K-Pop idols are constantly in the spotlight and are under extreme pressure to maintain their looks and lose weight.
This is true of both male and female idols. Before debuting, trainees undergo rigorous physical training regiments and are often forced to restrict their diets in an effort to create the perfect figure.
Under the constant watch of their management and fans alike, the pressure sometimes can be unbearable. Recently several idols have been the center of attention for their extreme weight loss, but while the efforts of some are praised, others are harshly criticized.
Super Junior's Kangin says that he has been on a very strict diet since last November reportedly having lost 15kg (about 33lbs) and fan response has been entirely positive.
In February the idol tweeted, "Starting from the end of last November, I [dedicated myself] to losing weight. I currently weigh 73kg, which is 15kg less than I was [at that time]," and included a selca (self-portrait) to show his progress. Fans were shocked and amazed by the singer's transformation saying that he looks much better. Many netizens seem to be focusing on Kangin's more defined jawline, which is still the main topic of conversation now, two months later.
One Ket, lead rapper for rookie girl group GI (Global Icon) has gotten mixed responses after revealing her own strict dieting practice before the group's debut.
She said that lost 9kg in just one month before being introduced to the world. Her agency Simtong Entertainment released a statement this week saying, "One Ket was 59kg when she began as a trainee. For a month before her debut, she drank one bottle of soy milk a day and lost 9kg. She's lost a total of 16kg so far and is continuing to manage her diet."
Perhaps because GI is a new group, and One Ket is not well known yet, but most comments have been in the realm of disbelief, "Don't lie, how can you survive off of soy milk for an entire month?" or concern, "I think it's fine to diet id it makes you happier, but a diet consisting of only soy milk is extremely dangerous."
Because it was the agency that released the information about One Ket's extreme diet, many people have assumed she was encouraged (if not downright forced) to lose weight by her management.
While fans have had relatively nice things to say about the weight loss of many popular stars, one idol in particular has not been treated so kind.
T-ARA's Boram has often been the center of extreme dieting ridicule with many netizens and fans saying she is too thin and accusing her of being anorexic.
Recent photos of the idol in shorts have caused alarm as veins can be seen all over her incredibly skinny legs.
"Not only is she too thin, she looks sickly almost. I get that she's dieting, but this is going too far..." posted one fan, while another stated, "She has to have some kind of health problem or she's anorexic." For the most part, commenters have been all too harsh on the young idol who is already under pressure to be thin. People calling her "gross" and telling her she is "zombie-like" are not doing anything to help Boram's self-image.
Why is it okay for some idols, and not others, to take extreme measures when dieting? Kangin was praised for dropping weight quickly, One Ket's slim figure was met with concern, while Boram is brutally attacked. Seems unfair.
However you look at it, from a medical perspective, these extreme diets are dangerous and unhealthy no matter who you are. But fans also need to be more understanding of their favorite idols who are under a lot of pressure to keep slim.