The Rise of K-Pop and the Stigmas They Face

Image Source - Google | Image by billboard

We’re familiar with the popularity of K-pop (South Korean pop music) worldwide and it’s growing at a very fast pace. The Korean Wave (Hallyu) alludes to the worldwide fame of South Korea’s social economy sending out mainstream society, amusement, music, TV shows and films. Hallyu is a Chinese expression which, when interpreted, in a real sense signifies “Korean Wave”. It is an aggregate term used to allude to the amazing development of Korean culture and mainstream society enveloping everything from music, motion pictures, show to web based games and Korean food just to give some examples. During previous president Barack Obama’s state visit to Korea in March 2012, he made reference to the Korean Wave, which was made the nation’s first concern by the public authority.

South Korea is one of the main nations on the planet, if by all account not the only one, that has a devoted objective to turn into the world’s driving exporter of mainstream society. It is a route for Korea to build up its “delicate force”. Delicate force is a well known term authored in 1990 by Harvard political researcher Joseph Nye. It alludes to the immaterial force a nation employs through its picture, instead of through hard power. Hard power alludes to military force or monetary force.

A case of delicate force in play is the manner by which the US tempted the world to purchase its Levi’s pants, Apple iPhones, Marlboro cigarettes, Coca-Cola soda pops and Hollywood motion pictures, by utilizing an attractive picture. A novel picture of cool. In the course of the most recent twenty years, South Korea has gotten exceptionally rich and modern. In 1965, Korea’s GDP per capita was not as much as that of Ghana. Today, South Korea is the world’s twelfth biggest economy.

The reason is their strategically managed advertisements to concerts to trainings to their idols. In South South Korea there are three big companies which produce idols- SM entertainment, JYP entertainment and YG entertainment. These three companies not only produce idols but they also work in other fields of entertainment such as variety shows, dramas, etc. Companies select people through global auditions, street auditions, etc. Then after selection they train them and then debut them as idols. In South Korea it’s done in a proper organized way. It is also said that on average a company spends 300 thousand US dollars on a single trainee per year.


After their debut idols are managed by their respective companies. From their social media pages to every group related activity is managed by their companies. In 2012 after the release of the song Gangnam style by PSY. K-pop received more attention as the song got famous worldwide. then people from all around the world started listening to -pop more and more. In 2018, BTS became the first K-pop boy band to deliver a speech in the US. Many western artists have collaborated with various k-pop groups. In South South Korea official names are given to the fan bases such as fans of bts are called as army, fans of blackpink are called as blinks, fans of exo are called as exo-Ls, and fans of nct are called as nctzen in South Korea he most important thing for an idol group is to be recognized by South Korean people.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Rolling Stone India (@rollingstonein)


It is extremely important to have a solid fanbase in their own country rather globally otherwise it can be a loss for them. As voting for awards is being done by the local fans for awards. and it is real that in South Korea k-pop has its own world. fans support their idols as much as they can. But as the saying goes not every glitter is the gold. Just as every fan can’t be supportive, there are certain types of fans called Sasaeng. These are the type of fans who obsess and stalk their idols. They don’t care about the privacy of their idols. As an example, they mob them at airports, in public areas and also outside their residential areas. they do not differentiate between their personal and professional lives. Every idol tries to remain transparent as much as they can with their fans.



Whenever an idol starts dating someone or is seen with a person of an opposite gender sasaeng just won’t accept it. They start calling out their partners to unfollow their idols to badly criticise them (bullying). Dating is termed as a scandal there. Rarely any relationship formed by a star got accepted, but mostly they don’t. The situation gets worse which eventually leads the couple to break-up. In 2014 baekhyun from exo and taeyeon from girls generation also known as SNSD in south South Korea started dating officially and fans were not happy with that and after an year or two they both have to break apart which was not confirmed by their company (sm entertainment) officially but was speculated by fans as both started ignoring each other in public events.

Now, the next issue is biasness for foreign members. Mostly there are foreign members who are half South Korean or are from other countries, fans do not accept them right away. Tiffany from girls’ generation (as she was from California) faced these kinds of issues and was also cyber bullied by many fans which led to her leaving South Korea for a while. She mentioned in her life that she has to go through therapy because of this. Also Sulli from famous girl group f(x) committed suicide in 2019, reason being cyber bullying. She made so many complaints formally and informally to her company, and they took action too. But she was constantly harassed and also body shamed. Her friends and fellow members also raise voices against it in many interviews requesting bullies to leave her alone but they weren’t able to protect her.


Being a K-pop idol is not as easy as it seems. After years of training, staying away from families, facing mistreatment all they want from their fans is support but it’s not always positive. They’re stalked, mobbed , have to be really secretive about their families and personal lives, also being sexualised and have to face body shaming and cyber bullying too. Brand Korea should have the option to find some kind of harmony between not over-commercializing Hallyu, yet to market and fabricate its character in a real manner.

The development of the Korean Wave in the course of recent many years has been an intriguing one, and it is as yet unfurling. Pushing ahead, it will be fascinating to perceive how Korea keeps on improving and tap on the enormous potential and notoriety of the Korean Wave to continue its appeal to worldwide crowds. This could additionally improve the country brand value of Korea, and add to the proceeds with accomplishment of the Korean culture, economy and culture. As fans ask them to show their body in concerts, to write inappropriate things during their fansigns against their will because they’re taught to please their fans. In conclusion, all fans need to understand that their idols are human beings too, they are allowed to have a life of their own and fans should clearly respect their privacy.

Written by Samiksha Grover

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Compensation to Victim of Crime under Indian Laws

david copperfield

David Copperfield (Book Review)