The year was 2012, I was graduating from elementary school and becoming a freshman in high school. This was also the year I fully dove into K-pop. Before I mainly listened to Girls' Generation and SHINee, with a Big Bang and f(x) video here and there. But that all changed when "Gangnam Style" became popular and I decided to listen to many other groups, T-ara was one of those groups. Their Absolute First Album was actually one of the first K-pop albums I listened to from start to finished and loved it. T-ara soon became one of my favorite groups.
Then the bully scandal broke lose and things got confusing.
Eat Your Kimchi/Simon and Martina's video was the first video I ever saw on the subject. They took no bias and said that they'd still listen to T-ara despite the scandal because it didn't really matter to them in the end. I...wasn't so optimistic to say the least.
You have to keep in mind the mentality I was in at this age. I was 14-15 years old, just got into K-pop, drunk some bullshit fandom kool-aid, and I had also just graduated from a school where I had been severely bullied for two full years. So the thought of any K-pop groups bullying someone else, a genre that brought me a lot of happiness, was hard for me to digest and while I kept my "dislike" for T-ara to myself, it became more and more hard for me to view them as I once did.
However I was proven wrong. I was presented with proof not too long after that. It was around early 2013 when I started reading Anti Kpop-Fangirl and eventually found Kpopalypse and Asian Junkie which then lead me to really question all of the bullshit that was being spread on websites like Alllkpop and Netizenbuzz. Eventually I was presented with debunkings of pretty much every reason and out of context gif,as well as Hwayoung getting a little bit more exposed each year. I think at one point everyone realized that she always found a way to make herself relevant whenever T-ara were preparing for a comeback because of her own piss poor career. I soon realized that the feelings I was harboring towards T-ara weren't fair at all, and that every group goes through tension and at the end of the day they're just idols putting on a show and what goes on behind closed doors doesn't really matter, as long as they're safe (using that term loosely) and are entertaining.
Around this time I opened up my blog, and I made several posts defending T-ara, stanned them, and really opening my eyes to the stupidity of netizens. You know something wreaks like bullshit when you have a new Witch Hunt every other month (sometimes week) over trivial shit like some artsy fartsy Instagram posts and looking at your nails after clapping.
And now, what do you know? Turns out T-ara was in the clear all along. Ahreum was in the clear. The whole damn thing was just a show put on by Hwayoung and her twin to stay relevant within the public, and in fact, they were the tormentors the whole time. We're at the point now where most rational people accept the fact that T-ara was the victim of a with hunt and that calling them bullies means nothing, but to let Netizenbuzz tell it, they still are (and the people with 20 upvotes agree with her lmao.) But in the end, while this did take five years to come into the light, it's great that it's finally been put out there from a source because now, the public really doesn't have any solid ground for hating T-ara. They are still one of the best groups out there and also one of the few second generation girl groups to not be hanging by a thread and have all of their remaining members. Long live T-ara! Now hurry up with Absolute Second Album please! I'm begging.