08:39 GMT +321 January 2020
Listen Live
    Asia & Pacific
    Get short URL
    0 20

    The multi-billion dollar K-Pop industry is one of South Korea's most lucrative soft power exports. It has become a world phenomenon in recent years, with artists selling millions of albums and their concerts selling out in minutes. It’s no secret that success comes at a high price, but in K-Pop people pay with their mental health and even lives.

    K-Pop stars have spoken about the pressures of the industry, the intense work, and strong stigma against mental health problems. In an interview with CBS Amber Liu, a member of the band f(x) revealed how artists are pressured to be perfect in everything from looks to performance. “If you aren't under a certain weight, you can definitely get cut. You're told what to do, what to say, what to think".

    Liu’s former band member Sulli, whose real name is Choi Jin-ri took her own life in October due to depression caused by cyberbullying. Sulli, in 2017 became the most Googled person in South Korea, surpassing even the country’s president Moon Jae-in. A month after Sulli killed herself, her friend and fellow colleague Goo Hara also took her own life.

    Amber Liu said there is a strong stigma against mental health problems in the K-Pop industry. "When (people) hear you're getting help they're like, 'what? Why are you getting help? That's weird.' That stigma against mental health is just so strong", Liu said.

    Alexaundra Christine Schneiderman, who performs under the name Alexa, told CBS of the challenges she faced reagarding the particularly unsustainable workload as she revealed that filming of her debut video took 48 hours. "The music video took two days to film, 24 hours each day, almost", Alexa said.

    The artist also spoke about how K-Pop artists are put on pedestals, pressured to be perfect. "I myself have struggled with self-confidence for years and finding the capability to love myself, but I have recently stumbled upon that", Alexa said.

    mental health, suicide, South Korea, k-pop
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik