An idol’s costume is a vital element of their appearance on stage as it is intricately linked to their concept and the overall vibe of their performance. However, oftentimes, costumes have absolutely nothing to do with concepts and furthermore, they’re quite visibly uncomfortable for the artists who have to perform in them. While stage costumes are meant to augment the performance value, at times, they can also be hindrances. Despite the discomfort, they have to go on with their performance while trying to fix their outfit, so they don’t reveal more than they feel comfortable with.
One of the most primary examples of this is short dresses with safety shorts poking through. The standard to measure the length of a dress should at least cover the safety shorts, as they're not meant to be seen at all. Especially with the fancam culture, it is obvious that idols feel uneasy in such costumes. While some idols have a considerable say in their outfit choices, most don’t. For example, TWICE and Red Velvet have had multiple instances of uncomfortable stage/event outfits, including insufficient clothing in harsh weather, extremely short dresses, low-cut necklines, and more where the members are clearly uncomfortable.
It also restricts their scope for movement, thereby disturbing their performance as they become self-conscious about their clothing. MOMOLAND's Nancy and Yeonwoo, in specific, have also fallen victim to inappropriate fancams a significant number of times owing to their stage outfits. The sizing of outfits is also an issue in this regard, especially in the case of ITZY. Sometimes, companies even especially assign uncomfortable and inappropriate clothing to rookie idols to garner attention. This is not just limited to girl groups but also boy groups when they’re given revealing clothing that they’re clearly not comfortable in.
However, this issue gets even more serious and concerning when underage idols are forced to put on uncomfortable outfits for the sake of their group’s concept. The outfit of 14-year-old Wonyoung’s performance of Ariana Grande’s ‘Side to Side,’ - especially considering the inappropriate tone of the song - should never have been allowed in the first place.
Similarly, TWICE Tzuyu’s CF, where she has to dance inside an elevator, is heavily ill-suited to an underage girl. HyunA debuted for the first time at the age of 14, and she has spoken up innumerable times about how she did not want to have a “sexy” concept, but that was what was demanded of her repeatedly.
Not only does this promote an unhealthy work-life culture for idols, but it also affects them personally as they begin to develop image and self-esteem issues from a very young age. It is only proper that stylists take into account the artists’ own comfort and preferences when assigning them outfits.