Girl crush idols in K-pop


In the sphere of K-pop, “girl crush” refers to female idols who have the ability to make a fangirl’s heart flutter with their personality, performance, charismatic features, and how they interact with their fans off stage. Find out if your bias made it to our list of 10 girl crush idols


1. Jessi


Girl Crush Idols - Jessi
Image credit: @jessicah_o

The resident ssenunni (tough sister) on this list, Jessi shot to mainstream fame after appearing on Mnet’s Unpretty Rapstar in 2011. Her iconic “We are not a team, this is a competition” line in her diss rap went viral, and it’s been co-opted for many memes ever since.

[Unpretty Rapstar] ep.02: Jessi's diss rap (제시 인생 최대 굴욕! '니들이 뭔데!'@제시 돌발 디스 랩)
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[Unpretty Rapstar] ep.02: Jessi's diss rap (제시 인생 최대 굴욕! '니들이 뭔데!'@제시 돌발 디스 랩)

Video credit: Mnet K-POP

Her straightforward and free-spirited personality are things that make her stand out from other celebrities in the K-pop industry.

In an episode of Hangout With Yoo, Jessi joined hands with other popular female singers to form the supergroup Refund Sisters. Their name is derived from the fact that the members have strong personalities that will make even the most stubborn of shop owners give them refunds upon their request.

Girl Crush Idols - refund sisters
(From left to right) Hwasa, Uhm Jung-hwa, Jessi, and Lee Hyori of Refund Sisters.
Image credit: @hangout_with_yoo

Soon, Jessi made her first comeback in 2021 with What Type of X

A recent interview with Buzzfeed Celeb featured Jessi reading thirst tweets about her, cementing her popularity in the female-dominated fan community. 

Jessi Reads Thirst Tweets
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Jessi Reads Thirst Tweets

Video credit: Buzzfeed Celeb


2. Red Velvet’s Seulgi


Girl Crush Idols - red velvet seulgi
Image credit: @hi_sseulgi

Red Velvet’s Seulgi is a girl crush idol who impresses us time and time again with her stable vocals, sleek dance moves, and charismatic visuals.

170930 레드벨벳 (Red Velvet) 'Rookie' 슬기 4K 직캠 @피버 페스티벌 4K Fancam by -wA-
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170930 레드벨벳 (Red Velvet) 'Rookie' 슬기 4K 직캠 @피버 페스티벌 4K Fancam by -wA-

Video credit: smile -wA- 

A fancam of Seulgi performing Red Velvet’s Rookie at Fever Festival 2017 racked up over 5 million views. Many fans mentioned that this video was the one that got them into Red Velvet’s fandom, and it also motivated them to go on a diet to get a healthy and toned body like Seulgi’s.

Girl Crush Idols - red velvet seulgi
Image credit: @hi_sseulgi

Seulgi’s sense of fashion never fails to sweep fangirls off their feet. She was spotted in a biker jacket in one of her Instagram posts last year, channelling major girl crush vibes.

170805 Red Velvet (레드벨벳) Seulgi 슬기 - Greedy 직캠 Fancam @SMTOWN Special Stage In HK
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170805 Red Velvet (레드벨벳) Seulgi 슬기 - Greedy 직캠 Fancam @SMTOWN Special Stage In HK

Video credit: Michelle Tang 

Her awesome facial expressions while performing Ariana Grande’s Greedy was brought to light after a fan uploaded a fancam of her stealing the hearts of fans, and thus securing her position as one of the most iconic girl crush idols.


3. Sunmi


Girl Crush Idols - sunmi
Image credit: @miyayeah

Sunmi shook the K-pop community with the release of her third single, Gashina (2017). The iconic dance quickly became viral, and many idols were spotted dancing to the song in their vlogs, VLIVEs, and Instagram lives.

[MV] SUNMI(선미) _ Gashina(가시나)
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[MV] SUNMI(선미) _ Gashina(가시나)

Video credit: 1theK (원더케이)

To repay the love she received, Sunmi released a special dance practice video of Gashina. It involved her backup dancers switching their roles – the girls dancing to the guys’ parts and vice versa.

Girl Crush Idols - sunmi
Images adapted from: @miyayeah and @miyayeah

She has since made multiple comebacks that continued to solidify her position on the list of girl crush idols, emitting girl boss vibes and pulling off sexy concepts that shake fans’ hearts.

Check out her latest song, You can’t sit with us, below:

선미 (SUNMI) 'You can't sit with us' MV
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선미 (SUNMI) 'You can't sit with us' MV

Video credit: SUNMI


4. Chungha


Girl Crush Idols - chungha
Image credit: W Korea

Chungha made a name for herself as a talented soloist since the project girl group, IOI, disbanded in 2017. She saw success release after release, and her successes landed her a contract with US entertainment company 88rising. The label also houses notable artistes such as Rich Brian and NIKI.

Girl Crush Idols - chungha
Image credit: MNH Entertainment

Her song, Rollercoaster, was what made her shoot to fame, steadily climbing up the Korean music charts with its tropical sound and catchy chorus.

A gif of one of her performances went viral as she winked perfectly on time and in sync with the first chorus.

[Show Champion] 청하 - 롤러코스터 (CHUNGHA - Roller Coaster) l EP.259
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[Show Champion] 청하 - 롤러코스터 (CHUNGHA - Roller Coaster) l EP.259

Video credit: ALL THE K-POP

Later, she came back with more hits that displayed her performance abilities and girl crush image that swept fangirls off their feet.

Check her song Gotta Go, another song that made her enter our list of girl crush idols:

[CHUNG HA - Gotta Go] Comeback Stage | M COUNTDOWN 190103 EP.600
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[CHUNG HA - Gotta Go] Comeback Stage | M COUNTDOWN 190103 EP.600

Video credit: Mnet K-POP


5. BLACKPINK’s Jennie


Girl Crush Idols - jennie
Image credit: @jennierubyjane

BLACKPINK’s Jennie has been a girl crush since her pre-debut days. Her powerful rapping and charisma in pre-debut videos show that she’s made for the stage.

Fans and the general public have nicknamed her the “human Chanel”, and she lives up to her nickname, fitting the brand image perfectly thanks to her luxurious image.

Girl Crush Idols - jennie
Image credit: @jennierubyjane

Jennie’s solo debut song was also a hit, especially with her female fans, as it talked about how one can shine brightly though they’re single.

190123 [4K] BLACKPINK JENNIE 제니 직캠 - SOLO @가온차트
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190123 [4K] BLACKPINK JENNIE 제니 직캠 - SOLO @가온차트

Video credit: Paint it Black

With her aura, stage presence, body figure, and fashion sense that many female fans look up to, Jennie will be a staple on lists of girl crush idols for a long time to come. 

Girl Crush Idols - jennie
Image credit: @jennierubyjane


6. LOONA’s Yves


Girl Crush Idols - LOONA's yves
Image credit: @loonatheworld

LOONA’s Yves has been known to be a “thief” who stole the hearts of girls since her pre-debut solo single, New, was released.

The music video shows her being the perfect girlfriend, holding hands with her group’s fellow member, Vivi, and skating around a bowling alley.

So What saw a change in LOONA’s styling direction, and it fulfilled Yves’ dream of having a boyish concept for their performance.

Girl Crush Idols - LOONA's yves
Image credit: 엠넷

Decked in chic outfits, and with her hair slicked back, Yves was bursting with charisma in each performance of So What.

In a compilation video of So What live performances, many fans left comments saying that she suits the girl crush concept perfectly.

Girl Crush Idols - comment
“The other members are doing good too but Yves really suits this the best ㄷㄷ (shivers) I can’t see anyone but Yves.. Coordi could you please try dressing her in a suit just for once (sulks)”
Image adapted from: 스징

Yves is slowly rising on the list of girl crush idols, and she is definitely one to keep an eye out for as she progresses in her career. 

Girl Crush Idols - LOONA's yves
Image credit: @loonatheworld


7. ITZY’s Ryujin


Girl Crush Idols - itzy ryujin
Image credit: @itzy.all.in.us

Every picture of ITZY’s Ryujin screams girl crush. And don’t get us started on her performance skills – take a look for yourself.

5 mins of Ryujin (ITZY) being an amazing dancer
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5 mins of Ryujin (ITZY) being an amazing dancer

Video credit: KITTZY

ITZY’s 3rd comeback, Wannabe, propelled her to even greater heights as she took the fan community by storm with her iconic shoulder dance.

Once, a fan asked her to teach them how to do Wannabe’s shoulder dance on VLIVE, and she did as requested. Fans did attempt to do likewise, but they ended up giving up as they felt like they couldn’t do it as effortlessly as she did.

Girl Crush Idols - comment
Some comments on the re-uploaded VLIVE broadcast on YouTube
Image adapted from: Kami Sana, Ashanti Dilworth, Zacker X, and P.C Phoenix

Girl Crush Idols - itzy ryujin
Image credit: @itzy.all.in.us

Girl Crush Idols - itzy ryujin
Image credit: @itzy.all.in.us and  @itzy.all.in.us


8. BLACKPINK’s Lisa


Girl Crush Idols - lisa
Image credit: @lalalalisa_m

BLACKPINK’s Lisa is the second member of the group to be known for being one of K-pop’s top girl crush idols. 

Girl Crush Idols - lisa
Image credit: @lalalalisa_m

She lives up to her role of being the main dancer of the group, amazing everyone with her dance skills, charms, and fierce personality on stage. 

This performance video of her dancing to Cardi B, Bad Bunny & J Balvin’s I Like It has racked up more than 30 million views and countless dance covers done by fans on YouTube.

LISA X CRAZY -
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LISA X CRAZY - "X ACADEMY TEASER VIDEO #3”

Video credit: X ACADEMY

On top of that, Lisa’s chic fashion sense also inspires others to dress like her.

Girl Crush Idols - lisa's fashion
Image adapted from: Rachel Gania


9. CL


Girl Crush Idols - CL
Image credit: @chaelincl

Our list of girl crush idols wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the baddest female, CL. Her solo debut single was titled The Baddest Female, and the song’s title became her nickname ever since. 

CL_0602_SBS Inkigayo_COMEBACK_나쁜 기집애 (THE BADDEST FEMALE)
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CL_0602_SBS Inkigayo_COMEBACK_나쁜 기집애 (THE BADDEST FEMALE)

Video credit: 2NE1

CL was the first-ever K-pop act to perform on James Corden’s The Late Late Show in 2016, paving the way for K-pop acts entering the US market. 

CL - LIFTED (LIVE) 2016 The Late Late Show With James Corden
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CL - LIFTED (LIVE) 2016 The Late Late Show With James Corden

Video credit: TY21 Entertainment 2

Girl Crush Idols - CL
Image adapted from: Olympics

CL had the honour to open the concert segment of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics Closing Ceremony, and she did it with a bang – her performance hyped up the crowds on-site and those streaming online, earning praises from attendees.

CL Full Live Performance at the PyeongChang 2018 Closing Ceremony | Music Monday
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CL Full Live Performance at the PyeongChang 2018 Closing Ceremony | Music Monday

Video credit: Olympics

CL recently made her long-awaited comeback with SPICY. Give the MV a watch here:

CL - SPICY (Official Video)
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CL - SPICY (Official Video)

Video credit: CL Official Channel 


10. f(x)’s Krystal


Girl Crush Idols - krystal
Image credit: @vousmevoyez

The OG girl crush is undoubtedly f(x)’s Krystal. Her chic personality has always attracted fangirls, making her consistently appear on lists of girl crush idols.

에프엑스 f(x) 첫 사랑니(Rum Pum Pum Pum) [크리스탈] Krystal 직캠 Fancam (엠슈퍼콘서트) by Mera
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에프엑스 f(x) 첫 사랑니(Rum Pum Pum Pum) [크리스탈] Krystal 직캠 Fancam (엠슈퍼콘서트) by Mera

Video credit: Mera

A fancam of her performing Rum Pum Pum Pum with f(x) in 2017 went viral, and commenters praised Krystal’s proportions and said that she’s the “real deal” when it comes to girl crushes.

Girl Crush Idols - comment
“Her abs are really freaking cool”
Image adapted from: 옹농

Girl Crush Idols - comment
Image adapted from: Zena Cheong, Titania Masyah, BURN SM DOWN and Echizen Oh Chibi

Girl Crush Idols - krystal
Image credit: @vousmevoyez

Even after branching out into acting full-time, Krystal continued to maintain her girl crush image in other areas, especially in magazine pictorials. That said, we do miss her performing on stage and hope to see Krystal slay fangirls’ hearts on stage soon.


Girl crush idols taking over the K-pop scene


It’s said that if there are more female fans in a group’s fandom, there will be a higher probability of said group surviving in this cut-throat industry. That’s because fangirls are generally more passionate about supporting their idols, especially when it comes to streaming their music, buying albums, and coordinating fan events.

Judging by the career trajectories of these 10 girl crush idols on our list, we can safely say that the theory is true.

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Cover images adapted from: @jennierubyjane, @hi_sseulgi, and @vousmevouyez

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