Recently, a worrying trend has emerged in the K-Pop industry. A number of idols, such as Red Velvet‘s Joy, SHINee‘s Onew, IVE‘s Rei, and Billlie‘s Suhyeon have announced breaks from their rigorous schedules, citing health issues as the primary cause. As a response to these concerning revelations, YTN Star recently spoke to three different agency representatives who shed some light on this ongoing issue.
Agency representative “A” addressed the physical and mental toll that being in the limelight has on these idols. “There are several cases when they take leave because they start suffering from mental health issues, like panic disorder,” they stated. The representative also pointed out the global expansion of K-pop and the added pressures this increased demand brings.
Idols have gone ‘global’ now and, so the international travel and promotions do play into it all.
— Agency Representative A
On the other hand, a representative from another label, called “B,” highlighted the shifting attitudes towards health within the industry. They said, “In the past, idols felt pressured to complete promotions and stay active despite their struggles. But these days, things are different.” Their comment suggests an industry-wide recognition of the importance of idols’ well-being over the relentless pursuit of success.
Idols aren’t forced to keep going. If they want to rest, their wishes are respected. It’s almost like PTO and sick days that regular employees get.
— Agency Representative B
‘B’ also drew attention to the universal nature of mental health struggles.
A lot of people in modern society struggle with mental health issues. Idols are simply going through the same.
— Agency Representative B
Yet, the perspective of “C,” a representative from Gen X, revealed a generational viewpoint. They observed, “This isn’t just about idols.” This perspective introduces an interesting angle to the conversation, hinting at a broader generational difference.
In general, Gen Z seems to lack patience in comparison to older generations.
— Agency Representative C
The comments from these representatives provide a multifaceted view of the current situation. It is evident that the intensifying demands of being a global superstar and societal pressures are significantly impacting the health of K-pop idols. However, it’s heartening to note the changing attitudes within the industry, which seem to be prioritizing the mental and physical health of idols more than ever before.
While some critics might blame the idols themselves or the ‘impatience’ of the younger generation, it’s clear that the problem is much more complex. A combination of societal, generational, and industry-specific factors may be contributing to the rising health problems among idols, according to fans.