Southeast Asian trainees talk about life in SM: Discrimination is a usual thing
An account shared a lot of things she experienced from being an SM trainee.
Recently, on the famous online community with the column Ask Me Anything, a post received considerable attention in the online community. Specifically, this person revealed herself to be an SM trainee – the leading entertainment company in Korea. After the administrator confirmed the information, the girl continued to send greetings to the reader:
“Hello everyone, my AMA is verified by mod u/AnOddName All my proof was sent to r/kpop mods for confidentiality so I hope you understand why I won’t be posting any proof in this thread.“
“I’m a Southeast Asian girl and born 1997. I joined SM as a trainee in 2015 and left in 2017. I do love Kpop before joining SM and even after, and I’m very grateful for the experience.“
Just like what many Kpop fans care about, soon, many people asked about whether this girl was discriminated against or not. This account responded as follows:
“This is actually a topic I want to talk to because of all the hate bait NB and other translation sites do. They are translating from Pann or Nate where literally children comment. When I was young, I also said racist things and other horrible things because I thought it looks cool. I do regret all those things and I hope the children there also regret those in the future. Yes, Koreans, in general, do look down on some SEA countries simply because they lack interaction and what they only know of us is that our country is a shithole, full of slums, etc… Not because of malice or superiority complex but because they “have better quality” and they know it. “
“But it’s not just Southeast Asians, foreigners are discriminated against when they come to Korea. All foreign trainees go through this, and even those who are foreigner and half-Korean are like that. ”
Not only that, but this trainee also revealed many things about trainee jobs as well as training contracts at Korea’s leading entertainment company:
“SM pay for education even high school or elementary if you are still studying. In my case, they paid for my Korean language classes in the morning. You are not obliged to pay for anything if you finish your contract, but if you want to quit in the middle of the contract, you will have to pay for all of the things SM has spent on you.“
“I don’t think they drop trainees unless there are extreme circumstances, they just don’t give offers to renew. There were evaluations but we are never informed what the judges score us or write down which is really dumbfounding because how would I know what to improve on if they don’t tell me.“
The former SM trainee also revealed things related to the upcoming SM new girl group:
“Pretty much all the other trainees are born 2000 and onwards and they have been in the company for 5 or more years. The training schedule for male and female is quite separate. Furthermore, to avoid the dating, the intensity of exercise can even be doubled. The team that is about to debut will train together more so they can get along well soon. ”
Next, the account also shared about the diet, plastic surgery or personality tests of the trainee:
“The company has set up a very strict diet, but does not put too much pressure on trainees. But because of the fierce competition among trainees, each person is forced to be self-conscious in dieting. I don’t have an impressive height so the company made me lose weight to look taller even though I’m quite skinny.
Although my skin is quite white, it is still darker than Korean’s. If I debut, the company will definitely recommend me to take a white bath and skin care. SM won’t force you to get anything done, it’s decided by yourself “
Talking about the personality of artists, this person said:
“My perception got grounded to reality after experiencing training. I was a teen so I saw kpop flashy and the idols have amazing personality. At the end of the day, they are human. What you see on screen isn’t always what they really are in real life. We have personality training. And most of all, they have it really hard. The pressure of debuting is intense.”
Talking about the reason why she gave up being a trainee of a reputable company, this girl said that the female group’s debut formation did not include her name. Because she had to wait for 5 years more, she decided to go.
She also shared that the 2-year period of being an SM trainee is the most stressful times for her:
“I gave up knowing that this lifestyle is not really for me. I want to become an idol because when I was young, I really liked Kpop. I want to be beautiful, get glamor and make a lot of money from this job. It is true that idol will get it but it is not easy at all. If I have another chance, I will try once more, even if the opportunity to debut is very fragile ”.
Newly said, the glory and flashiness of Kpop idol on stage is always the dream of many young people. But to make it come true, they had to trade in exchange for a debut. But not everyone is so lucky, in fact, there are still many trainees like the owner of the post who find themselves without the opportunity to debut so they actively withdraw to seek for another job.
What do you think about the feelings of the former SM trainee?