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If you thought that being a K-Pop idol was all about living the glamorous life that involves giving energetic performances, photo shoots, interviews, and traveling, think again.

There are currently around 300 girl groups in South Korea that are barely able to sustain a living. Some of them are laboring day and night just to try and pay their phone bills. And others are unable to leave their dorms because they have no money for transportation, let alone money to spend on a small meal or cup of coffee with friends.

To be able to land a gig on television is the equivalent to winning a lottery for these young girls. The competition is fierce and from an objective standpoint, everything is about money.

Contracts and agreements between the agency and girl groups are also problematic. Agencies usually take 70% of total profit, leaving the remaining 30% to be divided amongst the group members. But it also gets worse. Each individual member would also have to deduct a large portion of their individual earnings to pay back the agency for the investment they received. Investment expenses include hair & makeup, promotion, outfits, and in some cases cosmetic surgery. If a girl group member made $3000 on a certain month, she would be left with around $70 after paying back her debt.

Putting this into perspective, people can’t help but feel sympathy for the ones that resort to ‘sponsorships’. Sponsorship deals happen when clients, who are usually rich executives or celebrities,  request an agency to find them a suitable idol as a girlfriend. In such cases, an agency would round up the girls that they judge to be attractive, and send them out to private bars to meet their ‘sponsors’.

 

Read More : HyunA Tells Fans ‘Not To Worry’ About Her On Instagram

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sss691
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sss691
Sep 3, 2018 11:16 am

A prostitution endorsing article?
Either way, capitalism is very simple. If you can't find a way to make a living you don't and the problem solves itself on it's own. I too have been surprised by the sheer number of boy & girl groups in an already over-saturated market. You would never see that in the west. It shows that Asians don't have much of a brain. But things will balance themselves on their own, that's the beauty of free markets.

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Sep 2, 2018 11:04 pm

A while ago, I've been asking questions to some koreans on a online forum, and some have a perspective from k-pop different from people like me, who are westerns. In a country with about 50 million people, is too much groups, the market is saturated, fans goes crazy with the price and the amount of products from the mainstream groups and companies, who can afford to create this for the fans, and the small ones, who barely make a living. And some of theses youngsters who enters in this industry wants to escape from the harsh reality from a country… Read more »

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Sep 2, 2018 06:04 am

Wow....I never thought idols have such a hard time.