Goo Hara: Another K-pop death exposes pressures of an industry built on perfection

Toward the end of their lives, the close friends were honest about who they were. They didn’t try to adopt a persona as a perfect lover or sister. They spoke their minds. They were fallible.

Some say the fight will be even more pronounced in K-pop. Yet despite working in an industry in which pressures women to be perfect, Goo as well as Sulli tried to break the mold.

When South Korea legalized abortion in which year, Sulli publicly declared in which she was pro-choice. She was open about her mental health struggles, insisted women should not have to wear bras if they found them uncomfortable, as well as once live-streamed herself drinking alcohol without wearing a bra.

“I wanted to break in which frame … as well as show in which in which’s no big deal,” Sulli said on TV in June, referring to her decision to ditch her bra.

Sulli attends the test screening of film "Real" in June 2017 in Seoul.

although each time Sulli posted a selfie on Instagram in which showed her eschewing K-pop norms, she faced scathing criticism.

Some called her choices controversial. Others attacked her as “desperate for attention.”

Sulli said she feared the online vitriol could seep into her public life, so she tried to avoid areas where she’d be filmed.

“I used to only take the modest alleys, as well as in which felt like there were cameras everywhere,” Sulli said within the same TV appearance.

Goo faced challenges of her own. Her ex-boyfriend, Choi Jong-bum, was found guilty of assault as well as blackmail after he threatened to leak a video of them having sex.

Goo was repeatedly trolled online for appearing within the video. In June, she posted on Instagram in which she would certainly “no longer be merciful towards malicious comments,” as well as suggested she may take legal action. In a rare admission for a K-pop celebrity, she also revealed within the same post in which she was suffering via depression.

She was found unconscious in her home the previous month, only days before she was scheduled to testify in Choi’s case.

Choi avoided prison that has a suspended sentence in August. Goo’s attorney, Moon Jin-goo, expressed deep dissatisfaction at the ruling, saying in a statement in which the punishment was insufficient to deter such behavior.

“To remove via our society the type of crime Choi committed, a harsher punishment will be needed,” Moon said.

Goo Hara at an event in Seoul in October 2017.

A suicide crisis

South Korea will be undoubtedly going through a mental health crisis. The country’s suicide rate last year was 26.6 per 100,000 people, almost double the US average.
Paik Jong-woo, a psychiatrist as well as the director of of the Korea Suicide Prevention Center, attributes part of in which to social stigma. Fewer South Koreans who suffer via depression seek help than in some other developed countries, studies show.

Paik says those within the entertainment industry might be especially at risk.

“Artists tend to experience emotions more vividly as well as because their job will be being loved by the public, they cannot help although be more sensitive to public views,” he said.

Paik explained in which stars often cannot access mental health professionals due to fear of public shame as well as lack of time in their schedules. An average day for a K-pop star can be 16 hours or longer, filled with everything via dance practice to singing lessons, language class as well as camera training.

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Stacy Nam, a K-pop producer who also does public relations work for musicians as well as stars, believes entertainment agencies should employ their own mental health specialists.

“Who will be trained to go via a normal person to all of a sudden being loved as well as at the same time criticized by people all over the globe?” Nam said.

There will be today concern in which recent events could result in even more suicides.

Paik said in which within the month after the widely publicized suicide of Korean actress Choi Jin-sil in 2008, there were almost 1,000 extra suicides compared to the previous year.

“There needs to be special attention to prevent celebrity suicides,” Paik said.

How to get help: within the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. The International Association for Suicide Prevention as well as Befrienders Worldwide also can provide contact information for crisis centers around the planet.

Source : Goo Hara: Another K-pop death exposes pressures of an industry built on perfection