In the past decade K-pop has been on a steady rise to stardom thanks to the Korean wave. Millions of people have heard or at least know about K-pop after the huge success of K-pop bands or idols like BTS, BLACKPINK, and many others.
K-pop fans known as “kpoppers” have all dreamed of seeing their favorite member of the band and wishing to have the same lifestyle as them. However, what they don’t know is the toll that fame does to these idols. In the past couple of years at least three idols have committed suicide over the immense pressure they receive from companies, fans, and critics.
The first issue arises when artists are recruited by Korean companies and are to go through rigorous training in order to become a perfect idol in the eyes of fans across the world. Even if they are recruited it doesn’t necessarily mean that they would actually have a chance to debut, it could take years if they don’t follow the rules of the company. They are forced to shape themselves into the perfect image in order to attract a large fanbase.
Once the trainees have passed on their vocals, rapping, dancing, and visuals that their company required of them they will finally have their debut stage, but the tension is far from over. When a solo artist or band receives debut that they finally hoped for it doesn’t mean they automatically become successful. If they don’t present something eye catching then the fans would quickly lose interest even after all the training that they underwent. Companies won’t think twice before they decide to drop them if they don’t present the appropriate fanbase.
This also applies to popular K-pop artists that are beloved across the world. They may have a large fanbase but it also comes with a lot of criticism. People called “anti-fans” spend their time sitting behind a computer backlashing the artist in gruesome ways. They don’t realize the damage they are inflicting on the artists. This has caused many K-pop artists to suffer from serious mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and others.
K-pop Idols may be loved by their fans because of their seemingly extravagant lifestyle but they don’t notice the side effects it may have to them. People need to realize that idols are like any other human beings.