Disturbing stuff is going on in the world of Korean Entertainment. While fans, and netizens get side tracked by their outrage over and public dating and sexuality, truly appalling life choices are completely going unnoticed. As if overexposure, awkward on stage self rub downs, and double standards weren’t bad enough for Kpop’s girl groups, starvation seems to be the unspoken, unaddressed norm.
While girl group members have been sharing the so called secrets behind their micro mini waist lines for years, the suddenly popular trend of sharing outrageously impractical diets have been on the rise, and no one seems to care!
IU Reveals She Had Bulimia
IU revealed on the July 14th episode of SBS Healing Camp that she was recently treated for Bulimia. Bulimia is an eating disorder, similar to Anorexia, but rather than starve themselves, the person binge eats and then purges (vomits). It can cause medical complications as a result of being under weight, but also the vomiting can cause irritation to your esophagus, and rot your teeth. This girl has been one of the Korea’s little sisters/sweethearts since she the release of her signature three octave hit, “Good Day.” She’s always been thin, and paired with her short stature; she’s an all around tiny girl. I don’t think anyone with a strong grip on his or her sanity would ever equate her to being fat, or overweight in anyway. She says that she developed this disorder when she felt unconfident about her music.
“My heart was empty. I always felt anxious after I made my debut and from a certain time, I filled the void through food…Rather than feeling good, I always had that feeling of anxiety thinking there’s still something lacking.”
This revelation comes just shy of a year after Ladies Codes’ Sojung revealed that she suffered from Anorexia as trainee, getting so sick that she lost her period for just under a year.
I find it disturbing that Kpop has become a culture where it’s trendy, and no big deal for ideo to reveal outrageous diets, like those of Sistar, or Nine Muses, or even IU. In May of 2012, IU shared with her fans, and other viewers that to prepare for her comeback she went on a diet, on which she only ate “an apple for breakfast and some sweet potato and water for lunch. For dinner [she] drink a protein shake.” This hardly raised any eyebrows at all. Sure there were the few netizens that made comments on the web saying that it truly takes a lot of work to be an idol, but no one showed true outrage. And looking at her comeback diet now, and knowing that she had Bulimia, it’s absolutely horrifying to think how malnourished this girl had been.
What’s The Agency’s Role In This?
While the choices of these idols to make their highly impractical and life threatening eating habits public are questionable, their agencies draw my criticism. Let’s take a look at Sistar. Most of the girls have all revealed on multiple occasions (here, here and here) that they adhere to a strict diet of ONE meal per day. Da Som, says she started the diet because she believed she looked fat when she appeared on her drama, “Melody of Love.” So You, wanted to lose a few pounds because she believed she was too big to be an idol. The only person who says she eats healthy is Hyorin.
These girls don’t seem to be the least bit ashamed to share with their fans and the public that they follow such a dangerous meal plan. If they were they wouldn’t talk about it every chance they got. To me its as if they’re saying “look how little I can eat without killing myself!” But their poor choices aside, where is their agency to put a stop to it? We all know that the agencies in Korea are pretty heavy handed in their talents’ lives, even putting bans on their dating, and cellphone use. We also know they have control over their diets. So, why not provide healthy ways for your artists to maintain the weight they or you want. I have to think that pressure from their Starship Entertainment is what’s pushing these girls to want to get another cookie cutter, skin and bones figure, but I also think that starving themselves wasn’t their first choice.
When Will Health Become Priority?
Finally, my ultimate question to the K-Entertainment industry is, when will you put a stop to it? How many more cases of Anorexia and Bulimia will we have to hear about before a movement for health over a 19 inch waist happens? To netizens, when will you stand up for the actual well being of your favorite idols? Rather than crucifying them for normal human behavior, why not devote your energy to showing your idols you don’t need them to be paper thin for you to love them and enjoy their music?
What do you think about kpop diets? Share your thoughts in the comments below.