BY Adrienne Stanley | Apr 13, 2015 04:38 PM EDT
On April 13, the Korean outlet Dispatch published a report which explored weight loss and its impact on the appearance of several top Korean entertainment. The article bore the title, “The best plastic surgery is dieting, beautiful stars [who are] at war with their weight.” Top female stars such as Park Shin Hye, Kang So Ra, and A Pink’s Eunji were examined through before and after shots. The article sparked an on-going debate with netizens, many of whom came to the defense of the actresses.
Articles such as this one are not uncommon in entertainment reporting but they most often feature women as opposed to their male counterparts. All of the actresses and K-pop idols depicted have clearly dealt with fluctuations in their weight but it is unknown if any of the artists had plastic surgery procedures While this article sparked the initial debate about appearance, it was not the only item which focused on the body composition of top female stars.
On April 13, Newsen reported about Kim Myung Young, a personal trainer who appeared on “The Body Show.” In the article incorporated rear shots of IU and Goo Hara, along with comments from the trainer. While it was meant to illustrate the progress both stars made while training, many netizens negatively perceived the article and the comments from the personal trainer.
One of the trending comments for “The Body Show” article which was translated by Netizen Buzz criticized the personal trainer, while praising the stars. The forum user said, “He knows that they're at the age where body image is important and all of the comments that made fun of them but he's putting them down himself. And IU never once showed off about her body. She's a singer and she sings well, that's all that should matter.”
IU has previously revealed her struggles with an eating disorder. In July 2014, she discussed her battle with bulimia on the show, “Healing Camp.” “I would eat until I threw up,” she said. “I had to receive treatment for it.”
In addition to her music, IU is best known for her role as Kim Pil Sook in the 2011 drama “Dream High.” Pil Sook struggled with weight loss, before drastically dieting. After she sheds a significant amount of weight, she catches the interest of Jason (2PM’s Wooyoung) and successfully lands a recording contract.
Both articles focus on weight loss and physical training but the report by Dispatch also analyzes plastic surgery. Korea has gained notoriety for its flourishing plastic surgery industry, with more citizens going under the knife than almost any other country in the world. According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, one in five women in South Korea will have a plastic surgery procedure. By comparison, in the United States the figure is one in twenty. In 2013, American media which attributed the plastic surgery boom in South Korea to growing consumer demand and K-pop. K-Drama also plays a role in the plastic surgery boom, as stars are praised for their evolving appearance.
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