K-pop couple Goo Hara and Sulli proved to be remarkable in an industry where celebrities face immense pressure to present themselves as the immaculate picture of joy.
The close friends have been honest about who they were towards the end of their lives. As a good boyfriend or girlfriend, they didn't try to assume a character. They've been talking their minds. They were unsuccessful.
Goo's death on Sunday, six weeks after the apparent suicide of Sulli, left many fans angry and confused— and reignited discussions about the topics of cyberbullying, gender violence, and particularly the psychological well-being of celebrities living in the extreme K-pop bubble in South Korea.
In what is a highly hierarchical and male-dominated society, women within South Korea have had some success fighting for equality, but they still face serious problems that are special to the region. In the 2018 Global Gender Gap Survey, South Korea rates well below the global average, with substantial gaps in wage equality and earned income for women.
Some people say that the fight in K-pop is even more pronounced. Nevertheless, Goo and Sulli tried to break the mould despite working in an industry that pressures women to be perfect.
Sulli publicly declared that she was a pro-choice after South Korea allowed abortion this year. She was frank about her mental health struggles, women insisted that if they find them awkward, they should not have to wear bras, and once she was alive, she drank alcohol without wearing a bra.
"I wanted to break that frame... and show it's not a big deal," Sulli said on television in June, referring to her decision to dissolve her bra.
Yet she endured scathing criticism each time Sulli shared a selfie on Instagram showing her eschewing K-pop norms.
Several people called her divisive decisions. Others attacked her as "desperate for attention." Sulli said she feared she could see the online vitriol in her public life, so she tried to avoid areas where she would be filmed.
"I used to take only the narrow alleys, and it looked like cameras were everywhere," said Sulli in the same presence on TV.
Goo was facing her challenges. Her ex-boyfriend, Choi Jong-bum, was found guilty of assault and extortion after releasing a video of sex.
Goo has been trolled online regularly to feature in the video. She posted on Instagram in June that she would "not be merciful to malicious comments anymore," and suggested that she could take legal action. She also admitted in the same article that she was suffering from depression in a remarkable concession to a K-pop star.
Tags : K-pop death, K-pop couple Goo Hara and Sulli, Gender Gap Survey, ,