WHY I quit living as a K-pop idol: Ex-girl group member talks about the dark side of K-pop

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WHY I quit living as a K-pop idol: Ex-girl group member talks about the dark side of K-pop



Interviewed by Dong Sun-hwa
Video by Lee Min-young, Kim Kang-min

You have your mobile phone confiscated. Your parents' visit is timed. An extreme diet is part of your life that comes with a 10 daily weigh-ins. On top of this, you practice dancing and singing for hours on end. Even when you are sick, you have to go on stage and perform in exactly the manner your agent wants. There is no freedom or privacy.

This was the life of Kong Yoo-jin, 19, former lead vocalist for K-pop girl band BONUSbaby. At 17, Kong debuted with the album "Urikiri" ― meaning "all by ourselves" in Korean ― in January 2017. But she left the six-piece group in September 2018, to devote herself to "studies." The band has stopped performing since then.




Interviewed by Dong Sun-hwa
Video by Lee Min-young, Kim Kang-min

You have your mobile phone confiscated. Your parents' visit is timed. An extreme diet is part of your life that comes with a 10 daily weigh-ins. On top of this, you practice dancing and singing for hours on end. Even when you are sick, you have to go on stage and perform in exactly the manner your agent wants. There is no freedom or privacy.

This was the life of Kong Yoo-jin, 19, former lead vocalist for K-pop girl band BONUSbaby. At 17, Kong debuted with the album "Urikiri" ― meaning "all by ourselves" in Korean ― in January 2017. But she left the six-piece group in September 2018, to devote herself to "studies." The band has stopped performing since then.


Lee Min-young minlee@koreatimes.co.kr


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