"It's so easy to compare yourself to the people you surround yourself with in media."
13 Sep 2017 - 1:24 PM  UPDATED 13 Sep 2017 - 1:32 PM

It goes without saying that K-pop is an industry that places a premium on looks, and one of the biggest aspects of this is body size. With very few exceptions, K-pop idols generally conform to an "ideal body type" of being super thin and slim, and this perception of the "perfect figure" has affected what some K-pop fans think of as being acceptable in terms of body size. 

In an interesting new thread over on Reddit, K-pop fans got into a discussion about how being into K-pop has changed their perception on body image and the related cyberbullying. With Reddit being the home to a large number of fans who have diverse tastes and interests, the answers were certainly very interesting.

Here are some of the comments made by K-pop fans in regards to how their perception of body image and cybebullying has changed during their time as a K-pop fan:

  • This is the one thing about kpop that I feel changed me for the worse to be honest. I feel like before I got into kpop the ideal body type I had in my mind was less perfect.
    First of all, it changed my perception of myself - even if I know kpop idols are often too thin, I think they look really good and without realizing I got so much less confident about my weight and looks in general.
    Secondly - I do feel bad about it - but sometimes I get critical about how idols look. Of course some idols look better with more kg since they seem starved. But for example when someone puts on weight during their break I often think they looked better before. Disclaimer: I never leave actual comments online, it's all in my head since I realize it would be an asshole thing to say.
    But with all that said - I never understood how people online can be so heartless and write such mean things about others. There is so much hate in some comments I can't comprehend how someone can be like that.

  • Considering I'm an East Asian female who's fairly big, I do think kpop has made me more self-conscious about my physical traits, but my culture in general also emphasizes physical traits as well. However, it also motivated me to exercise more, which isn't bad since I usually don't anyway. I'm not starving myself to lose weight, but I do try to eat healthier foods. For my face, I've started leaning more toward the Korean makeup style because it flatters my East Asian features than American makeup does.
    In regards to body image, I do think the "ideal" image has changed has I got more into kpop. But in Kyla's case, she's only 15 and she still has baby fat. It will eventually go away naturally so I don't understand k-Netz bullying her and threatening her to diet.

  • Korean teenaged girl here, I think I've definitely become way more conscious of my body and my weight. I was always underweight growing up, but after puberty I grew to a healthy weight. And then I started to get into kpop and my weight is definitely going down again. (I don't wanna say I'm developing an eating disorder, because that's a loaded term, but I find myself skipping meals and not having, in general, a healthy relationship with food).
    It's so easy to compare yourself to the people you surround yourself with in media.

  • White 20 Year Old Girl, I've been into kpop for years. I don't think it's had a negative impact on me. I want to make changes to my body but those thoughts were there before such as wanting smaller boobs and to be slightly more thinner, but I'm very much a healthy weight and I want to loose weight to deal with having too big boobs.
    I have started taken better care of my appearance. I've always had bad skin and I'm currently taking medication to help with acne. I look after my hair more, I was jealous of kpop hair and my hair is in a much better place. I also have a bit more of a fashion style. I'm not sure how much is due to kpop and how much is due to just growing older.
    I hate everything to do with Kyla, I can't stand the comments it's just cruel. I remember one person on Facebook made a mean comment on one of my profile pictures during my school years and the comment has stayed with me for years. I can't imagine what Kyla is dealing with. I hope she is continually supported by group mates and her company and doesn't feel extra pressure to change her weight unless she wants too.

  • I'm an East Asian female in my upper 20's and I'm considered "average sized" in the states, but in Asia I am considered "very large". I would say my family are the #1 culprits of making me feel bad about my weight/body, and all attempts to exercise and improve myself. They are all naturally thin so they expect me to be as well, and don't seem to understand that my metabolism just isn't like theirs. Luckily I don't live with them anymore so I only have to deal with their nonsense every so often, but it's awful.
    My family reacts similarly to how netizens react, actually, but literally more close to home. Kpop really doesn't help either with the body shaming and bullying of the Kyla's of the industry, but it's more of a secondary effect than primary.
    I want to be thinner. I exercise a little, eat healthy as much as I can, and portion control, but I'm nearing that age where my already slow metabolism is getting even slower so r i p

  • Definitely when I was younger, like 14-16 years old was not a good time for me. It's a time that a lot of teenage girls get really insecure about appearances and I thought looking more like SNSD and IU and other idols I looked up to would make me feel better about myself. Profiles about idol heights and weight were not good for me then (plus, they're not even accurate to begin with and shitty in general). I was skinny for my height, but looking at all idol weights, I decided to get it down to 45 kilos (less than 100 lbs). Tl;dr I succeeded for a short while, but there's no way I can comfortably and healthily live at that weight. Some people can and good for them, but for me that meant developing an eating disorder, so... yeah...
    On the bright side, dealing with the aftermath forced me to confront those insecurities and self-hatred. I came out of it much happier with myself than teenage me ever would have thought possible and less judgemental of weight and bodies anywhere on the spectrum.

  • Im half-chinese and and im American. I've always been told I'm too skinny but right now I am 19 and 5'11'' and 145 lbs and a lot of male idols are around this size, so it made me feel that I'm not too skinny actually. And I dress in the kpop style now too lol. My ideal image for women has not changed but it has for men. I always liked girls that are shorter than me and thin or healthy weight, but also I did change my style to something like the male idols my age. I try to look more asian than white more than before kpop I guess.
    Also I don't think anyone should be writing mean comments to people like Kyla or anyone about their weight. If someone is looking extremely unhealthy then it could be a concern, but fans should just let the idols look how they want.

  • Male here, I strive to a more slim ideal for myself than I did before, but I wouldn't say it's a huge change from the way I felt before, as I still want a fairly lean and muscular build, just maybe a bit lighter than I would've wanted to be before.
    In terms of my ideal woman, body-wise, I feel like I haven't changed much. I've always been more in favour of skinnier girls (to the point of being too picky, according to friends) and that hasn't changed. In fact, in the past two years, I've become slightly more inclined towards what some would describe as a more healthy weight, though this could just be due to maturation as I'm still young.
    Either way, I don't believe in putting people down for their weight or preference in weight and body type, regardless of my own ideals. You do you as long as you're happy where you are.


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