"I always did what I wanted to do, then I became a problem child. It happened because I was dyeing my hair and dancing. I thought, ‘Am I problematic? Do I have problems?’ and came to the conclusion that there was a problem with society for wanting the same standards from everyone. Even in society, everyone just does as the PD and the advertisers say. But if I didn’t like it, I would tell them no, I can’t do it. Suddenly, people started saying bad things about me. They’d say I wouldn’t succeed. But I worked hard. I wanted to succeed, too, so I worked hard. I figured everything would be good if I succeeded… I gave my everything to success and work. No one told me, ‘It’s okay if you rest. You’re fine like this.’ Everyone whipped me and told me to work harder. They told me I had to succeed, help my family, and help the neglected. I think in the end, I did succeed. I made a lot of money and ended up being famous, so I think I succeeded. But with the success, I became anxious and felt pressured. I wanted to do better, and I always blamed myself for not being able to. Since I was thinking like that, when people said things like ‘Why are you so bad?” and ‘You’re Korea’s representative singer, but you can’t sing live…’ it really hurt me. I want to tell everyone, ‘You’re perfectly fine right now.’ No one told me that. I hope people can think, ‘I’m great the way I am. I’m doing fine. Even if I can’t reach the criteria of success measured and necessitated by society, even if I’m weeded out, I’m beautiful the way I am. I’m pretty, I’m perfectly fine without thinking about other people’s opinions and stereotypes.’”
- Lee Hyori on SBS’ Thank You.