Koreans have taken over the music industries all around the world. With its rich and diverse content, it has transcended the language barriers but, at a cost! This glamorous world of K-pop is not that bright as it looks. There is another side of it where the idols are not stars but almost slaves of their management companies. Watch the video below!
Their start as a trainee:
In South Korea, idol management companies employ thousands of trainees. Parents send their kids into these companies, so they can debut as a K-pop star one day. These kids have to follow the exhausting dancing and singing practice routines.
However, their debut is not guaranteed. It is because the Korean industry is obsessed with perfectionism. They prefer idols who have pretty faces, flawless skins and skinny bodies.
In order to fit in this criteria, they follow strict diet routines that sometimes is not even healthy! An anonymous trainee revealed
"I used to consume only 300 calories a day with the dance practices"
Isn't that insane?
The trainees are not even allowed to date and sometimes go back to their homes. They remain in the company's training center until their contract lasts. These unhealthy conditions sometimes lead to the trainees getting chronically ill and psychological damaged.
After their debut
Debuting as a K-pop idol is a great deal. But once they become the K-pop idol, they are not allowed to wear clothes of their style, produce music of their own taste, and even meet people of their choice.
There is a proper dating ban that these companies put on the idols, and under that they cannot even be friends with idols of the opposite gender. In short, they live a life that is not completely under their own control.
If they reach stardom, their management companies get up to 90% of their revenue as a compensation for the money invested in them!
The suffering doesn't end here. Fans can be also extreme: There is a group of fans called 'Sasaengs' who stalk idols everywhere. They follow them to their hotel rooms, flights, and even to their family homes!
With K-Pop stars getting more attention worldwide, management companies are starting to improve their conditions. Hopefully, the success of BTS and Blackpink around the world is the first step into improving our idol's lives!
Truly, there are some exceptions to this as some companies like Big Hit Entertainment does give some sort of freedom to their idols. For example, BTS, the famous band under the label, participate in the music they make by writing the lyrics, deciding the choreography, and producing the compositions.
We wish that all companies give freedom to their idols and treat them in a much better way by considering their needs. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.