Lami, a long-time trainee at SM, is famous for being pampered by the company like a little princess, but suddenly withdrew from the Aespa project.
Those who are long-time fans of SM know that former trainee Lami was once expected to become “SM’s new generation princess”. She was born in 2003, once demonstrated her acting ability through small roles in the films Five Fingers (2012), A Wife’s Credentials (2012)… After being introduced by SM as a member of SM Rookies in 2013, Lami participated in many projects of the company. She was well-known and even owned a fan base. Fans loved Lami because she has outstanding looks, a bright smile, and pure features that remind fans of Sulli, Yoona.
However, Lami suddenly left SM in early 2020, just a few months before the company debuted a new girl group aespa. Lami’s departure is said to be a “mystery” that is difficult to explain because she was once said to be SM’s “ace”, “new generation goddess”. Why did Lami spend years training at SM but didn’t debut with aespa?
1. Lami isn’t a great fit for aespa’s concept.
aespa’s style is oriented towards a strong, magical image like a game character. aepsa’s “real – virtual” concept requires members to always have eye-catching images, bold makeup, and impressive costumes. Maybe at the time of entering the company, Lami was suitable for SM’s traditional orientation of a beautiful, pure girl group. But in the process of selecting trainees for rookie projects, as well as researching new tastes, when the girl crush concept is more popular with international fans, the girl group concept with innocent looks seems to be outdated.
Therefore, instead of building a girl group with Lami as the center member, SM changed the original plan. The company started to build a new style to create a “unique” girl group based on the real-virtual concept. Many believe that Lami is not suitable for the new orientation and her departure is understandable.
2. Lami’s family doesn’t support her to make a debut as an idol
The time when Lami is said to leave SM is at the end of 2019, early 2020. In February 2020, SM removed Lami’s name from the profile of the SM Rookies project. Many people believe that the real cause of this sudden departure is the Lami family.
At the end of 2019, the Kpop entertainment industry was shaken by the death of two famous idols, Sulli f(x) and Goo Hara (KARA). Sulli’s death may have profoundly influenced Lami’s decision to stay or leave. In the past, many people often compared Lami to be the “new generation Sulli” because of the similarities: her appearance, her long training period at SM, as well as the special treatment that SM gave her. Many rumors on social networks said that Lami left SM for “personal reasons”, specifically because her family did not support her career as an idol after the shocking news that happened to Kpop in 2019.
Her parents certainly didn’t want Lami to follow in Sulli’s footsteps. During training, Lami was said to have missed many monthly exams due to busy studying. These details make fans believe that Lami’s family has hindered Lami’s dream of becoming an idol.
If one thinks that Lami doesn’t fit the Aespa concept and gets fired, that’s not really accurate with SM’s way of working. As a famous “little princess” like Lami, as long as she wants to stay, the company will not let her go. SM is known for being a master at concept creation, and there’s no reason why they couldn’t lead Lami to fit the girl crush concept.
As in the case of Ning Ning, before debuting when she was in the SM Rookies project, she had a cute, pretty, and gentle image. But when she debuted as an aespa member, she could still switch to girl crush appropriately. Thus, it can be guessed that the cause of Lami’s unfortunate departure was that she did not have the determination to debut and was also hindered by her family.