From the outside looking in, idols may seem like pure perfection from head to toe. However, that doesn’t mean many of them don’t suffer from body image struggles just like the rest of us. One such idol was former IZ*ONE member and HKT48 J-Pop star Yabuki Nako, who opened up about her issues with body image in a recent interview with Yahoo! News Voice.
IZ*ONE’s youngest members, Jang Wonyoung and An Yujin, have always had a reputation for being surprisingly tall. 17-year-old Wonyoung is estimated to be between 171 and 173cm tall, while 18-year-old Yujin was 170cm tall last time she revealed her height measurement to fans.
Many of their fellow group members, however, were a lot shorter—particularly Nako. When she joined the group, her official height was 149cm (4 feet 11 inches), making her around 20 centimeters (8 inches) shorter than Wonyoung and Yujin, and 14 centimeters (5.5 inches) shorter than the average South Korean woman.
And, while most IZ*ONE fans pay no mind to Nako’s height, the star herself didn’t always have an easy time with it. “I was worried about my short stature,” she explained, adding, “there weren’t many Korean idol groups who were short.” Nako was, in fact, considered the shortest female K-Pop idol during her time in IZ*ONE.
Nako went on to say that because of her height, she was worried she would affect the group’s image while dancing. “To be honest,” she says, “I was always worried about what to do.”
But thankfully, Nako had to support of her fellow IZ*ONE members to help her through. The star revealed, “The Korean members said, ‘I never notice your height when you’re dancing.’” On top of that, they told Nako, “You’re so cute, even when you’re just breathing,” and “I’m grateful to have you here.”
I’ve never forgotten that. It made me feel more confident.
Ultimately, irrespective of her height, Nako went on to become a star K-Pop performer, much loved by fans around the world.