Lamar High School's Student-Run News Publication

LAMAR LIFE

Lamar High School's Student-Run News Publication

LAMAR LIFE

Lamar High School's Student-Run News Publication

LAMAR LIFE

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K-Pop: A Glamorized Industry

K-Pop idols receive unfair treatment
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Photo accessed on the Rolling Stones website. Published under fair use. No copyright infringement is intended.

As reported in an article by Billboard, “BLACKPINK make history by becoming the first Korean act to headline Coachella.” K-pop, a rising industry in the western world, has been so glamorized that fans have ignored it’s dark side. 

In Oct. 2022, a fan recorded Omega X, an idol group, being mistreated by their agency’s executive after a Los Angeles show. It was later revealed that both verbal and physical abuse had been going on for a period of time and that Omega X members eventually took their K-pop agency to court. 

It is also common to see companies, especially smaller ones, mismanaging their artists by not compensating them, neglecting them and even overworking them. In June 2023, the rising group, FIFTY FIFTY filed a lawsuit against their agency claiming the agency withheld payments and overlooked their health. Despite losing, the truth hasn’t surfaced, which means if the claim was accurate, these artists are working tirelessly just to be exploited.

Not only do many idols bear mistreatment by their companies but to even become an idol is a process that is grueling itself. Prior to debuting, individuals as young as 12 must audition and once they’ve passed they are then placed in a company where they will undergo training, lasting anywhere from one to 11 years, consisting of 10-12 hour days of working on skills such as dance and vocals; however, it’s not a guarantee of debuting. 

Every aspect of an idol’s life is under the public eye which leads to the companies being controlling, from dating to how they act, which is why opening up is uncommon. Although recently many cases have started to surface, it’s still rare to see it due to the fear of breaking or even losing their contracts.

Looks or “visuals” are also a part of the job and idols are notoriously known for it; the pale snow-like skin, skinny and a small V-shaped face. Some are blessed with natural beauty but oftentimes it’s achieved through make up and sometimes plastic surgery. This can be dangerous, especially with an impressionable audience because it can create an unrealistic mindset for fans. 

Despite a few bad apples, not all of it is terrible.  Unfortunately, the rise of COVID led to the rise in Asian hate. However, with the emergence of Korean and Asian influence, it forced people to live and appreciate it.

Korea is surely making its mark on the world with BTS being nominated several times and performing at the Grammy’s and now Stray Kids and Tomorrow x Together (TXT) making their debut in the western world at the 2023 Video Music Awards (VMAs). Despite criticism made, whether that be the life of an idol or even the music in general, K-pop is a rising industry that is here to stay. 

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About the Contributor
Aleisha Paulick, Writer
Senior Aleisha Paulick is in her third and last year as a Staff Writer for Lamar Life. Aleisha has always had an interest in Journalism so she joined to gain experience, however prior to that she always had a passion for writing, it was a way for her to express herself. Joining Lamar Life allowed her to write about topics that she was curious about, not only that about it allowed her to explore these topics and find out the why of the world. Outside of writing, Aleisha is a huge water baby and loves to be outdoors. Her favorite movie is How to train Your Dragon and is obsessed with the artist DPR Ian.

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