K-Pop artist and YouTuber Grazy Grace spilled the tea on what rules people working in the Korean entertainment industry must follow. Although much of what she says is applicable to girl group or girl idols, as per her own experiences, these rules aren’t limited to just women or idols, but the entertainment industry as a whole.
As with all things in life, none of these rules are hard and fast rules to live by and may not apply to every scenario, but are truths that many (but not all) people working in the industry have to follow.
Rule #1: No boyfriends allowed!
Grace shares that the reason she emphasizes no boyfriends is that female idols tend to be sheltered more by their agency. They are protected more heavily than male idols to protect their pure image, as well as to possibly prevent girl entertainers from falling in love and giving up their career for romance.
One of Grace’s friends was even fired from her agency after being caught dating!
Rule #2: No talking to the opposite sex within your company.
Although you can greet each other politely, you’re not allowed to have friendly downtime with the opposite sex! Grace said that companies will often go out of their way to adjust schedules so groups with opposing genders won’t be in the same place at the same time.
Rule #3: Be prepared for your company will check your cellphone.
Management can check your phone at any time they want, so it’s important to be diligent about what you keep on your phone. If you have any text messages from men, even if it’s your relative, you will be questioned on why you’re talking to them.
Grace shares that there’s something called a “three-year rule”. If you debut as part of a group and you don’t cause trouble for your agency, the company will be lax about allowing you to date.
Rule #4: No junk food allowed.
Your company may weigh you. If you gain one or two pounds, your managers will hound you about your weight.
Rule #5: You always, always have to be in contact with your manager!
It doesn’t matter what time it is, your manager will call to check up on you. If you don’t answer your phone for whatever reason, they will scold you.
Rule #6: NO GOING OUT.
Grace says you’re not allowed to go out and doing anything. After practice, you should basically just go home and sleep. When she was a solo artist, she said her dorm was in her company and at first she enjoyed it because it saved her money on transportation, but it quickly became very stressful because they were involved in every aspect of her life.
Rule #7: No social media. At. All.
You’re not allowed to have social media at all. But, of course, entertainers have private accounts that their company doesn’t know about. Some agencies allow their artists to have social media accounts, but the picture and caption are often micromanaged by managers who want to make sure you don’t look ugly or don’t send the wrong message.
Rule #8: No touching your hairstyle.
In Grace’s case, she recalls not being allowed to cut, dye, or do anything to her hair without pre-approval.
Rule #9: No part-time jobs.
While this depends on which company you’re with, most companies don’t want you to have a part-time job even though you might not earn enough as a trainee or recently debuted artist.
Rule #10: You must bow and respect your elders.
You must greet your elders and bow at a 90-degree angle, and you must take the time to bow perfectly. Grace recounts a time when she bowed with her hands in her winter coat’s pockets because it was cold, and she was later scolded for being disrespectful.
Were these rules more or less what you expected entertainers to follow, or did they come out of the left field for you?