performance in Kpop are very strict. There are numerous cases of small slips by artists that were heavily criticized. And even with such artists in full health, even so, such harsh criticism caused them serious consequences. Now imagine in JY's case that it was more extreme: Why would it be different? Did JYP not anticipate the risk it was taking?

It is not for us to judge whether or not JYP's decision to include JY in Twice's concerts/events was correct. After all, several important pieces of information in this decision-making process should not have been disclosed to the public. However, the impression one gets is that JYP underestimated the risks it was taking. She thought that with a game of cameras and costumes it would be possible to disguise JY's medical problems. Well, she didn't. Once again the old story repeating itself.

There are things in Kpop that you shouldn't risk: look and choreography are one of the main ones. These Twice girls are very warriors and manage to overcome many challenges (watch Sixteen if you're in doubt). But wait a minute, there are limits: a herniated disc, surgery, heavy medication... that's too much.

IMHO, I think that JY's phase out of the spotlight doesn't also need to be the complete break from all activities (we need to see the financial side of JYP). For example, how about she create more content for fans showing the evolution of treatment? Eventually if she overcomes this phase, it would be a considerable improvement in her image: from weakness to strength. And certainly a good investment for JYP.

Additional Reading

[ 1 ] Twice Facts

[ 2 ] Does JYP accept foreigners?