6:23 pm - 06/16/2019

"How To Become A K-Pop Idol: Life As A Foreign Trainee"



Source: YouTube: CNA Insider

TW: disordered eating and body image. This is a short 6-minute documentary about a Japanese trainee's experience at a Korean entertainment company, Star Road Entertainment. They're home to JBJ's Kenta and formerly D.Holic and Kiwi Band M.
ty 16th-Jun-2019 11:02 pm (UTC)
I do not know how they get through this. And then even if they DO debut, it may go no further. As a consumer of Kpop, it is very conflicting
lil_poisonfrog 17th-Jun-2019 01:55 am (UTC)
Right. As a teen I used to think being an idol would be so glamorous and cool. Now I realize the majority of them are the low-level worker bees of K-entertainment. Debuting is already a huge hurdle, and then the chances of becoming a top-tier group are so slim after that. And even that's not enough; then you have to compete with your fellow members to become individually popular or you'll have no career after your group disbands.
cettefemme90 16th-Jun-2019 11:10 pm (UTC)
Well that was unpleasant. I guess at least it's a 24 year old woman in this case who knows she wants this life and not a young girl?

The 50kg thing is just enraging. It's so arbitrary. Even if they really must insist on some 'size limit', one weight for everyone makes no sense. What if you're tall? What if you're a little on the muscular side?
kimbafierce 17th-Jun-2019 09:44 pm (UTC)
I remember when Uee(who's a tall woman) was put face to face Niel (who's extremely thin) in a "weight-off". He was 60kg then, which was already underweight for their height, but when she lost she lost more turning into a walking skeleton.

I think all of EA countries care too much about the number, than whether it looks okay for your body shape/height. It's insane.
lightframes 16th-Jun-2019 11:45 pm (UTC)
Making people miserable doesn't make them any stronger or better, it just makes them... miserable.
scionofawhisper 17th-Jun-2019 12:10 am (UTC)
I think they try to break them to make them more controllable, to bring out the best in them, and to see if they can withstand idol life itself.
lightframes 17th-Jun-2019 01:36 am (UTC)
I believe it's 100% to make them more controllable, I just don't think it actually brings out the best in anybody.
lil_poisonfrog 17th-Jun-2019 01:42 am (UTC)
Idt treating ppl like shit brings out the best in them though. You can be strict without being abusive like many companies are
kimbafierce 17th-Jun-2019 09:46 pm (UTC)
I don't think there's a company in Kpop that isn't abusive tbh. They all are but in varying degrees.
scionofawhisper 17th-Jun-2019 12:10 am (UTC)
They take in girls just because they are pretty and then expect them to pros in dancing and singing when they started at 0. :x I mean,I get it. Everyone enjoys the perfection that kpop is, in dancing and visuals, and this is because it's so demanding of perfection behind the scenes. That's the price. They demand it. It seems harsh but that's what it takes for the level that kpop is at...

It's kinda scary how crazy their diets are and then they appear so many places in Korea and young girls compare themselves to them of course and find their bodies wanting. But idol bodies are so, so skinny only from hard dieting. :/ It seems unhealthy for all girls, idols or not, tbh. Being shown that to be a beautiful girl who has worth, you have to be that skinny and that perfect and that beautiful.

It's amazing how hard their training is and idol life is, and how they are treated but they act so cute and innocent. But maybe because of their hard training they are humble and cute...? (well most of them, lol)
lil_poisonfrog 17th-Jun-2019 01:45 am (UTC)
It's amazing how hard their training is and idol life is, and how they are treated but they act so cute and innocent

I think it's partly 1) coaching and 2) the general societal expectation for how women should act. There's a reason groups who are heavy on the aegyo pandering, "innocent" girlfriend fantasy stuff have majority male fans.
ostsiberia 17th-Jun-2019 07:35 am (UTC)
Is it grim of me to say I welcome that for once we aren't hearing the typical kpop waif spiel of "Disordered eating? Me? I EAT 5000 calories a day and don't gain an ounce uwu"
kimbafierce 17th-Jun-2019 10:10 pm (UTC)
OMG YES!!! The biggest BS line in kpop which stans fall for every time.
A group of 12 girls where ALL are just blessed with incredible genes. what a load of horse crap.
ostsiberia 19th-Jun-2019 03:05 pm (UTC)
Absolutely. It's led me to believe that idols have to be exalted beings who dont have to diet--in the public eye
theweebdream 17th-Jun-2019 12:23 am (UTC)
Yikes, that beginning scene with them forcing the girls to do a split was hard to watch (esp as someone that can’t do them, ouch)

But honestly this was all so hard to watch in general. I feel like since it was a small company there were being esp harsh. That’s when I would say fuck it and keep auditioning for other companies.
myrrhcat 17th-Jun-2019 12:28 am (UTC)
tbh, i might put up with this treatment under a big company with a decent chance of success, but this company? why torture yourself just to debut in an unsuccessful nugu group?
lil_poisonfrog 17th-Jun-2019 01:50 am (UTC)
Same, if I was in their shoes. At the very least a mid-tier company with some past successful groups, but no smaller than that.

I think these terrible, shady nugu companies only exist bc they're able to exploit naive children with a dream. I'd be cool if there was a law eliminating or reducing trainee debt that prevented most of them from doing business. It would mean less opportunities for wannabe idols but that's a good thing bc the industry is far too saturated. If someone wants to start a new agency they should have to get investors to fund it.

Edited at 2019-06-17 01:51 am (UTC)
prlsb4swiine 17th-Jun-2019 02:51 am (UTC)
50kg???? i need to see myself out ugh that enrages me
myungung 17th-Jun-2019 12:14 pm (UTC)
I wasn't expecting the ending when I watched this last week. but I guess this is probably the tip of the iceberg only, when other harsher things are happening that we probably don't get to see
camouflagecat 17th-Jun-2019 05:12 pm (UTC)
Videos like this just enrage me with the ridiculous standards (like 50kg is a magic number somehow), the belittling and harsh words (like that's the most effective way to train someone) and then not to mention not giving them any pay, them not even debuting, or even if they debut having very small change to make it (to make it big being a pipe dream at best)... the horrible (on both physical and mental level) treatment and the odds being against you, it's crazy there are still so many people who want to do this. At least try it out in the bigger companies where you actually have somewhat of a chance at a career in the industry.

But I do also wonder with the people, who don't have experience in dance or singing/rapping, still trying out for being an idol. Like if you had a passion for either of those or both and your dream is to perform them I'd get it but these people who are just good looking and see the glitz and glam and think they wanna take a shot at it... these people need to re-evaluate their priorities. Seems like too many people think anyone can be an idol if you're pretty and want it badly enough, and don't have an realistic image of what it means to be an idol, at all.

Edited at 2019-06-17 05:20 pm (UTC)
jessi_cola 18th-Jun-2019 10:26 pm (UTC)
This is how harsh they are ON CAMERA jfc imagine what they actually say/do behind closed doors 😥
megamisama_ann 19th-Jun-2019 02:25 pm (UTC)
I'm so sorry for what trainees have been through :(
I hope they will find happiness despite what had happened to them.
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