Life of a K-pop star is not easy. You constantly face the pressure of fitting into strict Korean beauty standards along with ruthless hours and hours of training. Koreans love and appreciate a slim figure, small face, big eyes, v-shaped jaw, straight eyebrows and clear skin.

K-pop idols often take extreme measures to meet these standards which includes undergoing plastic surgeries and starving oneself to lose weight.

Poor Self-Image


If you are a fan of K-pop then you must have heard of the infamous IU diet. It consists of 1 apple for breakfast, 1 sweet potato for lunch and 1 protein shake for dinner. The diet is pretty extreme if we also consider the intense calorie burning exercise regime k-pop idols normally follow.

IU in an episode of the SBS show, “Healing Camp” revealed that she was battling with bulimia and was receiving treatment for it. Thus, it is pretty clear that IU diet is not a healthy diet to recommend for weight loss.

Jimin of BTS revealed his struggles to lose weight through their Wing’s Concept Book. He explained how he hoped to be a perfect looking man as an idol.

He said: “I came to think that I want to become handsome while looking at mirror during ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ practice”.

He starved himself to fulfil his mission and frequently fainted due to hunger.


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He refused to accept other members’ invitation to eat food and due to his strict diet plan he lost a total of 15 pounds. Army (Official Fandom name of BTS) was really worried and started #JiminYouArePerfect trend to make him feel more comfortable about his looks.

Pressure from Music Labels to Lose Weight


Many idols receive pressure to lose weight by their companies so that they fit better into the beauty standards of the industry. Momo of Twice in a live broadcast revealed how her company urged her to lose 7 kg in a week if she was really keen on joining her group members on their showcase.

She further admitted that she did not eat anything for the whole day and went to the gym all the time. She spat all the time to ensure there was no water in her body. While trying to sleep, she would wake up and start crying as she was scared that she would never wake up again.

Body Shaming By Korean Netizens

Some idols decide to lose weight due to constant online bullying and fat shaming by Korean netizens. “If you are not skinny enough then you have no right to become an idol, no matter how talented you are” is an idea that has deep roots in Korean idol industry.

Many female idols like Jihyo of Twice, Kyla of Pristin, Sulli of f(x) and Wendy of Red Velvet were publicly body shamed. Not being stick thin is considered as a lack of self-control.

Such irrational and illogical ideas and beliefs must be terminated immediately as it encourages the development of anxiety, depression and various related eating disorders. It reduces confidence of an individual and there is a high probability that the person might undergo social isolation due to poor self-image.

It is very important to promote body positivity among young women. One must love his or her own body and understand outer beauty is only skin deep. What you are as a person is determined by your interior and not your exterior.


Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: The Korean Diet, Inquisitr, Kpopmap and Wikipedia

Find the blogger: @lisa_tay_ari


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