Korean singer IU, or Lee Ji-eun in real life, wanted to be a professional singer since she was a little kid. In middle school, she went to different auditions at talent agencies and landed a deal to make her first album at the age of 15.

Now a successful Kpop star in her mid-20s, IU has been making headlines not just because she’s talented and has churned many hits. She has also been the subject of many plastic surgery rumors.

The Korean beauty, who is known for songs like “Good Day” and “You & I,” is said to have undergone cosmetic enhancements to her face. Indeed, from her little sister image when she was just starting out, Ji-eun has blossomed to embrace a more sophisticated look and style, more so because her body has also matured.

In particular, people speculated that she had gotten an eye surgery to make her Asian eyes large and wide. There have also been rumors that IU had a nose job after she shifted her career to acting.

Fans have also come forward to show pictures of the Kpop star at a dermatology clinic and the stories surrounding IU’s beauty enhancements quickly escalated. But the singer and star of “Scarlet Heart Ryeo” have denied the plastic surgery rumors each time it’s brought up in interviews.

Before & After Photos

Is IU’s transformation really so drastic? Is this the reason why speculations that she has gone under the knife never stop?

Let’s examine pictures of the Korean star before and after she became famous. We should be able to see some evidence of the procedures she has supposedly undergone.


IU in her childhood daysSource: Instagram @ dlwlrma

As a child, IU had big rounded eyes. The singer looked so adorable, yet trendy, with that green scarf on her head. This childhood photo of her might perhaps shut down the rumors that she had her eyes widened. The evidence clearly tells us that her big eyes are indeed natural.

Although minimal, she definitely had eyelids too.

School Years

Korean singer IU during her school yearsSource

When she was a young girl, IU had typical Korean features. She’s a beauty alright but not quite the standout she is today. With her natural long black hair hanging on the side of her cheeks, you can see she had a slightly chubby face shape. Her nose, on the other hand, looked flat and less prominent.


IU pre debutSource: Youtube / Geraldine Lamparas

Here we see IU’s pre debut photo featuring her little sister persona. Her cute hairstyle suited her well but she had a noticeable gap on her front tooth that might have been fixed later with braces.

IU’s eyes, though naturally big, appeared to have been enhanced further because she now has very visible double eyelids. This started the rumors that she had blepharoplasty but then her defenders say they likely came with age.

What do you think?

Year 2008

IU 2008Source

At 15 years old, Lee Ji-eun joined LOEN Entertainment and soon released her first song “Lost Child.” You can clearly see she still had baby fat as a teenager with a much rounder face. Just look at those chubby cheeks and wide jawline. They were actually part of her appeal as the nation’s budding star.

Year 2010

IU 2010Source

With the release of “Nagging” in 2010, IU became a certified Korean hitmaker. She also decided to try her hand in acting casting for the teen drama “Dream High” and made a slight change to her image. Donning a reddish brown hair color, the gorgeous singer wore more mature makeup to enhance her feminine features. However, her flat nose remained the same, especially around the nasal bridge.

Year 2012

IU 2012Source: Pinterest

IU’s cosmetic enhancements seemed more obvious at 19 years old. First off, the possible nose job. It’s not hard to miss the nose bridge when there was no higher bone right there before.

Her face shape also appeared to change because of her pointy chin when she used to have a square jaw. Did she get a jaw reduction surgery or was this shot the result of photoshop? Perhaps she lost weight?

Year 2014

IU 2014Credit: Valerie Macon/Getty Images

This was the year Ji-eun visited Los Angeles for the KCon. It might just be the camera angle but her face size looked bigger again. Her jawline and chin also looked less defined but her nose shape seems unmistakably enhanced. Whether it’s makeup or surgery…we’ll let you decide that one.

Deliberate or not, IU attempted to look more mature with the red lipstick and fashionable choker. It appears she really wanted to show the world she’s no longer just the little sister of South Korea.

Year 2016

IU 2016Source: Reddit

Lee was a revelation during her performance in China. A slimmer upper body enhanced the star’s breast size. Speculations that she got a boob job quickly became the hot topic among fans but she might have just been wearing a really good bra underneath the body-hugging dress. In fact, you can see the push-up bra’s silhouette if you look closely in this photo.

Meanwhile, at this side angle, IU’s pointy nose tip is becoming more obvious. This further adds to the nose job rumor that we’ve been hearing.

Year 2017

IU 2017Source: Xsports news

During this year, IU once again changed her image following the release of her album “Palette.” Opting for a short hairstyle and minimal makeup, the singer achieved a more natural look without too much cosmetics. She obviously has a good skincare plan because her skin appears smooth and blemish-free.

Year 2018

IU 2018Source: Pinterest

In October 2018, IU launched another single and music video, “Bbibbi,” to celebrate her 10th year in the business. This selfie confirms just how much she has developed into a stunning woman. So far, her lips show no signs of lip fillers so we can at least tick that off our list. Her V-shaped face in this one, however, is still puzzling us.


What did IU say about plastic surgery?

In 2011, IU addressed the stories about her nose job. In an interview on the show “Night by Night,” the star confessed:

“My company didn’t want me to get surgery. But I wanted to get plastic surgery so I begged them. I have a small and flat nose, and it’s always been a complex of mine. I asked my company before my debut, and I visited a plastic surgery clinic. They told me that I had such thin skin that if they raised my nose, it would only be raised 1mm. I was disappointed and just came back without getting the procedure.”

In a separate incident reported by Soompi, there was a screenshot of IU’s old interview with an unknown magazine that was posted online and it had a title of ‘The honest IU, coolly admitted it (plastic surgery)’.

Apparently, there was an anonymous writer who wrote:

IU goes to the same hospital as Kang Yumi. This place is famous for two-jaw surgeries. Why would IU go here instead of a regular dermatologist?

Now according to Koreaboo, ID Esthetics is a dermatology clinic, but unfortunately we are unable to verify nor pinpoint the exact location of this clinic.

At least, their analysis of IU’s eyes seems to match ours so we are on the same page in this one.


More Information About IU:

Real Name: Lee Ji-eun

Korean Name: 이지은

Birthday: 16 May 1993

Star Sign: Taurus

Birth Place: Gwangjin District, Seoul, South Korea

Nationality: South Korean

Race / Ethnicity: Korean

Occupation: Singer-Songwriter, Actress

Net Worth: $15 Million

Relationship: Unknown

Children: None

Height: 1.62 m (5 ft 4 in)

Average Weight: 45 kg (99 lb)

Body Measurement: Unknown

Bra Size: Unknown

Dress Size: Unknown

Shoe Size: 6 (US)

Natural Hair Color: Black

Natural Eye Color: Black



Cosmetic surgeries are nothing new to Korean stars and IU joins the ranks of other famous people whose physical appearance has been talked about over and over. Despite her denial in 2011, there appears to be some evidence suggesting that she may have had rhinoplasty sometime later. It just seems impossible to grow a nose bridge that high and prominent without the help of a Korean plastic surgeon. So, we’ll let you decide that yourself.

IU Before and After

However, we’ll hold off the verdict on her eyelid surgery. If there was a change in her eyes, it was a subtle one and there simply isn’t enough proof to support this claim. We’re also not firm on the talks that she had a jaw reduction surgery. Arguably, these enhancements may be achieved through good makeup techniques or angling in front of the cameras.

It’s also hard to say that Ji-eun had boobs augmentation since she grew up in the limelight. People will immediately notice if her body appearance changes too much. But whether IU’s physical features are real or fake, it doesn’t take away the fact that she’s still one of the best and most bankable Kpop music artists today.

(Featured Image Source: Twitter)