Source: AsiaOne, The New Paper
Photo: The New Paper
These are words often used about sassy K-pop quartet 2NE1, who have stood out like a sore thumb among the sea of doll-faced South Korean girl groups ever since they made their debut in 2009.
Unlike most all-female outfits that play up the cutesy factor, a great part of 2NE1's (pronounced "twenty-one") charm lies in their non-conformity - cue their eccentric, flamboyant get-ups, wacky hairstyles and penchant for dark eyeliner.
However, at a press conference on Friday morning at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, none of that edgy, bad-girl attitude was on display.
Instead, Bom (Park Bom), Dara (Sandara Park), both 28, CL (Lee Chaerin), 21, and 18-year-old Minzy (Gong Minji) revealed they had more down-to-earth ambitions and hobbies.
The spunky girls were in town for their New Evolution Global Tour 2012 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday.
When asked by hosts The Muttons - 987FM deejays Justin Ang and Vernon A - what they wanted to be if they weren't singers, leader CL took the microphone and said matter-of-factly: "This could sound shocking, but when I was a little girl, I wanted to be a nun.
"Her revelation elicited gasps from journalists in the room.
Unfortunately, to our dismay, CL did not elaborate on the reasons behind her brief spiritual foray.
Dara also threw up a few surprises and laughs with her candid replies.
"I'd most probably be either a housewife or actress," she said.
"I used to act when I was in the Philippines and I kind of miss it.
"As an actress, you can do anything (on screen), like slap somebody's face.
"The cheerful, pixie-looking performer moved to the Philippines with her family when she was 10.
She spent many years as a teen movie star there before finding worldwide fame with 2NE1.
Minzy, who cut a solemn figure, spoke the least and was the only one who used a translator - she said she would "love to be a poet".
Only Bom remained unwavering on her position as an entertainer.
"I've always wanted to be a singer, that's all I ever wanted to be.
"The members of 2NE1, best known for their infectious, punchy anthems I Am The Best, Lonely, Ugly and I Don't Care, also shared their respective hobbies away from work.
Do not let the black mascara and intimidating fashionista appearance fool you.
As it turns out, their various indulgences are relatable to the man on the street.
Buxom Bom said a tad abashedly that she "likes to eat" during her free time, while Minzy "likes knitting".
Dara, the self-confessed homesickness-prone one, misses days when she can "just relax at home and play with my cat".
"When we're touring, I really miss my family and cat, I also miss Korean food a lot," she said.
Workaholic CL said she "personally finds it very hard to relax".
The group expressed surprise at their swift rise up the fame ladder.
They cracked the US market earlier this year, were dubbed "bigger than Psy" by Forbes magazine and, in August, held their first US concert at the Prudential Center in New Jersey, in front of a 10,000-strong crowd Said CL: "It wasn't our plan to get international recognition.
We simply did what we love, and we stuck to it.
"If you ask us what's the secret formula to the whole K-pop phenomenon, I'd say it's passion...
Right now, South Korea is really passionate about music, arts and culture."