On an episode of the Get Real podcast, idols KARD‘s BM, Ladies’ Code‘s Ashley Choi, and soloist AleXa dived deep into the downsides of fame as a well-known public figure. Here are six of the cons that K-Pop idols face in their careers.
Despite being famous, that doesn’t necessarily mean an idol is being paid tons of money. Ashley noted, “I feel like you could be famous but not be rich too, especially in K-Pop entertainment.”
Because of the resources it takes to debut, it results in “a lot of debt” for idols. AleXa pointed out that paying it off was never a given, saying, “But you’re never sure.”
2. Stolen Money
While on the topic of money, Ashley noted that income didn’t go straight to an artist: “Even if people may know you and even if people may listen to your music a lot, you might not be rich, just might not be making that much money.”
While pretending to pocket some money, BM said, “The behind-the-scenes people might be taking your money a little bit.”
3. Fake Friends
With fame comes the attention of those who want to benefit from that fame and will pretend to be an idol’s friend just to get it. Ashley revealed some of the things that fake friends tend to want, “They want your money, or they want clout.”
Other fake friends just want to feel the rush of being in a famous person’s circle. Ashley continued, “They wanna hang out with you and feel famous themselves.”
4. Shady Family
While fake friends have to put in a lot of effort to gain an idol’s trust, “fake family members” have an easier opportunity to take advantage of them.
Being a trusted part of their family, they can step right in by “taking their money” and “betraying them.”
By always being on guard against fake friends and family members, it takes a toll on famous idols. Ashley admitted, “I hear stories. They tell me they’re lonely.”
She also noted, “I think that’s why famous people are so lonely and they look to drugs and alcohol, maybe, to fill that emptiness because they don’t have real relationships.”
Because of the attention that fame brings, there’s always someone trying to get whatever information they can—even if it invades an idol’s privacy.
To compensate, idols have to be mindful of everything they do. Ashley shared the thoughts that run through their minds, “‘Oh my god, what if someone photographs me? What if someone records audio of me?’”
Ashley recalled her own thoughts when revealing why going to the club was so worrying when Ladies’ Code was actively promoting: “What if someone recognizes me? What if someone starts spreading rumors, saying that I go clubbing and I’m a bad girl?’”
Ashley painted the picture of how nerve-wracking it could be, “Just constantly being followed by paparazzi and their cars. Even Dispatch, waiting in the parking lots trying to take pictures.“