Do Agencies Actually Care About K-Pop Idols’ Health? Industry Insiders Weigh In
The K-Pop industry has always been on the receiving end of accusations regarding the care companies have for their artists’ well-being. With overwhelmingly busy schedules and the stress of constantly being under the public’s eyes, many idols often share they struggle with their physical and mental health while promoting. Hence, it’s understandable fans have continuously called for more careful management of the artists’ health on their labels’ part.
In recent years, fans have found themselves trending hashtags on social media wishing a speedy recovery to idols who have been hurt or ones demanding better treatment for their favorite artists more often than not. Due to the attention this issue has been receiving, K-Pop companies have started to make better efforts in not only ensuring their idols’ physical safety but also in educating and helping them take care of their mental health.
Rei of @IVE_twt is having a temporary break from all activities due to problems with her health symptoms. According to the @STARSHIPent, Rei needs proper medication and rest until further notice. Hope you get well soon, Rei! 🙏 #IVE #REI pic.twitter.com/CY0TFmWjiu
— KpopHerald (@Kpop_Herald) April 11, 2023
Following the worrying news of IVE‘s Rei temporarily withdrawing from group activities due to health issues, industry insiders have shared with Ilgan Sports what companies are doing to stop these issues from happening. For example, discussing schedules with their artists is mentioned as one of the newly implemented measures.
Management agencies these days look after artists’ health conditions and listen to their opinions. Schedules are agreed on with the artist and in no way are they forced.
— Industry Insider
Health checks have also been on the rise as a preventative measure to avoid any health problems from creeping up on idols or being left unattended. Educating idols themselves regarding the importance of having stable mental health is another aspect labels are focusing on. One insider shared that labels are now doing their best to “provide comfort” for their artists.
Recently, there has been a rise in management agencies that make artists do health checks once a year and also provide education so that their artists can take care of their mental health. Agencies are doing their best to provide comfort for their artists.
— Industry Insider
Kep1er Kim Chaehyun to forgo some schedules due to health reasons
She is currently receiving treatment at the hospital and doing her best to recover as she is still determined to participate in ‘Queendom 2’ final stage
Source: https://t.co/9xOKDBU1QG pic.twitter.com/RAVI5rNubf
— The Seoul Story (@theseoulstory) June 2, 2022
However, Ilgan Sports also emphasizes that it’s hard to break the will an idol has to get closer to perfection. Fans have constantly heard stories of idols skipping meals, sleep, or breaks to practice and perfect their dancing and singing. Thus, despite labels doing their best to give enough time to rest, idols often will miss out on sleep to perfect their performance.
Each artist does their best to do more, and because of this, I believe that [artists] are having less time [to sleep]. Agencies do their best to provide artists enough time to rest.
— Industry Insider
At the end of the day, idols’ need to be so perfect they’re willing to endanger their physical and mental health comes from being part of an industry that expects you to be nothing less. And though these are all positive steps in a good direction, labels need to continue taking measures that will minimize health issues from disrupting an idol’s career.