Listen, this is an utter fangirl rant. I hope you all can bear with me lol I have been listening to the album on repeat and oh god I cannot with this woman.. IU is like a walking meta-commentary of the kpop industry and the way it treats women. The self-awareness reflected in her art and her image is astounding. As someone who was infantilized and fetishized by her "uncle fans" and her company for the major early part of her career, her continued thematic use of growing up and finding oneself is poignant (and honestly makes me proud as a fan). From the daze-induced, confused "I'm 23. I'm a riddle" to the restrained "I like this, I'm 25. I got this, I'm truly fine" This woman completely out-does Madonna with the way she takes control of her sexuality. Her songs are about self-identity, sexuality and the contradictory nature of her career--(Being a child, but being a woman. Being adored for her constructed "virginal little-sister" image but being disliked/ witch-hunted for calling out the hypocrisy of the Lolita-ness of it all) Her work calls out the id of the barely-legal pedophilic desire with which her early career and fandom was underlaid. This feels uncomfrotable, because it calls society out. The witch-hunts happen, because it makes us feel uncomfortable. And that's exactly want IU wants to make us feel, because she WAS the child being sexualized for a while in her career. TL;DR- IU is my self-aware queen and she slays.