The dark side of K-Pop and the great Korean music industry

Not all that glitters is gold and K-Pop is an example of that. Although Korean pop is enduring, the truth is that it also has a dark side that has revealed itself over the years.

Dances, makeup, choreography and a perfect physique have become the characteristics of a musical genre that is experiencing a major boom.

Becoming an “idol” requires great effort as the path to get there is very difficult due to the physical demands that must be met.

The level of control is comparable to that of the military, but this time it is exercised by entertainment companies with which they contract for several years.

These companies typically keep a large portion of the revenue a band or soloist makes when they become famous.

In this way, there are thousands of young people who want to enter the world of K-pop, but only a few who actually make it.

One of the demands is that they must not have a partner because “an idol must give himself completely to his fans.” In addition, they are not allowed to go to places without first consulting with the company supporting them, and they are not allowed to express their opinions on political issues.

The stars behind the dressing rooms

The K-Pop industry tends to hide many of its problems behind the curtain. Endless hours of training, extreme diets to achieve a figure and a strenuous work schedule are some of the hidden sides of this industry.

Always marketed as a product sponsored or funded by a major corporation, several band members and individual singers are banned from speaking about the abuse they endure.

But sometimes the situation becomes too difficult and the most incredible scandals become public.

This has been the case since K-pop began to become successful, first in Korea, then in Asia, and then in the rest of the world.

One of the first bands to achieve international fame was Big Bang. One of their members named TOP lost 20 kilograms in just 40 days.

Choi Seung-Hyun, the artist’s real name, admitted that he followed a diet based on water and gelatin for a month because “Big Bang” was about to debut and his sponsor company wanted to see him without an extra kilo wanted.

Another similar case is that of Soyou, a member of a girl band called SISTAR. She only ate once a day and even her fans noticed that her lifestyle was unhealthy.

In this way, young people who want to start in this world, so-called trainees, go through tough training days.

See more: K-pop singer Park Bo-ram died at the age of 30 after being found unconscious in a bathroom

The demand is so great that boarding schools have been set up where all types of skills are practiced for up to 14 hours a day.

The physical standards have also led to the need for these young people to undergo Cosmetic surgeries to achieve an ideal weight.

One of the stories that went viral was that of Momo, a member of the band Twice, who said in an interview that she ate ice cubes for a week to lose 7 kilos. This kind of strategy ultimately led to him being urgently taken to the hospital.

“Whitewashing,” which sheds light on the dark side of K-pop

Aside from extreme diets and strenuous exercise, whitewashing remains a highly controversial topic in the dark side of K-pop.

“Whitewash” is an English term that means changing a person’s skin tone, hair color, or facial features to make them appear more Caucasian.

In Korea, light skin is easy to see and it is even one of the countries where cosmetic products that lighten skin tone are sold the most.

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The “whitewashing” of the K-pop industry affects Korean artists, but even more so it affects singers and actresses who hail from Southwest Asia.

The dark side of K-Pop, the major Korean music industry

Cosmetic surgery is common in the Korean entertainment industry. Image: Pixabay

BamBam, a member of GOT7 and a native of Thailand, represents this dark side of K-pop that tries to whiten its artists.

Kunpimook Bhuwakul, as the singer’s real name is, showed a noticeable physical change since his debut. Their facial features and skin color are different and of course do not reflect their original appearance.

Another similar case is that of Lalisa Manoban, also Thai and singer of the group BlackPink. Lisa, as she is known in the artistic world, had typical Southwest Asian features before her debut, but also changed radically.

However, the K-pop industry doesn’t stop there when it comes to changing the appearance of its artists. Many singers and dancers also undergo double eyelid surgery. the most requested in South Korea.

This surgery alters the natural shape of Asian eyes, which normally lack an upper lid, creating a distinctly Western appearance.

Most Korean artists and actors undergo this surgery and many consider it a prerequisite for entering show business.

In fact, chin, nose and lip surgeries are common in this culture.

The accents don’t save you either

Korean is a large language with different dialects and linguistic variations. In Korea, these differences are referred to as “satoori” and refer to the linguistic variants that exist in each region.

In the K-pop industry, it is unlikely that an artist will speak their native language as it may be considered old-fashioned or difficult to understand.

In fact, the Korean language used in the media is the “standard” language spoken primarily in Seoul, the capital of South Korea.

The dark side of K-Pop, the major Korean music industry

K-pop is already a global phenomenon. Image: Pixabay

See more: Karina, the K-pop star who had to “apologize” to her fans for having a boyfriend because they accused her of “betrayal.”

The Korean music industry has boomed in recent years and has become one of the most profitable business models in Asia.

However, the dark side of the K-pop industry is still present and its shadow extends to any future dancer, artist or singer who wants to start their career in the world of Korean entertainment.

Mental health and suicides

It’s no secret that young people who want to become K-pop stars suffer from tremendous physical and emotional exhaustion.

The competition between thousands of young people is very high and therefore very few achieve success in this world. It is assumed that one in 1,000 applicants will succeed in making their debut as an artist.

This has led to fear of failure and mental illness with terrible consequences such as suicide.

One of the most famous cases was recorded in 2017, when Kim Jong-hyun, a member of the band SHINe, reportedly committed suicide due to the pressure of success.

Another of the most famous stories is that of Sulli, a former member of the group F(X), who committed suicide due to depression and bullying while trying to establish herself as a soloist.

The Netflix documentary “Light Up The Sky” illustrates this enormous pressure. The production tells not only about the strenuous hours of entertainment, but also about how it takes several years for K-pop stars to earn money due to abusive contracts.

In this way, K-pop has a dark side behind it as its stars continue to captivate millions of followers around the world with their show.

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