In an interview with Allure, the singer discussed the pressures she faced as a K-pop idol and how she grew her self-confidence in spite of it. Known for her prominent monolids, the singer revealed that she was often advised to undergo double-eyelid surgery during the beginning of her career.
“I even want to say I was sad and angry. I was like, ‘What the fuck? Why are all these people telling me how I should look?’” CL shared, recounting how she felt about the unsolicited image advice she received. “It was a thing back then, where everyone got double eyelids. That was the beauty trend.”
In response, the singer decided to shift her attention towards makeup application and camera angles. Lee said she learnt to “manipulate the eyes of the audience without changing herself”, although noting that she’s not against plastic surgery in general. “If you want to go work out or put a bunch of makeup on or do full-body plastic surgery, it’s up to you. And I make sure I constantly remind myself of that.”
Elsewhere in the interview, CL also shared that she is preparing to drop ‘+ALPHA+’, her first solo album since 2NE1’s disbandment. While she has not announced a release date, CL revealed in an earlier interview with Billboard that the album would be out in the first half of 2021.
The meaning of ‘Alpha’ is two-fold, she explained: representing both the alpha-female image she embodies, as well as a new sense of personal flavour in her branding. CL also said her stage name is akin to “armour” – her real name is Lee Chae-rin – describing it as “like a mask, almost, but with the attitude and character too”.
Lee gave fans a taste of ‘+ALPHA+’ earlier this year with the song ‘Wish You Were Here’, a heartfelt tribute to her late mother. The singer shared that the laid-back track was dedicated to “anyone else who misses a loved one”.
CL also recently took a stand against the recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in Western countries. Along with fellow K-pop idols, she took to Twitter to voice her support for the #StopAsianHate movement. “We stand together,” she wrote.