Monsta X starts bittersweet tradition with Shownu departing as 1st member to enlist in military
Though it was announced last month that Monsta X’s Shownu would be enlisting in the military on July 22, it didn’t feel real. In South Korea, regardless of one’s profession, all healthy adult males have to enlist in the military for mandatory service of approximately one and half years. Unfortunately, this also applies to K-pop idols as we quite recently saw SHINee’s Taemin and EXO’s Baekhyun enlist. While they’re serving their country, their career is put on a temporary hold.
Monsta X’s leader, Shownu is the first member of the group to enlist as he is the oldest and has reached the maximum age limit of enlisting in the military. He will reportedly serve as a public service worker due to his eye surgery and shoulder injury. Monbebes from around the world were crying their eyes out when they saw the rest of Monsta X dropping Shownu at the training centre on July 22. And yesterday, on August 9, the group posted behind-the-scenes footage of them preparing for Shownu’s farewell by starting a bitter-sweet tradition of their own.
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Minhyuk helps Shownu
While K-pop idols can and do sport all kinds of hairstyles and hair colors, during their mandatory military service, everyone needs to have short, natural hair. Hence, South Korean idols shave off their hair before enlisting. Shownu already had black hair, but he had bangs for Monsta X’s latest releases. Titled ‘SHOWNUayo’, the behind footage shows us Minhyuk shaving off Shownu’s hair. One fan tweeted, “Minhyuk tried to cheer shownu up, instantly complimented him when he started getting emotional we all need a friend like minhyuk.” They also commended Minhyuk for keeping the mood light and said, “Acting like he isnt next.”
minhyuk tried to cheer shownu up, instantly complimented him when he started getting emotional 😭 we all need a friend like minhyuk pic.twitter.com/wmoXiaT5Ru— Lord Minhyuk (@oceangorae) August 9, 2021
acting like he isnt next 😭😭😭😭😭 pic.twitter.com/pGWLMVyrjn— chie ♡ (@nouislingar) August 9, 2021
While discussing Shownu’s new look, they suddenly came to the decision that the next youngest member in line to enlist would shave off the hair of the one currently enlisting. This means that Kihyun would shave off Minhyuk’s hair when the time came. Hyungwon would do it for Kihyun and so on and so forth. For the youngest member, I.M, Shownu would do it for him since he would come back from his military stint by the time I.M would have to enlist.
Monsta X drops Shownu at training centre
Additionally, in the ‘SHOWNUayo’ video, we also saw the members’ car ride to the training centre. They spoke about how they would miss their leader and fans noticed how each member coped with the news. One Monbebe pointed out Shownu’s face as the reality suddenly hit him, “Not shownu realizing it will be their last car ride together and he won’t be joining them otw home.” Hyungwon’s face tugged fans’ hearts, “Hyungwon looks like shownu was just murdered in front of him.” Jooheon gave a Polaroid of his that Shownu could look at whenever he missed him, “Jooheon must love his hyung so much. this made me cry and laugh at the same time. i love them so much.”
Fans also found Minhyuk relatable as he hugged Shownu, “Just minhyuk representing the whole mxmbb nation that day.” Kihyun being the photographer that he is, took photos of Shownu for Monbebes. I.M was his quiet self but fans could see how sad he looked as they too came to the same conclusion, “Changkyun didn’t say anything in Shownu’s enlistment vlog, but you can see everything in his eyes, just by looking at his expression. He really love his Hyung.”
not shownu realizing it will be their last car ride together and he won’t be joining them otw home 🥲 pic.twitter.com/8mp6sEfL3s— cea (๑･̑◡･̑๑) (@jookkulwalker) August 9, 2021
hyungwon looks like shownu was just murdered in front of him pic.twitter.com/M304kKV87u— laoise (@CHANWOOSARl) August 9, 2021
jooheon must love his hyung so much. this made me cry and laugh at the same time. i love them so much. pic.twitter.com/coP0ym3ugx— ღ (@MINimalistHYUK) August 9, 2021
🐶: No!!!!! Don't go ㅠㅠ— 예하ᵔᴥᵔ (semi ia) (@sambakjaa) August 9, 2021
I can't live without you ㅠㅠㅠㅠ
just minhyuk representing the whole mxmbb nation that day #민혁 #셔누pic.twitter.com/4IhiyXTZDK
behind the scenes of kihyun’s fancafe post when he took photo of shownu in the car 🥺❤️ pic.twitter.com/iCYcYfCcWo— shownu’s food 🐻🍔 (@monstax_juju) August 9, 2021
Changkyun didn’t say anything in Shownu’s enlistment vlog, but you can see everything in his eyes, just by looking at his expression. He really love his Hyung 🐺🐻@OfficialMonstaX #셔누 #아이엠 pic.twitter.com/oMZgMkRV1z— 🐱창균의 세계🐺 (@imckworld) August 9, 2021
Shownu's first letter
It should also be noted that those in the military are not totally cut off from the outside world. They can write letters, have phone privileges and can take holidays. Hence, Monbebes got their first letter from Shownu on August 8 that he had written on July 30. Known for being a foodie, fans were worried about how Shownu would survive but he reassured them that he was eating well. In quintessential Shownu manner, he also let us know that he accidentally became the platoon leader. His squad commander asked him if he was up for the task and without knowing what it meant, Shownu agreed which fans found hilarious.
Monbebes also got their second photograph of Shownu in uniform that they found endearing, “Pls his nametag is the only crooked oneㅋㅋㅋwhy didn't they ask him to fix it before taking the photo It's such a Shownu thing tho to be looking so handsome like that but with smthng out of placeㅋㅋㅋHere it's not messy hair, but a crooked nametagㅋㅋㅋOh our platoon leader.”
Pls his nametag is the only crooked oneㅋㅋㅋwhy didn't they ask him to fix it before taking the photo 😂 It's such a Shownu thing tho to be looking so handsome like that but with smthng out of placeㅋㅋㅋHere it's not messy hair, but a crooked nametagㅋㅋㅋOh our platoon leader~ pic.twitter.com/VfOw8wcaCR— Lia K (@tomyluvshownu) August 9, 2021
The ‘SHOWNUayo’ video’s release also happened to be on the same date as Hyungwon and Jooheon’s first episode as ‘Idol Radio’ MCs. So, fans couldn’t help themselves as they made memes asking Shownu to come back and control his members as all kinds of shenanigans took place on the first episode of ‘Idol Radio’ which was MCed by Jooheon. Since Hyungwon and Shownu were missing, one fan tweeted, “I know kyun’s missing the rest of introvert line rn.” Another Monbebe added, “Shownu you need to come back cause jooheon is out here being sandwich grinded.”
i know kyun’s missing the rest of introvert line rn pic.twitter.com/vCbNDqVG3c— anna 🧸 (@dawnuayo) August 9, 2021
Shownu you need to come back cause jooheon is out here being sandwich grinded pic.twitter.com/sPUbY0dru2— shownu will be back in…. (@shownucountdown) August 10, 2021
Watch the ‘SHOWNUayo’ episode below.