Netizens worldwide never have enough praise for K-Pop and the idols who have brought sunshine and joy into people’s lives. Yet, more and more idols have been giving fans insight into the industry’s true and sometimes shocking conditions, particularly when it comes to weight and body image.
It is well-known that idols are expected to have a certain image of perfection, which deals with everything from the way someone looks to their body image.
One former idol who has been through all hardships and has been vocal about her industry struggles is Dayul, a former member of the K-Pop group Baby Boo.
The idol recently joined YouTuber Grazy Grace to speak about all the hardships of being an idol, including the expectations of looking a certain way. When Grace asked Dayul how they maintained weight while promoting, the idol remembered one specific time after they’d released a track called “How Is My Body.”
Due to the name of the song, the group had a strict expectation to look good in every performance and have a “perfect body.” Yet, it seems like the extent she and the members went to in maintaining a certain weight was extreme.
Back then, I lost a lot of weight. I only ate one apple a day. We did have a harsh diet, I remember. Or we would just eat salad for that day (during music shows). I remember we barely ate.
Usually, companies are there to help idols take those steps in losing weight. However, anyone familiar with the story of Baby Boo and their agency won’t find it surprising to know that this was far from their reality. In fact, Dayul shared that their parents were the ones who helped them when paying for things like gym memberships.
Yet, it didn’t stop the company from putting pressure on the members. In particular, they would be extremely harsh when speaking to the members and found ways to emotionally manipulate them to lose weight,
But the company gave us pressure, saying, ‘You can not be on TV if you’re fat.’ So we had no choice, we did it all ourselves.
With a lack of support from the company but extreme pressure, the members of the group went to even more extreme lengths to ensure they maintained what was deemed a “suitable weight.”
We even took slimming shots (diet botox), which I paid with my own money.
Groups like OH MY GIRL have shared that the members were expected to maintain a certain weight throughout their trainee days. Although Dayul said this wasn’t the case with her group, because they were all different heights, the CEO would say some harsh words.
If our CEO thought that he saw a little bit of a weight gain, he would say insensitive things like, ‘What are you going to do looking like that?’ So we tried to stay like the typical girl group weight, staying around 45-48kg.
As expected, it seems like the life of an idol is far from the dream world many believe it is. Due to the strict expectations from fans and companies, idols are forced to go to extreme lengths to maintain a perfect image.
You can read more about Dayul exposing the harsh reality of her time as an idol below.