Co-Director’s Corner: TWICE, Icons, Mental Health + Transparency – Joy speaks with Jae-Ha Kim and TODAY News

“They may be idols, but they are sentient beings who need the same basic things all humans need.

– Joy Lieberthal Rho

IAMAdoptee Co-Founder Joy Lieberthal Rho discusses K-Pop sensation “TWICE,” mental health, and transparency,  in Jae-Ha Kim’s recent Today News article “TWICE is determined to keep rising — but they’ll never stop having fun.


“The K-pop sensations and TODAY’s latest cover stars — photographed by Michelle Watt — open up about self-care, sisterhood, and their new project, ‘With YOU-th.'”


Journalist Jae-Ha Kim examines the rise of the K-pop group TWICE, focusing on their recent projects and personal dynamics. Her article explores TWICE’s journey from debut to becoming a globally popular group, emphasizing their growth as songwriters and performers. Importantly, it discusses their popularity, fan base, and the challenges they face as idols, including mental health issues.

Our Co-Director, Joy Lieberthal Rho, adds her insight, emphasizing that when idols openly express their exhaustion or anxiety, it can serve as a positive example for fans to address their own mental health. 


Some of Our Favorite Quotes: 

  • “Extreme online bullying is an unfortunate part of a Korean celebrity’s life. And female idols face all the harassment that male idols do and more — misogyny, sexism and rigid beauty standards. So when an idol takes a break from her activities and tells her fans that she needs to tend to her mental health, what kind of message is she sending her fans?” 
  • “’It meant the world to me when the girls addressed why they were taking a break,’ says Tara, a devoted Korean American fan who was in high school at the time. ‘…seeing idols like Mina telling us that they need rest, too, made me feel like I was seen.””

     Read The Article




Jae-Ha Kim is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune news syndicate. Born in Seoul, Kim specializes in covering Korean entertainment for outlets such as Teen Vogue, Rolling Stone,, NPR, K-Culture with Jae-Ha Kim, and many more. An in-demand voice on Korean culture, Kim has been featured in publications like the New York TimesAssociated PressMTVKorea Times, and South China Morning Post.


Learn More About Jae-Ha Kim