4th generation KPOP girl groups that are named “A and friends” groups (ft. aespa, ITZY, IVE, (G)-DILE, Everglow)
There have always been some KPOP groups in which a member gets biased more than the others. That’s why they are called “A and friends” groups.
Not only Gen 2 and Gen 3 but Gen 4 also witnessed this scenario happen to various girl groups, such as aespa, ITZY, IVE, (G)-IDLE, and Everglow.
aespa debuted not long ago but already gained extraordinary achievements. However, they aroused controversies when being called the group of “Karina and her friends“. Although 4 members worked together as one, it is easy to notice that SM has been biased Karina ever since aespa‘s debut. In particular, she got more opportunities to collaborate with senior artists, such as SHINee Taemin and EXO Kai.
Appearing on magazine pictorials or red-carpet events, Karina always stole the spotlight since she was dressed up in more pretty outfits with more eye-catching makeup styles, while other members’ looks were similar to each other. Most recently, aespa decorated the cover of Harper’s BAZAAR magazine but caused a stir again as it is pointed out that Karina‘s outfit was more impressive than her members while Giselle wore an old costume.
IVE has drawn much attention since before their official debut thanks to the all-visual lineup. However, during the group’s promotion for the debut title track ELEVEN, many netizens still see IVE as “Wonyoung – Yujin and friends“. In IVE’s recent schedule at Music Core, Wonyoung and Yujin stood out the most because of their center positions, impressive height and more eye-catching outfits. Korean netizens claim Liz, Leeseo, Gaeul, and Rei were somewhat overshadowed by Wonyoung and Yujin because they were dressed like backup dancers.
Wonyoung and Yujin were already famous before IVE’s debut because they were both former members of the famous girl group IZ*ONE. The public always looked forward to their second debuts after IZ*ONE‘s disbandment. In all aspects, Wonyoung and Yujin have more advantages, popularity and media coverage than the rest of IVE.
(G)-IDLE gets called “Soyeon and friends” a lot because in the group’s songs, Soyeon always gets an overwhelming amount of lines, leading to unfair line distribution among the members. In most of the songs, Shuhua can only sing for a few seconds, enraging the fans.
Soyeon‘s talent and charm is undeniable as she gained popularity from famous shows like Produce 101 and Unpretty Rapstar. In (G)-IDLE, she takes on the role of main rapper, center and leader. Soyeon is also capable of songwriting and continues to be in charge of the production for the group’s music. On stage, Soyeon often takes the spotlight with her confident and charming stage presence. Therefore, it is inevitable that Soyeon sometimes overshadows other members.
No different from the case of (G)-IDLE, EVERGLOW is labeled “Mia and friends” because of unequal line distribution. Fans think that Yuehua Entertainment is “pushing” Mia too much. Because in many songs, Mia is always given the most screen time and singing parts. Besides, the fact that Yuehua let Mia take on both the main vocal and main dancer positions makes many fans feel sorry for other members because EVERGLOW has many other talented members who can pull off these roles.
ITZY used to be criticized by many people because of the “Yeji and friends” lineup. When they first debuted, Yeji was often had more lines in ITZY‘s songs than the main vocal of the group, Lia. Not only that, on the performance stages, Yeji‘s screentime and center distribution were also more than the group’s center Ryujin. However, at present, screentime, line and center distribution of ITZY‘s members have been divided equally.
Many Gen 4 girl groups seem to be entangled in the tragedy of “Idol A and friends” like their seniors such as 4Minute, BLACKPINK, and Miss A. Fans say that the current girl groups are all “new factors” of the K-pop industry. Therefore, their management company should focus on promoting the group, instead of just “pushing” a few outstanding members.