From Seo Taiji and the Boys in the 90s to Big Bang in the 2000s, and BTS in the current trend, the South Korean music industry has faced many changes. However, do you know the struggles that Korean Pop (K-Pop) idols face when they are not facing the camera? Keep reading to get some insight into the K-Pop industry.

Dieting process

We all know that normally, most idols have to go through infamous diets to lose weight to meet a particular “desirable” weight. Well, they face way more than just strict diets. According to an article on the internet, good looks are extremely important to a Korean celebrity. 

They must follow strict diet plans and limit their food intakes in order to maintain a certain weight, especially before a performance. During the monthly trainee evaluations, some companies would even record your weight and body fat percentage to monitor your diet progress!

Image Source: Starcast Naver

An example of an idol who undergone such extreme dieting is BTS’ Jimin. ARMYs, BTS’ fan base, would know very well that Jimin is an idol who worries about his appearance a lot. He’s even confessed a the Korean TV show, that he only had ONE proper meal every ten days during the Blood, Sweat and Tears music video shooting period. Talk about “drastic” measures!

Since he received a lot of hate about his bodily appearance, he felt the need to minimize his food intake, exercise more, and lose weight until he was satisfied. He lost around 13 kilograms in one month! Even if these methods are effective for rapid weight loss, they are mentally and physically dangerous.

Slave Contracts

It is said that K-Pop idol groups are split into 2 kinds of groups. The 1st group consists of popular bands, which are very well-to-do and have a lot of income, while the other groups have less significance as compared to the alpha group.

According to Prince Mak, a former K-Pop idol, who was part of the idol group, JJCC, famous K-pop groups don’t have to worry too much since they’re popular and they make money for the company, thus they’re free to do whatever they want. He also mentioned that unknown idols are also free to do whatever they want since their company won’t invest money into them.

 In his video, the former idol says the biggest struggles come to those idols who are “half-famous” and it is these artists that face the notorious “slave contracts.” He stated that there are strict conditions regarding their idol life. More than 18 hours of the day is also scheduled by the company for their practices. The idols are forced to do whatever the company tells them to do. “Not only are these ‘half-famous’ idols always exhausted, but they’re doing it for less than $2 a day”, he says. This clearly shows how much idols are suffering from problems involving payment and contracts.

Bright Side of the Industry

Although the industry has various drawbacks, there is some good to it. K-Pop makes us happy and inspired. K-Pop fans, don’t tell me I’m wrong! K-Pop gives light in our lives. No matter how much of a hard day we have, watching a video of our favorite group never fails to make us smile. Personally, just listening to their music gives me strength and makes me feel better. 

I have personally heard many moving stories of fans,regarding how much a member or a group means to them. Moreover, how they (the idol groups) have helped them overcome their problems emotionally, by providing them (the fans) a source of comfort. K-Pop is a real blessing concerning this aspect.

You also feel close to the members. There is always a sense of understanding between the idols and their fans. They love us and it is heart-warming. All K-Pop groups have their own brand of content to please the fans and deepen our bond with them and their music. Liking a particular group isn’t just about people that share the same passion for a certain group. It is a bond that is far stronger connecting you with the artists, their music and the fandom. To see how devoted the fans are and their strong sense of belonging to a group as well as the fandom is fantastic.

The K-Pop industry is full of flaws that are hard to bear with, but the devoted fans are the main reason for the idols to persevere and never give up. Through this article, I hope to have given you some ‘Beyond The Scenes’ (ARMY will get it) information about the K-Pop industry as a whole.

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Sources: Rojak Daily, Amino Apps

Cover Image Source: Starcast Naver