K-pop stars: the epitome of perfection, showcasing an image of slim elegance and flawless beauty. It’s an image that resonates deeply with fans, inspiring some to embark on extreme diets in an attempt to mirror the seemingly effortless glamour of their idols. This alarming trend has taken root on social media, where young fans document their experiences with crash diets popularized by K-pop stars, creating a ripple effect that reaches millions.
The Allure of K-Pop Aesthetics
In the mesmerizing world of K-pop, where every glance is a photo opportunity and every performance a visual spectacle, the pressure to conform to an idealized standard of beauty is immense. Fans, often impressionable teenagers, find themselves captivated not only by the music and performances but also by the image projected by their favorite idols.
Over the past year, a surge in YouTube videos has emerged, with young fans documenting their journeys through K-pop-inspired crash diets. The allure is clear: shedding pounds quickly in an attempt to attain the slim and stylish physique of their beloved idols.
Behind the Scenes: A Glimpse into Extreme Diets
The videos depict a spectrum of crash diets, with some of the most popular ones being named after specific K-pop stars like IU and Red Velvet Wendy. The IU diet, for instance, prescribes a daily intake of one apple for breakfast, two sweet potatoes for lunch, and a protein shake for dinner. While these regimens claim to deliver rapid weight loss, the potential toll on one’s health is a cause for concern.
The Experimentation: A Closer Look at K-pop Diets
YouTubers, eager to share their experiences, detail the emotional and mental stress associated with these extreme diets. They emphasize that their intention is not to encourage viewers to follow suit but rather to shed light on the intense standards set by entertainment companies in the K-pop industry.
One YouTuber, moonROK, expresses, “This video is meant to be a lighthearted yet informative means of illustrating the insane standards that K-pop idols are held to by their entertainment companies, not to encourage people to try this diet.”
The Downside: Health Risks and Reality Checks
Despite the disclaimers, the videos reveal the adverse effects of these extreme diets. YouTuber Ellbat, after attempting Red Velvet Wendy’s diet, discloses, “I did this diet for three days and it left me tired, moody and ill. If you want to change your body, start by making changes to your everyday diet; DON’T GO ON A DIET! I do not recommend this diet AT ALL.”
The consensus among these YouTubers is that these diets are neither sustainable nor healthy in the long run. While some managed to lose weight temporarily, the majority experienced side effects that ranged from fatigue to mood swings.
K-pop Idols and Their Diet Horrors
To truly understand the gravity of these extreme diets, let’s delve into the harrowing experiences of five K-pop idols who succumbed to the pressure of maintaining an unrealistic standard of beauty.
1. IU’s MyProAna Diet
IU, debuting at the tender age of 15, fell victim to online body-shaming, leading her to adopt the MyProAna diet. This extreme regimen involved consuming an apple for breakfast, two sweet potatoes for lunch, and a protein shake for dinner. The consequences included dizziness and overall weakness.
2. Xiumin’s Coffee Diet
EXO’s Xiumin, criticized for his “chubby” appearance, embraced an extreme coffee diet during the promotions of “Growl” in 2013. This regimen involved consuming copious amounts of coffee and eating only one meal every alternate day, resulting in a startling weight drop to 53 kgs.
3. SoYou’s One-Meal Diet
Former SISTAR member SoYou achieved her enviable body proportions through a one-meal-a-day diet. Her daily intake consisted of the egg whites of four quail eggs and one glass of milk, combined with an intense workout routine. The price paid was potential malnourishment.
4. TOP’s Red Bean Diet
BIGBANG’s TOP resorted to a mineral water and unsweetened red bean jelly diet to meet the weight standards set by YG Entertainment. This extreme diet, sustained for 40 days, led to a weight loss of 20 kgs, showcasing the unhealthy lengths idols may go to for their careers.
5. Mina’s Water Diet
Gugudan member Mina adopted one of the most infamous diets in K-pop history – the water diet. Drinking only two bottles of sparkling water a day, she quit eating food entirely, resulting in a weight loss of over 13 kgs. Fortunately, she has since spoken out against such extreme diets.
The Resounding Message: Say No to Extreme Diets
As these stories unfold, it becomes evident that extreme diets not only pose immediate health risks but can also lead to irreversible metabolic changes if sustained. The temporary satisfaction of shedding a few pounds is outweighed by the long-term damage inflicted on both mental and physical well-being.
In a society where body shaming is rampant, especially in the unforgiving world of K-pop, idols are increasingly speaking out against inhumane weight loss practices. The resounding message from both experienced YouTubers and seasoned idols is clear: prioritize a healthy lifestyle over drastic measures, and consult healthcare professionals for sustainable weight loss strategies.
As the curtain falls on the captivating facade of K-pop glamour, it’s crucial for fans to recognize the price idols pay for perfection and to prioritize their own well-being above unrealistic beauty standards. Extreme diets may promise a shortcut to aesthetic ideals, but the toll on mental and physical health is a price too steep to pay.