Bollywood Society » What are Korean idols and how long was the term idol used in Korea?

What are Korean idols and how long was the term idol used in Korea?

by Ratan Srivastava

In South Korean fandom culture, an idol is a celebrity who works in the field of K-pop as a member of a group or as a solo artist. The highly manufactured star system through which they have been generated and introduced, as well as their inclination to symbolise a hybridised confluence of visuals, music, fashion, and dance, define K-pop idols.

 They generally work for a major entertainment company and have had considerable dance, vocal, as well as foreign language training. Idols have a highly controlled public image and social media presence, and they spend a lot of time and money on performances and gatherings to create relationships with fans.

Lee Soo-man, the founder of SM Entertainment, was inspired by MTV’s heyday in the United States when he saw New Kids on the Block’s success among Korean youths in the 1990s. In addition, he promoted the trainee business model from Johnny Kitagawa’s Japanese idol industry, which was part of a concept known as cultural technology. Hundreds of people audition every day for the possibility to work as trainees at Korean entertainment companies all around the world.

The trainee process lasts an unlimited amount of time, ranging from months to years, and often entails taking voice, dance, and language lessons while living with other trainees, who may or may not attend school at the same time, however some trainees opt out to concentrate on their jobs.

Once a student enters the system, they are governed in a variety of ways, from their personal lives to their physical conditions as well as looks. In the development of Korean idols, survival, training, and regulation take precedence above inherent talent. Trainees must maintain a “wholesome image” while staying “private about their lives and thoughts,” according to the system.

Former trainees have claimed that in order to meet the approved Korean beauty standards, individuals were forced to have cosmetic surgery such as a Blepharoplasty or a Rhinoplasty. Further condemnation was levelled there at the trainee system because of the firms’ tight weight limitations, which sometimes caused trainees to pass out from exertion or dehydration in an attempt to attain the appropriate weight for their preferred programme.

It might be costly to invest in a future trainee. The Wall Street Journal stated in 2012 that it cost $3 million to train one member of Girls’ Generation under S.M. Entertainment.

Also Read: Who are the 5 K-pop idols who died tragically? – Tap to know

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