While physical slenderness is a goal most female idols pursue, questions of well-being remain unanswered.
Concerns about the physical fitness and well-being of female K-pop idols have been around for decades. From second-generation idol groups such as Wonder Girls and KARA to third-generation K-pop acts such as TWICE, Red Velvet, and BLACKPINK, questions of physical slenderness have never been out of trend. Now, fourth-generation idols, such as LE SSERAFIM, aespa, and IVE, are keeping an extra eye on their weight. However, this usually entails an unhealthy, skinny appearance that directly affects an idol.
More recently, aespa Winter appeared with an alarmingly skinny body on stage. In a cropped top, the audience could see her rib cage. Fans worried whether she overworked herself or went on an extreme diet to have this body. Notably, Winter had to halt her activities to deal with health-related problems before, raising concerns.
Moreover, idols are considered role models to the youth. Therefore, the public is hesitant if this unhealthy attention to bodily appearance will affect teenagers. The fact that netizens often applaud an idol’s bone structure or perfect physique may further fuel the growing obsession.