So, this is something we’ve been saying for quite a while now. I’m not sure if we explicitly said it out loud in a video before, but now we’re going to be totally out in the open with it right here, right now. We would never, ever want to be Kpop idols. If we had kids, we wouldn’t want them to be Kpop idols, either. Kpop idols as people are fine. We met lots of them, and they’re cool people, but the industry that they’re in is so unhealthy and almost poisonous that I have no idea how anyone would wilfully pursue a career in it. What may initially seem like the pursuit of a dream, to perform and to sing, comes with loads of unwanted caveats. The artistic spirit is secondary to the industrial one, in which maximizing profit is a company’s greater concern than caring for their artists.

Is that too scathing? Do I sound like an old man with a scraggly beard and furrowed eyebrows wagging his finger at you? Well then tell me this: tell me all the dating bans, dietary regulations, insane schedules, and negligence for an artist’s health are good for the artist. I don’t see it. All I can see is a company trying to work the artists to the bone.

I will admit though, that a lot of our discussion on this subject is far from objective. We’re looking at this through our own perspective as people who kinda sorta live in the entertainment industry with their own tiny entertainment company. We’re not in the Kpop industry itself, or the TV industry, or anything like that, but our careers are here on our blog. We are creative for a living, and have a studio and staff that help us in being creative. And we know really, really well that if we push ourselves too hard we start to struggle to get through it all. We have a rule now to actually force ourselves to take weekends off, because we know that downtime is essential to recharge. You can’t be GOGOGOGOGO all the time. Finding a balance between work and life is tough, as we’re always on Twitter or Facebook or Final Cut or YouTube or WordPress or this site. On the other side, it’s hard for us to even call this “work,” because it’s really just a hobby that we’re pursuing, but we pursue it for many hours a day and many days a week.

With that small background spiel laid down in front of you, we can easily say that if we were told that we had to do this all in a van, that we couldn’t sleep in comfortable beds, that we couldn’t sleep in, couldn’t date each other, couldn’t eat this or that, couldn’t see our friends because we had to go somewhere else, couldn’t make a video we wanted to make, we’d quit. Quit! FREAKING QUIT SO FAST. Kpop artists don’t even own their own songs, their own image rights. If they have projects they want to pursue they have to go through their bosses for approval. A lot of the time the songs are written for them. Their dances are choreographed for them. Their outfits are chosen for them. Their schedules are set for them. Their lines on shows are written for them. There are so many hands involved in moving them around, this way and that, and they lose a lot of their own autonomy.

That’s too much responsibility for us. Too many demands. Too overwhelming a life.

At the same time, I can easily re-read these paragraphs in the Airhead voice we sometimes do on our show, like “OMG LIFE IS SOOOO TOUGH.” I don’t want this blog post to be dismissed that easily. Kpop idol problems are first world problems, we know, so we don’t extend the same amount of sympathy to them as we do to people in worse situations. And, yes, we’re advocating autonomy, individuality, creativity, freedom, self-expression, healthiness, and all that hippy stuff, but that’s not a BAD thing to argue for, is it?

I don’t want this to be also read as a “BOYCOTT KPOP!” article as well, because that’s not fair, either. As people in the creative industry we just want to see artists treated better. To be paid fairly. To be fed properly. To be offered standard liberties. I’m sure you’d like to see that as well.

One thought we didn’t pursue in our video, though, is that this unhealthy work environment isn’t isolated to Kpop alone. The entertainment industry, drama sets in particular, can also be pretty crappy to the actors. We did a couple of commercials and TV shoots for Korean TV. Never again. Whoa. Unless decent work conditions are met and we are promised to be FED – yes, fed food – then never again. And at the same time, if you’re Korean and not in the entertainment industry, working as a salaryman is also soul-sucking work. The hours are insane there, too. I had a co-teacher whose husband worked for one of the big name companies here (who I won’t name) and she saw him once every three weeks. ONCE EVERY THREE WEEKS. See your husband, who you love and want to spend the rest of your life with, once every freaking three weeks. And high-school teachers, if they’re single, get stuck teaching the sucky classes, from 7AM to midnight.

The situation that arises then, is that potential Kpop artists pick their poison. They can work insane hours as idols or insane hours elsewhere. Either way, there’s a culture of excessive work here in South Korea. But that’s an entirely different TL;DR. But, at least, if you’re not an idol, you can eat and drink as you please, date who you want, live where you want, and not have bat-shit crazy fans ruin one of your friend’s weddings just to see you.

Side note: back to working at the Eatyourkimchi Nasty Studio: Soo Zee works for us full-time. She’s on salary. And she’s free to come and go as she pleases. If she’s tired, we tell her to go home. She can work from home if she wants. She can come to work in pyjamas if she feels like it. She was feeling a bit sick today, we told her to GTFO and not come back until she feels better. There are no sick days that we count here. She can date whoever she pleases. She can bring friends to work, or leave in the middle of the day to meet her friends for dinner and a drink. She’s got creative output: she’s designed almost everything you see in our store (and she’s good at designing, too!). We don’t put any crazy restrictions on her. And, from what she tells us, she’s really happy here. That’s what we want to do as a company. Not work people to exhaustion till they go crazy or quit. Not have a tight grip on everything they say or do. We want people to be able to pursue what they’re passionate about, and to pursue it in ways that they see fit. We might not be a multi-million dollar company as a result, but we’re a lot more ethical, in my opinion.

What would make you happier in your career? Is Kpop fame worth it? I clearly say no. I’m not going to dislike you if you say otherwise, but I’d like to hear your reasons.

Lastly, Dongho: come work for us. The Eatyourkimchi Studio could definitely use more men around here :D

  1. I think since you both are entertainment-adjacent, you empathize with them a lot more than most people. I get that the schedules are grueling and they have no private life, but an entertainer who complains about that is biting the hand that feeds them.

    When these stars were a nobody, they would do anything to have cameras taking their photos, and now they want privacy because they’ve grown comfortable with their level of fame?

    It’s not an industry for everyone, but if you want to engage your customers (fans are customers, don’t think otherwise), you can’t get mad that they’re engaging back.

    That being said, you can choose distance yourself when you need to and engage when you want to. Don’t announce that you have a girlfriend on stage if you don’t want people telling you what they think about it.

    The best part is that you can just quit if it’s too much. There are a million people that can replace you, and a million jobs you can excel at too!

    I know it probably seems like I don’t feel bad for entertainers, but a lot their actions are a direct result of their own choices. Just like a retail employee has to work on Christmas, a singer has to work during an album launch. At least they’re doing what they love, and making bucket loads of cash while doing it. Most of us 9-5ers don’t get money or job fulfillment haha

    • Its more than that though … you can see it in their faces – the exhaustion, the hurt, having camera’s on them 24/7 – even in the “homes” they live and share, how often they really aren’t making that much compared to the Label (I realize this global and not just Korea … go back and watch some of the old interviews that American TLC did back in the ’90’s about how their label treated them).

      This has been going on for a while. Go back and watch all the later video’s covering DSP KARA before Kang Ji-young and Nicole Jung left … you can see the same thing going on – weariness, pain, the haunted looks off stage whenever a camera is on their faces.

      The argument you make – millions more to replace them … is the same one that corps in USA made about using children in their factories and to try to stop unionization. I’m NOT a fan of unions … but KPOP needs them to protect the kids coming into the industry.

  2. Wow. Thanks for the insight; you’re right, we do get a sense of something not being quite right, but guessing something’s wrong and knowing that there is something wrong are very different.

    Which leads to my question: Is this why Korean tabloid journalists and Korean fans don’t make comment when idols behave oddly or just plain badly in public from time to time?

    For example, I came across this ambiguous and odd video (http://youtu.be/36uusrAqej0) of Lee Donghae 동해 from Super Junior.

    In the UK the press would have had a field day with headlines like – “Sorry Sorry Thought You Were Someone Else”, “Saesangs Cause Donghaek Idol Vengence” or “Sea Bad Boy Sex Pest”…

    It seems that this is just not news worthy from a Korean perspective. Whether it’s to comment on the idols behaviour or on the fans behaviour that led to this idol behaving (what I’d consider) oddly.

    So just how does Korean tabloid journalism/entertainment news determine what is news worthy and the angle to report on?

  3. For the whole dating ban and such, there is one company that does allow their artists to date. It’s not a well known company, but they are Aeria Creations and I really like their way of auditioning and their idea of “Global Kpop.”

  4. Knowing about all these cons I think that I would still go for it. I sound crazy but most of these idols work so hard for a shot at fame. Although there are hard times it’s good to know (if you’re in a group) you have a bunch of people going through the same struggles, sacrificing the same things as you just to be able to reach their dreams to sing or dance for others despite their differences or disagreements. Sure there are Saesangs, but there are just as many good hearted people who are there to support you. As for the food I agree that some idols do not receive the meals they should be eating and honestly it really sucks. As a person who has been trying to enter the industry for 3 years it’s incredibly hard to live up to so many expectations but I feel that when one does make it, you can’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment. Even though a lot of stuff is scripted I don’t think that the idols fake their emotions when they first receive an award especially when they worked so hard for it. There are things I wish didn’t happen to Kpop stars but it makes me admire them a little more for being able to put up with all the dumb things that happen in the entertainment industry. Wooo, that was a long answer… and really late.

  5. the stalker/saesang thing isn’t just limited to kpop though…i was beat up by crazy fans waaay back because i had a friendly argument with a member of a boy band (5ive if anyone remembers them) that i knew personally and I ended up having to call the police…i have had stalker fans show up in a friends funeral because their favourite boy band of the moment were there… i actually quit the entertainment industry for a while because of this… but even though i know that western boy bands (having worked with them and their management’s) have a hectic schedule it is nothing compared to what asian boy bands/ girl bands go through…

    • To be honest I always knew there were crazy stalkers and overly obsessed fans but to go to such an extent as to actually appear at a funeral and attack their partners seems as though…well that they went too far. Given that the reason many fans of kpop started liking these groups was, well lets face it people, there looks. It seems a little shallow but its true, but we also like their music. I mean as fans we suppose to appreciate these groups not attack them and express ourselves as though we own them. All in all this is really upsetting to see that fans are going coo coo for coco-puffs.

  6. (separate from my earlier comment)Sasaengs need to gtfo. Really? REALLY? It pisses me off how some people can just really let themselves go like that. They just go about doing their stalking without thinking about how it will affect the lives of the people the supposedly “love”. I don’t understand why the feel the need to claim ownership over someone else’s life EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE NO BUSINESS THERE. Sure you can love a group passionately or be a hardcore knowledgeable fan, but it goes TO DAMN FAR when you start to harass a person or there loved ones (family, friends, lovers etc.), especially to the point where the idol FEELS THE NEED TO APOLOGIZE FOR LIVING THEIR LIFE. No one should have to do that. EVER.

  7. To be honest if it were me as I am now, no I would not want to be a Kpop idol. But if I were like them, talented musically and given a platform to show my talent, not to mention the possibility of being filthy stinking rich, I just might take it. It would help most if I had a group who was just crazy enough to become idols with me. Then I would want to become an idol for sure. I have never been all that interested in dating, and I can work for a very long time before giving out, but if I didn’t have a group to support me there would be no way in hell I could do that. So there is my long answer ^_^

  8. Hi, I’m from Belgium and I like watching korean shows, but was actually shocked when I realized something. On the show ” Cheongdamdong 11″ a member from AOA got scolded for one bite of fried chicken. Well, if you check the member their profile, their BMI are too low, which means they are unhealthy underweight. Idols talk about their ( UNHEALTHY) diet like skipping meals as if it is the most normal thing to do! Most of those idols and actors are rolmodels for kids and teenagers. Now my question is: Are Korean people aware of eating disorders? Aren’t the actors, singers and idols (unwillingly) leading people ( especially kids and teenagers) to anorexia and such? What does Korea do to prevent people from having it? In Belgium, such things would have made the front news with A LOT of criticism from the media AND sometimes plaintifss from NGO’s. We also have sort of clinics where they help people with eating disorder. Not only them, but also their family and friends. So they can all understand the disorder better and how to deal with it.

  9. i would never want to be a K-pop idol because its just to much stress, you have NO privacy , and you don’t get to see your friends and family. I’m not up for the crazy schedules and the screaming STALKER fans its just not worth it to me.

  10. I was blinded by the hotness and amazing voices of my fave guy groups but you guys have opened my eyes to the world of k-pop. And now i have the chance to show my classmates how idols are treated by writing my research paper about them.

  11. I know this is a older video, but I have to say I was honestly blown away reading that interview/documentary on Busker Busker. I’ve known about them though I haven’t made a point to really listen to their music, so I can’t even say that I’m a “fan”, but I was left seething mad after reading it.

  12. The thing is though its that its not alwayse even about the fame. I live in America and am planning to send out a bunch of auditions for a bunch of different companies. Even though I know I dont have a very high chance of getting in, and if I do get in work conditions will be sucky but I’d be doing what I love, and making people happy doing it. Like, Im soo happy when I listen to my favorite bands every day, if I could make people happy too by doing what I love, then Sure I will stand the crappy conditions.

  13. Being a kpop star would be awesome if you love making people say “Wow!” and making them happy through performance. I personally love performing for others – it’s truly exciting. But it’s also especially to make a living as a musician/performer, and these entertainment companies are widely advertised, so I understand how a lot of people want to become idols – badly enough that they try to forget the fact that these companies treat their “stars” poorly.

    Even if you lie on shows a lot just for entertainment’s sake, it’s not all bad. Wouldn’t you think that it’s kind of fun to think of possibilities that would entertain the crowd? Acting is part of the job – which kind of makes it more fun. It’s funny how this entertainment business is all a big game.

  14. why dongho, why D: U-KISS was my favorite

  15. This is a B.A.P fan reppin’. I’ve always known about the dark realities of the Kpop world, but I shoved it into my subconcious over time as I became sucked in the pretty facade of kpop. Considering how often B.A.P makes come backs, and how many concerts they’ve held in 2013 back to back to back, I’ve constantly called TS Entertainment INSANE for putting them through that. B.A.P doesn’t complain, none of the idols do. It’s really sad. But I’m glad I clicked on this video and read this article. It was a much needed wake up call. It has re-ignited my cynical fire towards the industry, and it continues to tear my heart apart. I’m considering auditioning just for the heck of it, but to actually make it as an idol is another story. Entertainments seriously need to take better care of their idols.

  16. Hmm… my people labeled as “un-educated prostitutes”? (*~*) ???

  17. I am REALLY into B.A.P and have noticed how incredibly thin they are and how in the shows making of mv and other cool stuff about them I like to watch how they always look so tired I’ve actually been really worried and scared for them & praying they get some serious down time soon so they can rest! Especially poor Young Jae poor thing always looks more tired then the others even though I adore Yong Rum I like them all & do genuanly worry about them all as a whole. Side note I LOVE u guys & ur vids I’ve learned so much about Korea from y’all & am so dying to go there as soon as I can afford to I am soooo there. Ty for the hard work u guys put in for us fans of yours we love u and appreciate the hard work u all put into each video.

  18. What are the benefits of being a kpop idol other than being a puppet for a company’s profit? At the end of the day, it is a money making business. A lot of other places received far greater benefits from the hard work of these kpop idols. Example, gossip sites like allkpop and even Simon and Martina’s site has grown popularity and benefited greatly as a result of the recent hallyu revolution. Kpop generates a lot of traffic on websites and the idols should be given credit.

  19. no wonder so many bands don’t make it past five years.

  20. Well as an EXO fan I’ve seen food projects for the guys and their staff and I’m also pretty sure other idols get those too. I don’t know if the fans do it all the time they go somewhere but I’ve seen there is always a fansite or several giving them food for major projects in magazines and appearances. But the guys themselves had said that between schedules, and because they are too tired to make something decent, they often just order delivery to their dorms.

    Here is a picture of a food project: http://cfile1.uf.tistory.com/image/254D6C50523ECE060F7289


  21. My opinion is that if you have a dream, you need to work for it as much as it requires. I think K-pop stars’ dream is to be where they are right now, or to do something whose condition is being in South Korea’s music industry. If you don’t share this dream, you cannot get through the difficult schedule and lifestyle, but if you do share it, I believe it is worth and you will still feel satisfied with all those sacrifices.

  22. I remember seeing a interview with Crayon Pop, maybe it was yours. I forget at this point. Them being so excited they got an upgrade to their apartment. They now had a two bedroom or something crazy, and one of the girls mentioned that her legs are toned from jumping so much. Yes the video was cute but do they need to perform the same thing 24/7 no.

    They make these companies ga-gallions of dollars, how is a bed not a given? Time to re-coup not a given? Those crazy green-smoothy drinks written into their riders for performances are meant as a safety measure. I still remember seeing an interview with Metallica when there was a VH-1 and them explaining if they didn’t see the right color M&Ms that the show was off. They knew their technical requirements weren’t met and it was dangerous to perform. K-pop idols nah its just a little lightning go on stage in your cast. Good luck.

  23. I just wanted to tell you that my boyfriend (who is already signed to a huge music company) would appreciate it if this company would work like the asian ones. I already told you that they are doing nothing for him and his band and I think this would get him closer to his goal in getting his music more popular, I think.

    They went to Belgium last weekend for only 250€… and they had to drive nearly 2000km from Germany to Belgium and back on their own. I think he’s fed up with this arduous way.

  24. omg totally agree with the intense diet girl groups go through. it’s already impacting korean girls. im a korean middle school student, and one of my classmates said today that she wasn’t eating anything for THREE WHOLE DAYS to lose weight. she’s always saying that she wants to look like someone in a k-pop girl group. it’s not just her. all of my friends talk about how ‘thick’ their leg are and how they’re eating too much n they should stop eating blah blah blah…. IU said in an interview that she drank only water for several days so that she can look thin on her debut day. WTH?! she’s already skinny if u ask me.

  25. I’m with y’all. I want to do what makes me happy. I’m becoming a missionary. My brother doesn’t agree with it because I won’t make enough money. I’ve never had a desire to have money. I mean, having money is nice, but really would it make me more happier in life? I’m more concerned with pursuing what makes me happy and what makes me happy is following Jesus and helping people. As a missionary I get to do both. BAM! Life made. I’m very concerned with the lifestyles the Kpop stars are stuck in. I would never be able to be a Kpopper. The outfits those companies make those girls wear I’d be like, you trippin’. And some of the sexual marketing the companies use the girls for. Uh-uh. I’d be kicked out because I wouldn’t stand for it. Nobody would sign me because I’d be labeled as someone who was never compliant with the companies wishes. Uh excuse me it’s my body and I’ll dress it according to my beliefs and standards, I’ll work it in my modest way and still knock ’em out with my on-point vocals.

  26. yes i still would enter into the k pop world because i think i would like it but hey, its better than a slave contract

  27. if u kiss member twisted their ankle they dont perform……..

  28. It’s interesting when people say that they would want to be an ‘idol’ so to have someone look up to them like how they look up to their ‘idols’. But the real kicker is how many of these idols are actually themselves.

    I for one really can no longer stomach watching a lot of variety shows because the insincerity/fakeness becomes so blatantly obvious once you start getting really into them. You start noticing the tricks the MC’s and the camera/editing crew use to make everything seem all kumbayah. Heck even fellow idols. (side note: I especially hate the use of laugh tracks when things simply are not funny) I know that it’s cause a lot is at stake but it’s like watching a magic show and knowing all the tricks, it takes a huge part of the fun away.

    If we’re simply talking about healthy vs. unhealthy work ethics, the kpop industry really does not fit the bill. Even if I can keep up with the pace (high doubts) there is no way that I would want to ALL the time. Even my body sometimes disagrees with my mind and I’ll just have to cave in. Plus it looks like it all comes back to get you when you’re older. I hear stories of some of them with arthritis. Imagine how many do not speak of their ailments.

    When reading about the general work ethics of Korea, I can wrap my head around some Korean citizens wanting to become kpop idols. But it’s a whole other story when someone outside of Korea chooses this path (more specifically where I’m from as I do understand our social conditions better). The question that follows is mostly to the tune of: What? Why? Is something wrong? Of course this is usually when Bon Jovi’s It’s My LIfe starts playing.

  29. I feel bad for all the k pop idols I am just watching the K Pop industry on
    the sidelines from the US but I feel bad for them. The American
    Music Stars wallow in excess and the K pop idols who are so humble and appreciative of their fans and success are starving and sleep deprived! They have to put up with so much I feel bad : ( . It also seems they are underpaid and under appreciated by their companies. I would love to see more of them form their own labels like the Rap artists did here in the US.

  30. This is not the first time I’m reading about criticisms about the kpop industry, but I think your reasons are all very thorough compared to other disparaging articles out there that simply hurl accusations and vulgarities at the companies and such. (: But, although I’m not an idol myself yet, my dream of becoming one has not wavered despite everything I’ve read, heard, and seen. There has been much evidence of the harsh reality of kpop, recounts of trainees being physically and mentally abused, and worked to their limits every single day. Whenever idols are asked for their greatest wish, if not for greater success, they would always ask for a break, or a holiday, as their greatest wish. For a simple day off to be their wish is already evidence enough of how hard and endless their work is. On public holidays while everyone is home with their families, these idols have to stay out till late at night attending 4-hour long events away from their loved ones. It’s hard to empathise, but very easy to sympathise with the pain and suffering they go through.

    Yet, why are some of them still able to hold on for so long? And why, despite all of this, do some of us still aspire to become these people that seem so tortured and exhausted? I don’t really know the answer myself. How SNSD was able to fully prepare for a comeback (music video, recording, cover photoshoot) and accept having everything wholly cancelled mere days before their comeback stage, how B2ST was able to promote for 2 entire weeks with 2 hours of sleep each day, how F(x)’s Sulli, when they were training for their debut, still continued dancing as her tears started running down her face. I guess, maybe, we would find our answers in the enormous gratitude and mass of emotions between the idols and the fans alone. Idols that have been so strong in their entire long journeys, breaking down at the simple act of one person, but an amazing one of hundreds of people, holding up a simple sign “We have missed you”. Perhaps, in those moments, when the idols are able to feel the love and happiness and pride the fans have in them, they feel that all the days of starving and lacking sleep and exhaustion was all not in vain.

    Idols always thank their fans for what they have achieved, for their support, and perhaps to them, the fans that are always cheering them on and wishing the best of them, are what drives them forwards through it all. Although I might not know what it is like, it is so fascinating and enviable (to me) to see idols being so driven by such an intrinsic form of motivation. Not just money, or positional promotion, but the emotions and love of other people to them. And perhaps, the reason why some of us still aspire to become like these great idols is so that we will know the value of hard work, the value of family, the value of freedom and the value of love. Not just relationship kinds of love, but the kind of dedicated love and the feeling of making people laugh and smile. The feeling of being able to make someone’s day just by waving at them, and the feeling of fulfilment and, “Ah, it was all worth it.”

    I’m not saying that these are worth the pain that comes together with being an idol to everyone, but these, to me, are the reasons why I have not faltered in my decision to (at least try to) become an idol. As a fan myself, I know how happy my idols can make me, how much they make me smile and laugh and how much they mean to me, and in turn I, too, want to know what it’s like to make people feel happy and too make others’ lives just a little brighter. :) Even if being a kpop idol isn’t the only way to achieve this, it is one of the ways.

    If I move to Seoul and end up not debuting, though, I’ll come down to the EYK studio and maybe work here for ever. <3 HAHA

  31. This is not the first time I’m reading about criticisms about the kpop industry, the mistreatment of

  32. I personally would still want to enter the kpop industry. Music and performing is a passion of mine and all of the cons that come with it, well…I can just live with it :)
    *1 day of being a kpop star

    But in all honesty, I still would chose kpop as my career :)

    • If you’re interested in music and performing, why not do it yourself, without the aid of a company? Sing and perform on YouTube, on the internet, in bars and clubs. You can still pursue those, without being yoked to terrible work conditions.

      • I wish I could perform in bars and clubs but I’m only 13…
        But I’ve always wanted to put up videos on YouTube but I am very self conscious and don’t have enough confident to put any up, to scared of negative comments. I always make them but never upload them:( And I really want to be in a group, not as a solo artist. Being by myself on stage…I would pass out

  33. I would never ever ever want to be a kpop idol….and I have even done crazy hard work in the tech startup world of silicon valley. My tech startup life involved working 6 days a week for 12-15 hour days, a few times working two days straight without sleep (had to do this before going to my uncle’s funeral because of potential lost work), once take red eye flight after a full working day to perform an experiment and return the same day to report results because again my working time was far too valuable to let me sleep in a hotel. After three years of this, I threw in the towel and I haven’t looked back since but I would still pick my tech startup life over a kpop idol’s life…yesirree. As S&M said, the cons FAR outweigh any benefits….I highly value my privacy, sanity, sleep, independence, and personal space…no envy here.

  34. A Brazilian pirate? lol HAHAHAHAHAHAHA that’s why they canceled their show here? Now everything makes sense lol

  35. I have a question for a TL;DR, what is the Korean mind set when it come to things like ghost and the supernatural? I know in some countries it’s super hush hush and now one talks about it and in other people run around and try to find such things. I know Halloween was a week or so ago but I just thought of this now.

  36. Hi Simon and Martina. I really like your videos and have learned a lot from them. I am one of those who would love to be a kpop “Idol”. However my reasons are much different then most people. I understand the risks and I think someone should know what their getting into before they do it. I have been doing my research and all of the stuff you said I already knew. Here is the reason I want to do this. Warning this may get a little lengthy. I was born Dec. 27th 1994. I have 4 other siblings and possibly more that I don’t know about. For the first 3 years of my life I was abused by my father. I don’t know much of the details but here is what I know. I know we were starved and beaten. I know there were many incidents in which we could have been killed. I am not 100 percent positive but there is an 80 percent chance I was raped by him. He was a very bad alcoholic. When he wasn’t drunk he was nice (from what I was told) but when he drank he did all this to us. I was told my mother tried to protect us. When I turned four I was put into foster care and separated from my other siblings. I was quickly adopted and only a month or two after my brother was also adopted into the same family. I thought I would be happy and able to have a family. Sadly that happiness was short lived. The family I was adopted into was just as bad as my birth father. For the next ten years I was beaten and abused. Not only by my father but I was also being molested by my birth brother. I will give some examples of incidents. I was often choked by my father to the point of where I “saw stars”. He would bang my head and my brothers head together. He also picked us up by the neck and sometimes threw us. I remember one time when I was little he tripped me and I hit my head really hard. I was really dizzy for the next couple weeks. I never got it checked out but from what I have researched the symptoms were of that of a concussion. I was also bullied in school. I was very quiet in school and often was scared to say much. I would sit by myself for lunch and often sat alone at recess. But as bad as school was I liked school more than my house. I was scared to go home. I remember one particular time when the beating was especially bad and after for the next week whenever my dad even came in the same room as me I would tense up and start shaking uncontrollably. When he would leave I had to do everything I could to keep the tears back. Along with the physical abuse and sexual abuse from my brother, I had to deal with the verbal abuse as well. I was constantly called terrible things. Was told I was worthless and wouldn’t amount to anything. That I was a mistake. Although this is terrible I remember 1 thing my dad said that hurt more than any other beating. It was after another beating and I was in my room. I could see my dad in the kitchen from my room and he said to my mom “It’s either me or them”. I broke down in my room like there was no tomorrow. Ironically it was only a week or two later that I actually did end up leaving. My brother decided to tell the guidance councilor what was going on. That day we were immediately placed into foster care. I went to 3 different homes. The last home was a hard learning experience because there were special needs children in it.The children were very aggressive and violent. It was hard to live with. Now the reason I told you all of this is the reason I want to be in the Korean music industry. I want to take something as bad as this and use it for the better. I want to inspire others to let them know that they can do whatever they put their minds to. That’s why I don’t mind sharing my story on a site like this. I know life is not all “honky dory”. I can read through the lines. Also I know about the thing where it is impossible for someone like me to be an Idol. The word impossible does not exist in my dictionary. Instead that word has been replaced with the word challenge. A k pop Idol, like you said is someone others look up to. I want to be that person. I know I can be a true role model for others. Hopefully if you guys truly read this I at least can help to inspire you. So before I end this, for everyone who does read this, I want you all to know this one thing. No matter what has happened in your life and no matter who tries to hurt you, always look at everything in a positive light. I know how hard it is to put on a smile and act like everything’s OK but when you look at it negatively it will be negative. FIGHTING!!!(HIGHTING!!) Oh and pertaining to the Dongho thing. I respect his decision. He is his own person and can do what he wants.

  37. When I think about it, at least Dongho was somewhere where they actually LET him leave…
    He’s lucky.
    If he were somewhere else he would just be forced to finish off the “slave years” with a smile.
    Good for you Dongho, and good luck.
    (JYJ deja vu????????)

  38. Dear Simon and Martina

    What do you think of the reaction got when Girls Generation won an award at the youtube awards.

  39. I’m dreaming of becoming an idol and I have have my reasons, like really “not-only-for-myself” reasons. I’ve actually dreamt of working with the Eatyourkimchi crew (and still am) I want to be part of their family, is that weird? :)) one time while I was doing the dishes then I ramdomly thought about how I wanted Simon and Martina to adopt me (one day) when I go to Korea but then again they have Spudgy and Meemers already.. I really want to work with them, seeing how fun “work” will be, but I don’t really know what my contribution will be.
    Simon and Martina! Please consider adopting me (or hiring me will be enough too!) I definitely am serious. :) okay, that’s all. Thank you :))

  40. Never thought of being one. Hate that people always diss bigbang saying they always grab the spot light and what not. They work like crazy, especially gd. He has been working nonstop since their comeback last year. 2012 bigbang comeback, world tour, OOAK solo comeback continue on world tour, then solo world tour and he just ended his 2nd solo album coup promotions. He is now with bigbang rehearsing for Japan dome tour and bigbang new album, tons of people are hardworking! Even other bigbang members have all kinds of activities to do while doing their world tour, TOP injured his hand at the movie set continued rapping and jumping around during concerts. Not only do the idols have lots of work on screen but off screen they have to practice non-stop cause it is so competitive that if you relax just a little, there are tons of other idols want to replace you. Even company like yg claiming a family, their artists may have less on screen schedules as compare to other idols, they work nonstop for the next album or overseas promotions. The thing is the moment you step into an entertainment company wanting to be a trainee just means start of a hectic life. Work like shit to debut, then work even harder to be an A lister, when you are on the top, jobs will just come flying to you and you have to work your ass off to stay on the top.

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