KARD’s BM And Ladies’ Code’s Ashley Choi Reveal The Pressures K-Pop Trainees Are Under To Maintain A Certain Weight

The stress starts before an idol even debuts!

The topic of the constant scrutiny of weight for a K-Pop idol is always being discussed amongst fans. Even before debuting, there have been stories of trainees being forced to cut weight within a specific time or suffer consequences.

In a recent video from DIVE Studios, KARD’s BM And Ladies’ Code’s Ashley Choi discussed their own experiences and the pressures trainees have regarding their weight.

BM explained that, like many K-Pop companies, it was common for trainees to be weighed in front of each other. He remembered how everyone would stand in line waiting to be weighed and, because of his size, he would wish that those before him wouldn’t have lost too much to him so he didn’t look bad.

I never took it to heart. But, every time I was on, I would take off my earrings, my necklace, take off every article of clothing. For some reason, I thought holding my breath would make me lighter.


Although the weight standards were strict, BM pointed out that they took how a trainee looks into consideration. Because of his weight and tall build, BM explained that he stood out compared to the other idols.

Every time, they would keep telling me to cut weight, to cut weight. One time, I cut like 10kg to 74kg, and everyone was like, ‘You do not look healthy right now.’


Ashley also agreed that this was something she had to cope with when she was training to be an idol. For her, the problem with weight started because the company started to weigh her.

After I came to Korea, I started to gain weight because of the stress and the pressure. Every time we would have to weigh ourselves, I would tell my friend to pull my hair up to subtract some weight.

— Ladies’ Code’s Ashley Choi

Although she struggled, Ashley then added how she felt worse for the other trainees who were much younger than she was.

I started training when I was 20, but I had dongsaengs in junior high school, who would be eating 12 cherry tomatoes for lunch. I mean, they’re still growing at that age, but they were so stressed by weight. I felt so bad.

— Ladies’ Code’s Ashley Choi

Even today, idols and weight are still a huge issue. Considering how young trainees are nowadays, this constant pressure to look a certain way and weigh a certain amount is not healthy.

You can watch the whole clip below.

Source: DIVE Studios and FI