TWICE’s difficult trainee days: Waited 10 years to debut, got fat shamed, and worried about uncertain future

Prior to the glamour and popularity they are getting today, TWICE members went through many difficulties and hardships during their training period.

Starting to gain the public’s attention thanks to the survival show Sixteen, 9 members of TWICE had a spectacular debut and has achieved great success since then with a series of hit songs that make waves both in Korea and internationally. However, few people know that before they became popular, TWICE underwent a lot of struggles when they were still trainees.

Jihyo and the 10-year battle to debut

The leader of TWICE is a prime example that hard work, passion and perseverance can make dreams come true. It took Jihyo 10 years to officially debut after experiencing many difficulties and hardships.

It took Jihyo 10 long years to finally make a debut

6MIX was supposed to debut around 2014-2015. Nayeon and Jeongyeon were also part of this lineup.  However, the idea of 6MIX was eventually scrapped by JYP after former trainee Lena withdrew from the group and left the agency. Jihyo continued to face another challenge, which was competing in the survival show Sixteen, but she overcame it with her talent and became the strong leader of TWICE

After many hardships and challenges, Jihyo became an important piece of TWICE as she is now

Being forced to lose weight in a short time

Momo once had to lose 7kg in just one week. This was her task given by the company before joining the group’s debut showcase. To be able to shred body fat in such a short time, TWICE’s “dancing machine” did not eat anything but ice cubes and worked out at the gym every day.

Heechul Momo
Momo once lost 7 kg by eating ice cubes

The female idol even tried spitting in the hope that thanks to that, her weight could be reduced somewhat. Momo was probably so stressed and tired with the pressure of losing weight that when she went to bed, she was afraid that she wouldn’t be able to get up and this thought made her want to burst into tears.

In order to have a toned and well-proportioned body like now, Momo had to endure a lot of pressure to lose weight 

Jeongyeon wanted to quit being an idol trainee to… work at a bakery 

During a trip with TWICE to Vietnam, Jeongyeon confessed that she once wanted to give up on her dream of making a debut because she was drained out by the hardships during the harsh trainee days. The pressures made her wonder if she should quit becoming an idol and follow a different career path.

The pressures of being a trainee made Jeongyeon want to choose a different path for herself

Jeongyeon loves her part-time job at the bakery so much that she even considered quitting her trainee life to work full-time at the bakery. “Honestly, I almost quit being a trainee before. I wanted to work at a bakery. Working at the bakery suits me very well. I almost thought about opening my own bakery!”

jeongyeon twice
Jeongyeon was so passionate about baking that she almost quit being an idol

Spending their school years in the practicing room

TWICE talked about the difficulties they faced as trainees on a reality show. Some members shared that the most difficult decision they had to make in their lives was deciding between their dream of performing on stage and being a normal teenager like everyone else.


Jihyo revealed that as a trainee, she didn’t have time to travel with her family and has no recollection of her school days. Instead of hanging out with friends after school, she would go straight to the company. In retrospect, the leader is envious of her classmates who can go out to eat and sing karaoke together. Similarly, due to her busy trainee schedule, Chaeyoung had to miss school sessions and school trips.

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Jihyo and Chaeyeong expressed regret that they missed out on a good time at school

Being adversely affected by body shaming.

Jihyo was confronted with body-shaming comments when she first joined Sixteen. During a photo shoot, a photographer openly scolded the group’s leader in front of everyone. Jihyo could only purse her lips in silence at that moment.

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“Jihyo, you look fat” – A photographer’s blunt statement makes Jihyo awkward

Despite her hardships, Jihyo did not give up and attempted to win the show in order to make her debut with TWICE. She continued to be critiqued by netizens after that. However, the leader continued to demonstrate her talent and worked hard to achieve the beautiful body she has now.

After debuting with TWICE, Jihyo continued to get body shaming.

Cultural differences, linguistic barriers and difficulties when coming to a different country

When the three Japanese members Mina, Sana, and Momo, as well as the Taiwanese princess Tzuyu, moved to Korea, they faced language barriers and cultural differences. The four girls, on the other hand, tried to adapt and study hard in order to be able to pronounce Korean correctly and fluently as they do now.

As foreign members, Mina, Sana, Momo and Tzuyu have worked hard to adapt to the unfamiliar environment and learn Korean fluently.

Worrying about the future

Nayeon revealed to fans during the TWICELAND – The Opening concert that her time as a trainee was not always beautiful and amazing. She was so worried during the show Sixteen that she had to hold Jeongyeon’s hand and cry all day. Every night, Nayeon cried because she had no idea how Sixteen would end or where she and her friends would go.

twice nayeon

Despite going through many difficulties, it is undeniable that TWICE is currently one of the most popular and attractive girl groups in Kpop.  With perseverance and hard work to change their style, the 9 JYP girls gradually conquered the audience and achieved the success they deserve.

After a lot of difficulties, TWICE has risen to become one of the hottest Kpop groups 
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