As 2NE1's global fame seemingly continues to climb higher every month (all without the aid of that long-awaited English-language debut they've been teasing us with for years), the group's charismatic leader, CL, is becoming somewhat of a rising style icon. She's appeared in campaigns for Adidas, Rihanna follows her on instagram, Jeremy Scott cites her as his muse, and she's been spotted hanging with hip-hip fashionista, A$AP Rocky.
CL's now been featured in the US edition of Elle online, where she not only revealed that 2NE1's hit single, "Ugly," was inspired by her, but that her label, YG Entertainment, pressured her to get plastic surgery prior to her debut.
On "Ugly": "It kinda came from me. I was talking to him in the studio. And no one here understands, but they do back in Korea. You know how Koreans are more strict and people from around the world think that being different is wrong. I don’t understand, you’re unique. I love being myself and love people that are themselves and just, you know, “I’m doing me” type of people. I have respect for those people and love for those people but some people don’t understand that. So for me, I’m seen in public so I’m attacked a lot. I was feeling down one day and talking to him. I was like, "You know, maybe I am ugly to those people." So we talked on and on and he wrote that song."
On plastic surgery pressures: "You know? YG told me to. They told me to get plastic surgery before my debut. I stood up for myself and said "No, I’m not doing it." Like I said before, I love CL, but I still want to be Chaerin. And if I felt like I had to change I would. But I love the natural way I look. I said no and I’m not planning to."
While CL's bandmate, Park Bom, is notorious in South Korea (the plastic surgery capital of the world) for her multiple nips and tucks, CL herself does appear to be natural. She must have a lot of willpower to stay that way, as the 22-year-old has previously stated that YG Entertainment's CEO, Yang Hyun Suk, calls her "very ugly" all the time.
YG has apparently since changed its tune, announcing that members of its upcoming new girl group have a "no plastic surgery" clause in their contracts, and will instead rely on their natural beauty and talent.
What do you think about YG's treatment of CL, and do you think the label's new group will be able to match 2NE1?