The perception of K-Pop is a tricky thing when you’re not too familiar with it.
If you asked someone what they thought of K-Pop and they answered saying something like:
“It’s an industry that is cutthroat because there are idols getting plastic surgery all the time while trying so hard to get their skin tone as white as possible.”
How does that make you feel?
Ok, so perhaps idols getting plastic surgery may have some truth to it, but the fact is that celebrities and idols from different cultures, not just K-Pop, often times get certain cosmetic procedures done. As K-Pop fans, we can’t deny that some times idols actually do get certain types of surgeries. Of course, this is also referring to K-Pop’s earliest days before the recent popularity of the scene.
As for whitening skin tone, it has been a standard of beauty in South Korea for quite a long time. But also at the same time, it’s not the only beauty standard that exists in K-Pop. There are many darker skin toned idols who have been admired by fans for their unique look.
Sounds fair enough right? No reason to be alarmed.
But what is problematic for K-Pop fans regarding this issue is how the tragic and unfortunate death of a loved K-Pop idol was brought up to describe K-Pop’s competitive nature, in addition to applying the stereotype and assumption that plastic surgery and trying to get the whitest skin when describing K-Pop.
So to the point, an article by ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ has left BTS’s fandom ARMY and other K-Pop fandoms in a state of rage.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) October 2, 2019
Below is a description of K-Pop by the article.
“Thousands of wannabe K-pop stars compete at regular American Idol-style cattle calls. Those lucky enough to make it to the next level spend years learning their craft inside secretive K-pop training camps, where they’re sometimes subjected to dangerous diets, strict social rules (no dating), grueling rehearsal schedules and mandated plastic surgery and skin-whitening procedures.”
And it goes on.
“Only the best of the best wind up in an actual K-pop band — while some don’t survive at all. In 2017, the industry drew intense scrutiny after a member of SHINee, another popular K-pop band, took his own life, writing in his suicide note that he felt “broken on the inside.”
Fans haven’t been too happy about it as well.
the worst thing about this shit ass article has to be the way they brought up jonghyun to fit their “kpop industry is horrible” agenda
— Blue Bird (@GurlMeetsEvil) October 2, 2019
I am so goddamn tired of media outlets using Jonghyun to fit their anti-Korean agenda. It makes me so fucking sick that they are using a man who’s everything to so many shawls and one of the sweetest souls a dwindling him down to “another tragedy”. He was so much more than that.
— leeteuk ily (@withlove_sassy) October 2, 2019
But things don’t end just here. ARMY have been criticizing Big Hit Entertainment for allowing the article to portray RM as an arrogant person. ARMY believe that the article misquoted RM’s statement in the past.
“We have to consider ourselves not just better [than other K-pop acts], but the best,” says RM, BTS’ 25-year-old charismatic leader. “When we’re out there on that stage, we’re there to conquer. We think we’re the ones.”
bighit would not and should not proofread articles . no journalist/publication would ever let their source/interviewee proofread their article. i understand hating the article but pls stop spreading the ideas that undermine the free press .
— ;—; (@hotlinehope) October 2, 2019
What do you think about this situation?