Blackpink star Jennie Kim addresses ‘low energy’ performances

SOUL-Blackpink star Jennie Kim has addressed claims that some of her historic performances lacked energy, saying she was often experiencing physical pain. In the past, some K-pop fans criticised the star for being “lazy” and “unable to deliver” her choreography, even when it looked flawless to the uninitiated. But the singer told Dua Lipa’s At Your Service podcast she had been prone to injury in Blackpink’s early days. “I did not know how to control my body the way I should,” she explained. “It all started because I would constantly hurt myself during performances and live shows compared to the other girls. “It was a stressful thing in my life. I’m like, ‘There we go, I fell again, I tripped over again. “So I feel like I’ve disappointed my fans at some points of my life, where it seemed like I wasn’t giving my best.” It’s the first time the singer has acknowledged the criticisms, but she stressed she had been working on her physical health since 2020. “I’ve learned to take care of my body. And I’ve learned a lot about myself, with my health and how my muscles work, even how bendy I am with my arms,” she laughed. “In every detail, I’ve spent time.” Jennie also explained how the pressure to dance in high heels had contributed to her discomfort. “Some people are amazing in heels,” she said. “My feet aren’t built for it.” “Sometimes, when I’m feeling perfectly fine, when my body’s OK, it’s fine. But when I’m travelling and my feet are bloated, if I try to dance in heels, my stamina just goes down.” On Blackpink’s current world tour, the singer has generally opted for more comfortable footwear, including boots with ankle supports and with lower, Cuban-style heels, to protect her health. 

Her admission is unusual in the tightly-controlled world of K-pop, where stars are expected to maintain high standards of professionalism at all times. Criticisms of Jennie’s performances have often been couched in those terms, with fans suggesting she’s being unprofessional - even when she exceeds the standards of most Western artists. But the star said she wanted to be upfront about the challenges she’d faced. “I’ve wanted to come clean... not come clean, but wanted to share with my fans that I’m still at a point where I’m learning about myself,” she explained.
Dua Lipa was able to sympathise, having seen one of her early, awkward dance routines become a meme in 2019. “Figuring yourself out while you’re also in the public eye can be a little bit scary,” she told Jennie.
“Not everybody really knows what happens behind the scenes, so I think it’s really nice to be to share those moments.”

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