When it comes to the world of K-Pop, there is no denying that alongside the requirements for talent, K-Pop idols are always expected to look the part. From how much you weigh to the way you look, relentless pressures are placed on idols from both fans and companies.
In particular, a “Korean beauty standard” is always spoken about, which includes a slim figure, small face, v-shaped jaw, pale skin, straight eyebrows, flawless skin, and larger eyes.
American YouTuber and co-founder of Smosh, Anthony Padilla, recently released a video with several former and now solo K-Pop idols, including Boyfriend‘s Jeongmin and former Blady member Tina, now known as Soobin or Christine.
During the video, they discussed the hardships of being idols, the pressures of training, and much more.
In particular, Tina spoke about the pressures that were placed on idols, even as trainees. She also discussed the extreme ways K-Pop companies would try and ensure that idols matched this ideal look.
Tina has made it clear that many K-Pop idols use body padding to change their figure during her own videos. In particular, companies might ask idols to use padding in certain areas to create this curvy figure but maintain some slimness in other areas.
Although laser hair removal and plastic surgery are procedures mire known about in K-Pop, Tina brought up a controversial topic that has gained a lot of attention, and that is the subject of skin color. In Korea, many think that the standard beauty ideals include pale skin.
For Tina personally, she remembered a time when her own company had an issue with her skin color and even recommended white-tanning for her, alongside other ways to “lighten” her skin.
I remember at one time, they actually wanted me to do white-tanning. I could do white-tanning or lighten your foundation shade, or you could take these vitamin C shots.
She then added that she personally chose to lighten her foundation and, and she noticed that her face skin tone would not match her body. During this time, she was made to feel that, despite being Korean, she was darker than her other members. In particular, she explained that it made her feel like an outcast amongst idols.
Although not related to visuals and beauty, Tina explained that part of the Korean image, specifically for her group, was the idea of blood type. In Korea, the importance of blood type is sometimes comparable to horoscopes in Western culture.
Blady was meant to stand for “Blood Type-B Girls.” I remember at the time, they asked me what blood type I was, and I was like, ‘I am blood type A.’ Then they were like, ‘Don’t tell anyone your blood type because our concept as a group is blood type B girls.’ I guess blood type-B girls are really chic, confident.
Although it might seem excessive in some ways, it is well known that companies have no restrictions when it comes to controlling how an idol looks, especially if they think it will impact the group’s success. You can watch the whole video below.