Céci magazine has unveiled a set of enticing images featuring idol group EXO in its latest June issue. The introduction to summer begins with a floral pictorial and individual questionnaire, entitled Mr. Seductive, with the members from both EXO-K and EXO-M.
EXO-K member Baekhyun is seen wearing a beige jacket with back print, a floral graphic shirt, and striped shorts by KWAKHYUNJOO, SOLID HOMME, and kai-aakmann. Chanyeol dons a fine patterned jacket with a black shirt and geometric-print pants by WOOYOUNGMI and Gunt. Member Kai sports a floral-print pullover sweater and black pants by Blindness by Kud and SIM Z WAITZ. D.O. dons a delicate green textured shirt, a white shirt, and white jeans with a European retro pattern by Jehee Sheen, Greyhound, and Pearlygates. Sehun is seen wearing a beige fedora, a pastel green button-up shirt, and simple black jacket by Kimseoryong Homme, and Via by Leejungki. Leader Suho is featured in an animated cloud coat, a graphic t-shirt, and black pants by WOOYOUNGMI, 8 Seconds, and SIM Z WAITZ.
EXO-M member Luhan dons a fine patterned jacket and vest, a white turtleneck shirt, and white pants by Kwonohsoo classic and kai-aakmann. Xiumin sports a beige vest, a simple striped t-shirt, and black slacks from MVIO, MUNSOO KWON, and KATENKELLY. Leader Kris is seen wearing a beige jacket and matching beige button-up shirt by WOOYOUNGMI and Jehee Sheen. Lay dons a pattern newsboy hat, a fitted gray suit with hand stitch-like lapels, a floral shirt, black jeans, and canvas shoes by SYSTEM HOMME, WESC, PLAC Jeans, and Dr. Martens. Member Chen wears a fun print black-and-white jacket, black vest, striped graphic button-up shirt, and black jeans by AM.WE by Kud, Kwonohsoo classic, and MUNSOO KWON. The last but not least individual spread is of member Tao. He dons a simple and sleek black jacket and navy blue floral button-up shirt by Time Homme and WOOYOUNGMI.
The interview responses documented of each member in Ceci are as follows:
Charm appeal: Looks sharp, but sloppy and dumb in reality. Seems cold, but fiery in the inside. A handsome person. Nationality is China.
In leisure: Visited family and friends in Canada. Next time I hope to go skydiving or play actively and roll about at sea for an entire day. As much as I enjoy traveling, I’d need to make plans every chance I find.
Advantage to a job as an idol: Too many to count, but one of its blessings is being able to visit one country after another.
Recent style transformation: Went through a transformation because Iw anted to be wreckless with the new comeback album. The advatange is styling time has been reduced. A downside is the limit to various styles. I want to cry because at the latter.
Current passion and interests: Hair styling, hats, electronic music.
Prize possession: Letters from fans, always.
Privilege of the dramaphile: I’ve been deeply absorbed in “Nice Guy”, as if I am main character Kang Maru. Resilient scenario. All of the actors were admirable.
3 Things you need when in love: Love, Love, Love.
If you were to propose?: “I like you, what can I do?”
A reaction you expect from her: 0_0, ^_^, ^0^, <3
Self-made compliments: Mandarin, English, Korean available. These skills are crucial for me because I participate in promotions abroad.
Time to compliment other members: Suho is brilliant at whatever he does. Baekhyun’s great at uplifting the mood, Kai dances well, and Chen is great at singing. Tao is empathetic of his hyungs’ feelings, Xiumin is helpful, and I’m grateful to D.O because he looks after the members very well. I thank Lay who cooks well, I thank Lu Han for being good at soccer so I can take charge in basketball, and I’m thankful to Sehun for being attentitive to his maknae responsibilities. And Chanyeol, the Chicken Nuggets were tasty. Thanks.
Something you would improve: Nothing. I’m good-natured so I’ll watch on for a little longer. I love them all.
To the fans: Thank you for waiting and encouraging us through it all. We’ll return the favor with a good album.
Kris instructional manual: He functions if he eats and sleeps sufficiently. You may not have known this, but he’s slightly cute, too. And if you love him, he’s a good man who’ll love you twice as much back.
Charm appeal: A bundle-of-fun vocal who is well suited to eyeliner.
5/6 (day of interview) birthday thoughts: I’m very pleased that promotional interview and shooting coincides with my birthday. If I were to pick out a song on a day like this, I’d say Soul Star’s ‘Happy Birthday’. It’d be even better if the fans would sing it for me.
Comeback album hint: A group dance that took 8 hours to learn day by day, and practiced individually for four hours each day. As long as it took to complete it, I wish they’d acknowledge that it took just as long and just as much preparation to make it.
A compliment you’d like to hear: Just as I thought! They didn’t take so long for nothing!
When I search ‘Baekhyun’ on the internet: It was fascinating to see all the photos that were collected from debut up to now. Seeing them, I realized with tears that my ch e e k s are getting plumper.
Have you ever commented? No?: I’ve been hit with such temptation when people assume I’m shorter than Suho hyung and Chen.
Every time you look into the mirror: I check if my face is swollen. Especially when I look at Chanyeol I agonize over why my eyes are so small, but I think it’ll do.
If I were to introduce a female cousin to a member: I’d introduce her to the mature, smart, and exemplar leader Suho hyung. I’d feel bad for the other members I can’t introduce her to, so I’ll just keep my opinion to myself.
A type that makes you swoon: A straight-set, virtuous mind, well-mannered, and a woman who smells nice.
If I were to propose: After I purchase her favorite flowers in fake ones, I’ll kneel and say ‘These flowers are johwa (T/N: fake). I joh-ah (T/N: like) you so much. Will you go out with me?’
If you can live as a character in a movie for 7 days: I’d be a childish second generation millionaire. I meet a sober, diligent, and wise woman and turn over a new leaf and mend my ways. It’ll be a movie with a synopsis of a Baekhyun who succeeds at work and love and everything else.
Member’s secret: When Suho hyung gets a slight scratch, he’d whine and pine over it for a month.
A request for all the members: Can we live more neatly?
Baekhyun instructional manual: If you befriend him, he may chatter on and on without giving you a break. When that happens, don’t stress out and quietly put your hand on his mouth. During hard times he may be dazed and blank. This means he’s recharging, so please don’t touch. 10 minutes should be sufficient to recharge.
Charm appeal: The second maknae that likes playing around although different from his image. My nationality is Chinese.
While resting: I ate, exercised, and prepared for the album. I repeated, repeated, and repeated these three.
Thoughts on EXO 12 members all joined together: The scale of the performance arrangement has gotten a lot larger. The energy has gotten a lot intense. Because we gathered all together, the practice times are twice as much fun and enjoyable. Thanks to it, I feel like our timeworn has gotten stronger.
A report that (Tao) has a lot of tears: In the past I had a lot, but not anymore. The most recent time I cried was a couple days ago but it was because recently I visited China for a vacation, but on the airplane back, I cried at the thought that I won’t be able to see my family and friends for a while. To be honest, this is a secret.
If you were to use the time control power: When I see people who do bad things. I would catch them and send them to the police or I would reason with them so they cannot do bad things. Also, If I see a pretty girl I wish time would go slower. Because then I could keep looking at her.
A power that you would like: No matter how much I think about it, I think time control is the best.
Yaja* game time: I will have to tell Suho hyung “Suho-yah, will you give me some food?’ Cooly using informal speech is the point. To be honest, hyung treats me really well. Because I just like him, I want to talk to him again.
An ideal type that shakes your heart: I would like it if she was pretty and kind. I become interested in a girl that shows no interest in me. I wonder why the reason is.
3 reasons why Tao would be a good boyfriend: I have nice manners, I’m sexy, I can do martial arts well. Also on top of that I am rich in heart and bank account. I can show the special charms that a blood type AB’s bad boy possesses. Like a roller coaster, dynamically, every day so one won’t be bored.
Selca technique that Tao can pass down: An abundant production. One must find their own selca’s angle.
Sexiness to Tao: I was naturally born with it?
Dark circles to the sexy Tao: Without dark circles, I am not Tao.
To the Tao in one year: All your dreams are going to come true. Fighting.
Tao manual: I can’t go up to you first. That is why, passionately come up to me please. I don’t know if it might take time in order for you to become my person. However, please try it. Please.
t/n: Yaja is basically when the eldest and youngest switch roles.
Charm appeal: A singing and dancing two job holding person with the name ‘dawn’s dear’ in Chinese. My nationality is Chinese.
Thoughts on EXO 12 members all joined together: Every day by day, our hiatus time was fun like a classroom. However the distraction of the practice room is times 12. But once we actually start practicing, everyone’s gazes change and the hotness is also times 12.
A needful of bragging for the comeback album: The performance is extraordinary. But because it’s a performance pressed with a secret Shhh!
While resting: a while ago I went to my home in China. After a long time, I finally did the deeds of an only son, profitably.
A lacking point whenever I look at the mirror: I am satisfied with myself that my parents gave birth to.
Times when I myself think I am manly: always. However, when I play soccer, the manliness quotient goes up.
The nickname crazy frog: That is Tao, his thoughts.
Right this moment if you were to send a telepathic message to member (Sehun): After this interview, do you want to go drink bubble tea?
Luhan’s Korean class, a word that you are hooked on these days: ‘Aigoo.’ when I get surprised, when I become regretful, when I’m worried. It was a multiplayer that was suitable when used anywhere. Another word I use often is ‘hul.’
An item I treasure: the computer that lets me use the internet and has the roleplaying games that I fell into recently, my bed that is my own area, the closet that is packed with treasurable things. Especially my bed, I wish other people would avoid going on to it.
When I use the Internet: I look up my own photos. I feel good when I see the pictures that the fans took so well. I’m thankful to everyone.
If I were to propose: An empty street during night time, flowers together with a kiss.
If I were to receive a propose: I would like it if the girl gave me food that she made herself. If I were to think about the menu, because I am the meat eating group, if it is meat, I like it all.
3 reasons why Luhan would be a good boyfriend: I have a good personality. Whenever, wherever, I am able to be a reassuring protection. I am good looking. Of course the last point is a joke.
To the fans: Thank you for waiting throughout a long period of time. With all my heart, I love you.
Luhan manual: When my body and mind is out of control, please give me a little bit of interest. It takes only the words ‘You’re tired right? Gain strength.’ Then I am a person that really gains strength. Basically, although I am very bashful and shy, I wish people to know that I am warmer once (we) get closer.
Charm appeal: I am a humorous man in charge of the dancing and the sexiness in EXO.
Describe EXO with 10 characters: The twelve strongest flower boys from space. (T/N: He said it with 10 Korean characters)
When resting: Suho hyung worries about something all day long. Chanyeol hyung is laughing, Baekhyun hyung, Chen hyung and Sehunnie are talking continuously. Behind them, Kris hyung is joking seriously and Luhannie hyung goes back to the living room. Next to them Xiumin hyung is tidying the room and Lay hyung is spending time blankly. Next to him, Tao is looking in the mirror.
3 nicknames you like: Kim Kai, Kkamjong, Jongdalsae (T/N: Skylark in Korean)
Your current background picture: On my phone it’s a picture of Luhannie hyung and I watching the football match ‘Manchester United FC vs Chelsea FC’. A proofshot of my happiness when Chelsea won with my thumb up. My SNS main background picture is the same. My SNS status is ‘Chelsea won ㅋㅋ’
The gene you want to thank: I like everything about the person called Kim Jongin. It’s hard to find something I don’t like. Hoot.
Even I think I am sexy when: I see myself in the mirror when I go to change clothes after they got drenched in sweat while practicing in the practice room. Hoot.
An ideal type that shakes my heart: A woman pale like snow, I want her to have pride and passion in what she’s doing even if she’s not the best in her field.
If I proposed: Proposing with flowers at a meaningful time she wouldn’t expect. Very unexpectedly! Pak!
The reaction you expect from her: I want to see her totally surprised as she didn’t notice anything before.
A proposal you want to receive: If she’s totally honest and sincere, I’m ok with even just a word.
A member’s secret: Kim Jongin really has a pale skin. And even on EXO Planet, people don’t kow that EXO are from their planet.
Kai’s user manual: Don’t be embarrassed at my excited self when watching . Don’t touch me when I’m sleeping please. Except when the chicken order is here. When I’m focused on something, even if you make a loud noise, I won’t hear you. If you stay with me for a long time, you will learn that I’m a man with a pattern easy to know. It’s simple.
Charm appeal: warm man, healing boy. My nationality is Chinese.
A compliment you want to hear: I did bright yellow hair for the first time. I’m anticipating half, worrying half on whether or not I will be able to hear it matches me well.
While resting: I spent time personally composing/songwriting, and taking lessons in the areas that I’m lacking. Of course those songs are not in this album. In order to show a perfect side, I want to let everyone listen after pulling it all together tighter.
Lay’s own song production: Ever since I was thirteen, I made them as a joke. Especially, Baekhyun and Luhan hyung are my encouragement team that like my ballads, Kris is the assistant that helps with rapping in between. To everyone, thank you.
A composition to Lay: I consider the most important thing to be a person to person’s heart in the relationship. Because I am one that is rich in emotions, I gain inspiration through passable easy details in small experiences, the emotions going on between my loving family and friends, and while playing the piano.
A respected musician: Beethoven who had strong determination, Mozart who is a naturally born music genius.
Something I’m better than them at: I’m dance a little well.
SM seniors: They always tell us good things. Whether it is actual choreography or camera walking, very detailedly. They’re all angels.
A hidden talent that no one knows: gag instinct. It’s a shame that people don’t know it well.
Dancing machine’s waist situation: Thanks to the interest I’ve received, it has gotten a lot better. I’m only thankful.
A treasured item: It’s not an item but a person. Because, since there are fans there is the current me. Of course I have to treasure them a lot.
If I were to propose: ‘I will make you the happiest girl in the world. Trust me.’
3 Reasons why Lay would be a good boyfriend: I can love only one with all my heart, I can do anything for this woman, I can hug her warmly.
3 Things you desire from this woman: Even if I call you ‘pig’ don’t get hurt, but instead be cute. Love and understand only me, sometimes do aegyo to me.
Lay’s aegyo: zero. Instead I am manly.
To the fans of Asia: Thank you for always watching over us, wherever you are. For your health and mind to always be healthy.
Lay manual: I don’t eat food if there is no coke or sprite. But even still, please tell me that you love me. And if you tightly hug me warmly, I like it even more.
Charm appeal: is my clean voice.
While resting: written the same on all the members faces was ‘concentration’. We were always like that. While concentrating, we definitely concentrate, and while playing, we definitely play (here I would want to show member’s expressions through drawings but since I don’t have paper, I don’t have a way to express it so it’s disappointing).
If I were to compliment the all of the members, without leaving one out, I’m just so thankful that all of the members are nice people. Especially thank you to Suho hyung who cooly leads us like a leader would. And also thanks for having a lacking sense of humor like me. Because it would be lonely if it was just me alone. Opposite, something I would ask of all of the members, as we live as EXO, if something happens that makes you upset or disappointed, not to hold it in but to vent through a conversation at that moment would be good. So that you don’t have any wounds left given from anyone in the future.
Ideal type that shakes my heart: is someone whose face is pretty when they smile, an innocent person, and a girl with white skin.
If I were to propose, the place or moment wouldn’t be important. Just my heart. ‘Can I be your boyfriend?’
3 Songs I recommend that match as background music for a proposal are 1) Jeff Benet’s ‘Ms. Seductive’, 2) Justin Beiber’s ‘Catching Feelings’, 3) Bruno Mars’ ‘When I was Your Man’. All three of the melodies are sweet and the lyrics are pretty.
The thing that I want right now: is first place.
In 10 years, the image that I have a goal for is a secret. Won’t the members all be living cooly in ‘ing’? And after 11 years, I believe that we can have a concert while celebrating our anniversary.
A member’s secret: is something that should be kept a secret.
D.O is a man who: is quietly (clean), when you look at him (he’s shy to strangers), as you become closer to him (he becomes comfortable), as he becomes excited (is someone who saves his words).
D.O’s user manual: Rather than spending his time boisterously, he prefers to spend it quietly. He regards being honest as something important. When tired the words ‘have strength’ seem to be the ones that hit home the hardest. Ah! Kind of hides his face. If you approach him first he’ll welcome you even more.
Charm appeal: I am a serious and calm leader who brings the members together with charisma. I am Suho.
Your thoughts about the comeback: I want to show to even more people a new music and a new performance. We will work as hard as people waited for us.
If you had another superpower: The ability to be invisible. Because I can go anywherer this way. (Next to him Chen said ‘But you can’t tell honestly where this anywhere is’.)
Airport pictures are: A runway in its way. At the airport, I’m walking with strength in my eyes. If they take pictures of me with my eyes closed, even I find it funny.
The thing you fear on airport pictures: A pimple suddenly appearing in front of the high definition cameras. I’d be busy hiding it with my hand all the time.
EXO’s way to accord their opinions: A meeting we had every weekend for an hour even before debuting. We solve the big and small problems by talking, may it be the things that disappointed us during the week, the things we regret. When we don’t have anything to talk about, we compliment eah other. It’s a loving time where we say thank you about the things we’re thankful of.
EXO’s get-together: Not too long ago, to give us strength for the comeback, we gathered to eat beef intestines. Since they’re still growing children, they ate on average for 2 or 3 persons each. Maknae Sehunnie kept going here and there busily to cook the meat, and even when Tao was putting on his coat to go home, he was cooking meat and eating. These cool kids.
If 1 million won fell from the sky: I would invite the members to eat somewhere of course. Kids, just tell me. Hanwoo (T/N: Prime Korean beef)? Sushi?
The ideal type that makes my heart shake: On the outside, girl with long hair and literary interests and on the inside, a wild and cheerful girl. Because I am a man, a girl with this kind of reversal.
If I proposed: I would announce it loudly in the middle of a crowded place like Myungdong. I’d say ‘I love you, accept my feelings’.
For a successful proposal: I think that if you sincerely love that person, it will always be successful, also if you put efforts in it.
If I didn’t become an idol: I honestly didn’t think much about getting another job. No matter what I do and where I do it, If I set a precise goal and work hard toward it, it’s going to get better.
As a leader, to the company: I will work hard. And to the members, let’s love.
Suho’s user manual: You’re doing well, you’re doing well, woojjujju (T/N: Sound you make to babies), praise me a lot please. Because compliments make Suho dance cheerfully.
Charm appeals: EXO’s person in charge of infinite positivity and voice with mood.
While resting: I did dance and rap making with Kai, Baekhyun, and guitar practice with D.O. The newly started studying of composition and songwriting is fun as well. I’m enjoying it because I feel like what I can show is gradually increasing.
Thoughts on comeback: I longed for the fans and the stage the most. As much as I longed for it, I became firm so rather then saying I will work hard I want to show a completed stage.
Comeback album hint: forest, tree, cave.
A happening that made your heart hot recently: A while ago we went to an orphanage to do some volunteer work. Every time we go back, I feel like my heart’s warmness is getting charged, I was happy. Thanks to them, I also gained a precious chance to look back upon myself.
A treasured item: Because I am a cautious buyer, I can brag that I never regret after shopping. An even bigger pride is the desk that I cautiously bought recently. A not brag that because of that, the room got smaller.
Parents’ genes: I inherited my positive energy from my mother, and sensitivity from my father. I feel it stronger, now after I turned twenty years old. I love you. ♡
Definition of ‘manly’: A man that carries unexpectedly strength in the midst of softness. Can I say with my own lips ‘For me, when I’m a jokester and when I am focusing on something, like playing different instruments or rapping, I will be quite…manly.’
An unexpectedly good thing because of living as EXO: A miracle that a sloth like me can wake up in the dorm without an alarm. Thanks to that, my mother is happy.
An ideal type that shakes your heart: A person that matches the same laughing code and music preference. My heart beats when I hear ‘I like this music too.’
If I were to propose: I would like to play a song that I like while giving her a flower in a live house that only has us two. Our love that becomes one through music.
Chanyeol is: quite (delicate), if you get to know (adult-like), the closer you become (a person whose playfulness becomes more severe), when excited (voice gets louder), to the person he likes (endlessly friendly) man.
Chanyeol manual: When you are bored, if you speak to (me) a fun happening will occur. I like chatting. Just talk. Wherever the place is, like a jukebox I will play music for you. For future reference, I don’t bite.
Charm appeal: cutie eldest hyung.
While resting: I played together with Luhan at the cafe and enjoyed (my) individual time while shopping.
Xiumin’s shopping technique: Of course impulse shopping is the truth.
Cheeks that disappeared diet TIP: Become chic in front of food. Don’t ever look at it first. Although, the me that has a hard time with that, will soon go back to the full cheek baozi.
Pros and cons of being a baby face: The danger of hearing informal speech from someone younger than me at our first meeting. I don’t really know about pros. I’m not sure if the physical age of 24 years is passing correctly as yesterday and today are different. cough cough.
Danger of being the eldest hyung: The I.D. ranking hyungnim is a pretty important area amongst men. If there is a SOS, there are many times that I have to take charge. Of course it’s very, extremely, often trivial matters.
Xiumin’s conversational habits: I answer well to questions asked and I carry an ear that listens well. I take the role of EXO’s troubles counselor with a serious personality and rich reactions. Recent trouble content is no comment.
Xiumin’s Chinese class, a recently learned word Dui bu qi, wo bu hui (I’m sorry, I can’t do it). Because heavy lips* is also a counselor’s role.
Recent interests: We received a bunch of comic books for our first anniversary present and even now I am reading them well.
3 of Xiumin’s charming points: A man that is solitary, a man that is chic, but to my person, a soft man. In conclusion, a charming person.
3 reasons why Xiumin would be a good boyfriend: I’m strong, I have an innate sense, I’m considerate. To prove my strength, I will hold the example of overpowering all the members in arm wrestling.
If I were to propose: In a concert hall that is filled with many people, I would cry out to her ‘We are one, we can’t fall apart, I love you.’
Bragging about the award won in China: Recently in China, at ‘13th Annual Music Billboard Award Ceremony,’ we won most popular group. Just as it states, best! Oh, yeah! Thankful to the fans that gave us this big award. Along with that, deep thanks towards the parents of EXO who gave birth to these cool sons. xie xie.
An award you want to win a year later: ‘image transformation success award,’ now becoming a matured and sexy man.
Xiumin manual: is easy. As long as the surroundings are kept clean, always happy smile. I’m kind of tidy.
t/n heavy lips means that you keep your mouth shut.
Charm appeal: Main vocal, a skinny pig.
‘Skinny pig’ definition: I’m worried that I don’t gain as much weight as I eat. On the other hand of not gaining weight after eating and eating, I shed weight at the same time. So I’ve put a lot of care into managing my weight so my face would look nice.
In leisure: In fear I may grow lax, I’ve set my mind straight. I try to work twice as much as the fans had to wait for our comeback.
A type that makes you swoon: Charming eyes, diligent personality, A big heart that will pet me and tolerate my grouchiness.
When I propose: I’ll pretend to pick up some berverages during a night parade at an amusement park and surprise her in an entourage. And then I’ll step forward and say “Will you marry me?”
A reaction you expect from her: I wish she’d run into my arms.
If SHE proposes?: Doesn’t matter. It’d be enough to hear that she loves me.
If you were to acquire a million dollar insurance?: My vocal chord. I want to sing my whole life.
EXO’s office dinner: Cluttered and noisy, a chaos. Even when all 12 members say one thing each, it’d be a mouthful.
Member’s alcohol tolerance ranking: The strongest is Xiumin hyung. Then Chanyeol-Chen-Kris hyung-Lu Han hyung, in that order. Besides that, the rest are on similar levels, but Lay, whose face fires up after one shot, is surely the last.
3 Wishes to God: I’m curious about the afterlife. I’ll just look around. If there are extraterrestrials, please bring them to me. I want an elixir that can cure any disease.
Chen’s 3 charming points: Thick earlobes that lure sin good fortune, a mole under my neck, a masculine character, and as a bonus, a mounted loyalty.
Baekhyun, Chanyeol, Chen’s ‘Beagle’ theory is?: A rumor, a misconception. Compared to Baekhyun and Chanyeol I’m a strictly plain kid.
A skill you want to steal from another member: Lay hyung and Kai’s dance instinct.
Today’s highlight choreo is?: No comment today. I’ll show you soon on stage.
Chen’s instructional manual: He’s brimming with vivacity as long as he’s fed at every meal and is allowed to snack frequently in between. Don’t worry about leaving him alone by himself. He’ll do fine. He likes to watch movies. If you want to hang out with him, take him to the cinema, please.
Charm appeal: the required default option of the maknae is aegyo.
Amongst 12 men, maknae’s road is thanks to the hyungs I recieve a lot of cuteness. Even if I’m reborn again, I call being EXO’s maknae. Yaja time game a while ago at a birthday party, in the given 10 minutes of yaja time, without looking back, I roughly stepped forward. If I go on, because I feel like I will no longer be a person of this world, I need to return as the precious maknae.
If I have a super power: I would want to be able to control emotions and feelings. Showing people you love your tired side is kind of sad.
Ideal type that shakes my heart: is someone who sincerely worries about me when she hurts me and approaches me first to spread medicine on me. (And Miranda Kerr ♥).
If I were to propose: on a quiet night with the sun setting playing with firecrackers on the beach. After that, I’d grab her hand and if I say “I don’t think I can be without you. I’ll love you until I die” it makes your hands curl up doesn’t it? When I get older will I be able to say it in a more okay way?
A member’s secret: is that Suho hyung can’t watch scary things. If he can watch a horror movie he makes a lot of noise, but the uncomfortable truth is that he’s on the internet and he can’t actually watch.
If I go to a convenient store, snacks and chocolate, Jelly corner are first.
If I were to steal an ability from a member: I would take Baekhyun’s sense of humor, Kai’s exposing of white skin, Chanyeol Hyung’s happy personality, D.O hyung’s pretty smile, Suho hyung’s honesty. The representative of a stiff body, Suho hyung. (…hyung I’m kidding) I’m a selfish person who wants to steal everything, but I have to withstand with my lacking charm.
A recent concern I have is before sleeping and after waking up worrying. Today what clothes and how should I wear it so it’ll look nice. I am sexy after a shower standing in front of a mirror with no make up on and making a pose. It’s not really sexy, but it’s really kind of cool. I’m just looking at myself alone.
Three of my charming points: are that I smile well, my warm heart, and my collarbones.
Sehun’s user manual: If I’m excited, it’s hard to control myself. I would be thankful if you could understand even if I’m loud. I will become calm soon. Because my blood type is O, if I receive many people’s criticism at once, I get really hurt. Please look after me well in the future.
Check out EXO’s individual member spreads, group images, and fun image collages below.
Formed in Seoul in 2006, the trio of Galaxy Express composed of Lee Ju Hyun (vocals, bass), Park Jong Hyun (vocals, guitar) and Kim Hee Kwon (drums) quickly attracted attention with their infectious blend of tightly wound garage rock, punk, psychedelic sounds and explosive performances. They have released four EPs and 3 albums which all grabbed some prestigious awards on Korean soil. Galaxy Express has held tours in America and played in various international festivals. They are now at the forefront of the Korean indie rock scene and became one of its most critically acclaimed acts.
Hellokpop had the opportunity to meet with them at Tunbridge Wells, Kent, just hours before they officially kick off their first UK tour as part of the Korea Rocks Tour sponsored by Hyundai Card Music.
UK Tour, Expansion and Korean Indie Rock
How was your flight?
Jong Hyun: 12 hours, it’s really horrible. We want to buy a personal airplane. (laughs)
Well it’s still going to be 12 hours though. (laughs).Is this your first UK tour?
Ju Hyun: Yes, first time, first day.
How is this tour important to you?
Jong Hyun: This is our very first time in the UK and we love to meet new people, travel to new places and gain potential new fans.
Hee Kwon: We want to see what the local scene is like. There is a lot of competition for indie rock here.
You have won a few awards in the past in Korea, could you tell our readers how popular you are today?
Jong Hyun: We’re not mainstream. We only have a couple of TV shows, on KBS, Music Bank.
How was it?
Jong Hyun: It’s quite unfriendly. They’re not the biggest fans of rock music.
Did you actually play your instruments?
Jong Hyun: Yeah.
Ju Hyun: We did, but they usually don’t like it when an artist plays his own music.
Why rock as a genre isn’t that popular in Korea?
Jong Hyun: Actually, rock was really popular in Korea in the 60′s and 70′s, but then a new president came who controlled all the culture; TV, magazine and radio. It was quite crazy. Because of that, the rock history had been cut. The acts had to play underground with no access to TV shows or being able to do big concerts. People could not hear Korean rock music anymore though Western rock music was still accessible. But now, with the internet and media trying to introduce rock music, it starts to get more attention. I think people are growing sick of dance music as it seems to be always been the same old thing; that’s why, I think.
Do people recognize you when you walk in the streets?
Jong Hyun: Not much. Maybe in Hongdae. However music lovers sometimes recognize us and it’s nice.
How would you describe your relationship with your fans?
Jong Hyun: We play a lot in Hongdae so they come to our shows, week after week, on week days. We’re very open to them. We communicate a lot.
Ju Hyun: Especially through the internet; on twitter mostly.
Jong Hyun: But we’re not Kpop stars. (laughs)
What do you think about Kpop popularity abroad right now? Do you think it can positively or negatively affect you?
Jong Hyun: We don’t really care about that. But we don’t hate Kpop, we think it’s good.
Ju Hyun: It’s really sexy. (laughs)
Jong Hyun: Because of Kpop, they are now many international websites seeking to interview us, like hellokpop. Although we belong to another kind of music, it does bring us some attention.
From our point of view as international audience, we look at Korean music and we see Kpop expanding into genres, embracing all its artists at once and not just one or a few isolated ones. Is there a similar process for Korean indie music?
Hee Kwon: It’s not very different; we’re trying to expand together, but it’s more difficult because we don’t have facilities to promote ourselves through videos.
Jong Hyun: As we said earlier, TV stations usually don’t like rock music because it is A LOT of technical work for them to make rock music come to live on air. But it’s getting better. There are new live music programs, new cable channels trying to promote rock music, and live music as whole.
As you are expanding in the Western world, are you more concerned about meeting critical acclaim or reaching big audiences regardless of what the Western press might think of you?
Jong Hyun: Well, we want to win audiences musically with our own quality. We hope to meet critical acclaim. We want to be a rock and roll band, and we want to work hard for it.
How important is it to expand out of Korea for you?
Jong Hyun: We live in Korea so we think Koreans are first. But we also want to make new international fans because we are not that welcomed in Korea. If we get a lot of international fans, Korean people might wonder why? What’s going on with that group? We want to keep up with our international audiences so we keep working in the UK or America. We visit the South By Southwest (SXSW) every year; this year was our third. We don’t want to stop that process. We want to keep introducing our music to new people.
Music and Dreams
Do you have any British influences in your music?
Jong Hyun: We love many classic rock groups: Led Zeppelin…
Hee Kwon: Sex Pistols.
Jong Hyun: We used to be a punk group so we like many groups like the Sex Pistols or the Clash.
On the top of your head, what are your favourite songs?
Jong Hyun: The whole albums! Any song from Anarchy In The UK, God Save The Queen…
Ju Hyun: London Calling.
Jong Hyun: Rock the Casbah.
You named those bands like the Sex Pistols or the Clash, that owe a good deal of their fame due to their controversial attitude. What are your views on that from your personal point of view?
Jong Hyun: For us it’s just music; we don’t think of any other ways like creating scandals to get bigger. It’s just the music for us.
Hee Kwon: Now there’s the internet and it’s a good tool to introduce our music to fans. We’re going to make more albums.
Jong Hyun: It’s hard in every country to keep a band alive, very hard. A lot of Korean artists are gone after one album. It’s getting harder, I think in every country, but sometimes I feel like a rest. We play underground and do a lot of shows but we’re music lovers and always been so.
Are you satisfied with your sound now or are you going to take new directions in the future?
Jong Hyun: We want to do more. We produce all our albums now but we’re interested in working with some good producers, some good guys.
If you could describe your sound in one image, what would it be?
Ju Hyun: Like a rocket, a rocket firing to space.
Jong Hyun: We made a new album and I think the jacket for this eponymous album represents us quite well. It’s very primal, wild, and instinctive (see jacket below).
Do you have a specific plan in mind when you create new music?
Ju Hyun: We share our ideas, and try to find the structure together.
Hee Kwon: We like to jam naturally.
Jong Hyun: We have a very ambient way of creating new music.
What genres of music do you like, aside from rock?
Jong Hyun: Basically rock. (laughs)
Hee Kwon: Movie soundtracks.
Ju Hyun: We like classical music.
Jong Hyun: And Kpop music as well. There is some good Kpop music. And we also like old Korean songs.
Last year, the Koxx produced a song for Myrio and one for 4Minute; if an idol company approaches you to produce a song, would you consider it?
Jong Hyun: Yeah, I think we can, for the big money (laughs). But I want to do it… musically. I want to communicate my vision. I’ve got to pass on my vision otherwise I’m not interested.
Do you consider producing for other groups, Jong Hyun?
Jong Hyun: Not right now. Right now all I want is my band (smile).
What are your goals as a group?
Jong Hyun: We want to get bigger.
Ju Hyun: By making better albums, better music; we think that’s the key.
Hee Kwon: And doing many lives. Many, many lives. (laughs)
Jong Hyun: We want to get bigger but music comes first for us. Making a lot of money or not we’re gonna make music for a long time. That’s our dream: to play music for a long time.
Ju Hyun: Our fanbase is important for us and we want to keep going with them.
Despite the language barrier and unexpected questions which were honestly answered, this was indeed a valuable interview in which our readers can now learned more about Galaxy Express. I would like to thank the band for granting hellokpop such a rare opportunity to sit down and talk about rock music. We wish them the greatest success in wrapping up their first UK tour and their future development.
You can read the following stories from the Korea Rocks Tour at Tunbridge Wells:
Coverage provided by Marty M.
PR/Technical Assistance provided by Nicole@hellokpop.com
K-pop is an extremely competitive genre, a small country with a population of merely 50 million people produces new artists literally almost every day. The industry is like a ruthless stepmother: once you make a serious mistake, it might cost you your career and more. Career ups and downs are normal in an artist’s life but in K-pop, once you reached the lowest part, it is very difficult to climb up the mountain again. Ultimate K-pop Survival Guide will be a short series on artists who have managed to turn their failing career from point zero back again or who had gone through a lot of hardships and still managed to remain successful. Not only rookie artists but we, the audience, can also learn a lot from them.
Avoid them as if they were lepers
The first installment of the series is dedicated to perhaps the biggest survivors of the dark side of K-pop: JYJ. Everyone knows what they have been through, but it doesn’t hurt to summarize and focus on how they actually managed to cope with the situation.
For the uninitiated: once there had been an idol band we can possibly call one of the greatest successes of K-pop ever: Dong Bang Shin Ki, or by their English abbreviation, TVXQ. The five-member boyband, consisting of Jaejoong, Yunho, Yoochun, Junsu and Changmin, was among the first successful wave of K-pop to set foot in Japan, and with blood and tears, they worked their way up the ladder, from performing to a mere handful of fans to filling the 50,000 seat Tokyo Dome in rows. Their fandom, Cassiopeia, was certified by the Guinness Book of Records for being the largest official fan club in the world. They reached unimaginable heights in Asia, thus their break-up was probably one of the biggest shocking events ever to shake the world of K-pop. Not because boybands are supposed to last forever, but because they were at the height of their careers and were known to be close to each other. When the news broke out that Jaejoong, Yoochun and Junsu started a lawsuit against their agency, S.M. Entertainment, to nullify their 13-year contract. At first, everyone hoped there could be a settlement, but in October 2009 the Seoul court ruled in favor of JYJ, and as a result, the Fair Trade Commission started advocating the use of ‘model contracts’ to prevent agencies from having artists sign excessive deals.
Though the social impact of their lawsuit was huge, industry players were forced to rethink the ways they were treating their artists, and JYJ emerged as a moral winner, the real hardships were to begin just then. S.M. Entertainment appealed against the court decision and a three year desperate battle took off. Not long after JYJ announced the establishment of their new band, their initial supporter in Japan, Avex, suddenly had a change of heart, claiming sole rights to manage the band in Japan, dismissing claims that JYJ’s new management company, C-JeS Entertainment, had any rights to organize events for the band on Japanese grounds. They too, ended up in a long lawsuit, during which JYJ was denied any kind of rights to perform in Japan. At the same time, all doors in Korea closed as well. The industry suddenly started treating the three young men as if they had leprosy. In silent agreement, major broadcasting stations denied them appearances as musicians. Some were claiming that they did not wish to get entangled in court related issues.
At the time, we had no one to speak for us, and we could do nothing but silently stand our ground - Kim Jaejoong
C-JeS Entertainment thus had to build a different strategy to promote JYJ. With no possibilities to appear on televised music shows and variety programs, the usual promotion cycle was out of question. The possibility of failure also lingered in the air, with the artists preparing themselves for the worst; that they might not be able to stand on stage again.
The rules of survival for JYJ were as follows:
1. Keep silent. Despite the constant rumors, the extensive media coverage, part of the torn fandom accusing them of betrayal, former label mates openly criticising them for their decision, JYJ kept silent. As they expressed in their 1000 day anniversary magazine, they decided to work silently and not be shaken by accusations and rumors.
2. If you cannot enter through the door, climb through the window. As they were denied the chance to promote through television, JYJ had to look for other ways of reaching their audience. They started separate activities, Yoochun and Jaejoong became involved in television dramas and movies, gaining wide followings as actors. Junsu began to appear in musicals and in a mere three years’ time, he went from being looked at as a ‘box office bringing tool’ to a highly praised and critically acclaimed musical actor on his own right. When the nation’s main broadcasters were not willing to talk to them as musicians, ironically, they became the sweethearts of the government, appointed as goodwill ambassadors and promoters of national and international scale events like the 2014 Asian Games, and were among the few selected artists invited to perform at President Park Geun-hye’s inauguration. The latter marked their first televised performance in three years in their home country. When local record labels were unwilling to assist, they went to the US and started working with American producers, despite their lack of English skills.
3. No regrets, no complaints. In their 1000 day anniversary magazine, the band members expressed that despite all the hardships, they did not regret their decision, not once. Having faith in your decisions is important for obtaining and maintaining the strength necessary to survive. They have also never complained of unfair treatment or the lack of opportunities because of the silent ban in Korea and Japan. They just did what they had to do: work hard and smile. I believe that having a positive attitude and being able to smile at their fans was an important factor in their success. Instead of giving in to striking waves of depression and self-pity, they rose above hard times by sticking together and supporting each other.
4. Don’t lose your trust. When unfortunate events happen, one can easily feel they are no longer able to trust other people. JYJ, too, had gone through this period. When Baek Chang-ju offered his help in 2009, they did not trust him, it took them months to open up and accept his helping hand. C-JeS Entertainment was established exclusively to steer JYJ’s boat through troubled waters and it went from a one person venture to a serious agency that employs over 40 people with sales amounting to 33 billion won (roughly 30 million USD) in only two years’ time.
JYJ’s legal fights have just recently ended, but their battle is far from being over yet. Broadcasting stations are still treading carefully. Despite all the unfortunate events that had befallen them (appearances denied, concerts cancelled last minute, accusations, rumors, some of their own fans turning their backs on the band), JYJ never once gave up.
Their album, In Heaven, sold over 350,000 copies, Junsu’s Tarantallegra was one of the most successful solo albums of 2012 despite lacking in promotion, both JYJ’s and Junsu’s solo world tours were completely sold out. Their Tokyo Dome comeback concert in April 2013 had successfully wrapped up and attracted 210,000 people altogether.
Besides part of the Cassiopeia fandom still supporting them as much as they also support the duo TVXQ, JYJ gained a firm and enthusiastic new fan base as well, through their numerous group and individual activities. Jaejoong’s limited edition mini album became a huge success, Yoochun is virtually the most successful idol actor on the market and Junsu cemented his name as one of the best singers ever born in Korea. They are wealthier than most artists under their former agency, including their former band members Yunho and Changmin.
Were they lucky? I would not think so. Many of us would have given up such a grueling and frankly, seemingly hopeless battle against giant obstacles. What we can learn from JYJ is that you need to keep your faith, grind your teeth, work hard and believe in your own abilities. Only then will you be able to turn all unfortunate events into glistening success.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely of the writer and not of hellokpop as a whole.
Banner created by Sovany Nguon
Photo source: AfterJae
We’ve all heard stories about life being a K-pop star, but the K-pop industry is tough and you may or may not want to pursue it after reading this.
How to be a K-pop star?
With agencies churning out rookies one after another, one might pose the question: what is exactly needed to be a K-pop idol? If you aspire to follow your bias into the music industry, here is what you need, based on the analysis of contemporary singers.
BOYS WILL BE BOYS … or maybe not
If we were to become a pop star 15-20 years ago, it would have been the macho type of male. You know, be manly, sweat like a horse, be hairy and have a deep, deep voice or at least a very masculine one. Sort of a second Freddie Mercury. Nowadays, however, the trend is for boys to be more … ambiguous. Girly, even. If you cannot sing, you better be a good dancer – or a rapper.
You have two choices. If you are a more feminine type, you don’t need abs. They will be delighted to look at your face only. If you are a more masculine type, abs are unavoidable. Be prepared for long hours in the gym. Then there are the mixed types, the baby faces with a body builder’s muscles. Those are the freakiest, frankly.
The uninitiated would never be able to tell he’s a boy (Ren from Nu’est).
POLES FOR PIN-UP GIRLS
As for the girls, besides being perfectly pretty, you have to be thin. Some agencies time and time again try to launch bands or singers who do not look like the average pole thin beauty – these are the rare exceptions (like Big Mama or Lee Hi). Long legs are a must, as basically every girl band goes for the shortest possible outfits. Curiously enough, it seems like you cannot have your upper body revealed, so tops and shirts would always be high or as closed as possible, but legs can be shown as much as you like. The requirement nowadays seems to be a double standard for girls; you need to be cute-innocent and bitchy sexy at the same time. Preferably, you should sing like a 12 year old and dance like a stripper, at the same time.
Girls bring the… legs out… (Girls’ Generation)
Be young. Well, above 15 but preferably below 25. Agencies are not very much known for recruiting “mature” men and women. Probably because kids are still formidable and easier to govern. If you are lucky you may be in the business for a long time, like Shinhwa, and then your age would not really matter much. But for starters, if you are 30, it will be difficult to sell you to predominantly teen audiences.
Cutesiness or aegyo is what a new K-pop idol should be capable of. Even those macho rappers show their tender sides from time to time. But don’t be extreme. Syrupy aegyo will be too much for foreign audiences. If someone is naturally cute in certain situations, that can be a big plus in endearing themselves to people. Overflowing aegyo may have reverse effects with older audiences. If you strive to engage a wider audience, you need to know when to do aegyo. If you are fine with 12 year olds or uncle fans only, just do it.
Some stars are simply not suited for aegyo… (Yunho)
You have to be fashionable, though some newbies might take it to the extremes in the company’s desperate attempt to ‘stand out’. Some stars, like G-Dragon are able to pull of the most extreme fashion styles and look good even in a potato sack but you need to keep in mind that this requires a certain natural personality. If you are only trying to look cool in certain fashion items, it will show. The best is to harmonize your fashion with your personality. Some agencies have concepts for artists and you might need to wear items you are uncomfortable with, just to build up an image. In the long run, fake images will be destroyed one way or another. Take Jaejoong for example, whose initial image was an Ice Prince dressed in ridiculous otherworldly clothes. Soon fans learned the guy is far from being icy.
The Ice Prince image forever shattered… and we all love him for his goofy side, don’t we?
You have to have a pretty face. No more Shindongs in the industry. It’s very rare for agencies to give a chance to guys like Shindong. The trend shows that you have to be very pretty and if you are not, either you are not accepted or told to go under the knife. For sceptics, do you really think every K-pop idol is born with a perfect ratio face? Currently there are more than 200 active K-pop bands on the market, with an average of five members. A thousand naturally perfect faces?
Have some talent. Truth is you don’t have to be the next Michael Jackson or Jennifer Lopez to be discovered by a K-pop agency. As demonstrated by some of the newest rookies, it is not necessary to possess the best singing skills. Some bands employ one or two members who actually can sing, and they are given the most difficult parts. The rest can sing whatever they can, and there is always autotune to help out. Very few bands are capable of delivering a live performance without pre-recorded audio. Dance skills can be basic too, as the company will always select some members who are great dancers, and they will pull it off in a way you won’t notice that the rest are just doing basic formation routines. Of course this is not always the case, as some agencies (big or indie) prefer talent over everything else. If you are very talented and happen to be pretty (or don’t mind if they make you pretty), you have bigger chances to become really famous and admired.
Endurance and patience are key words in the industry. Even if you are perfectly pretty and gifted as a singer/dancer, if you cannot endure harsh environments and slave work, you better not dream about becoming a K-pop star. Even though training periods have radically gone down compared to what had been the norm before, training is still nerve-wrecking. Trainees work long hours, besides going to school, and they need to deal with the mental hardships of rude criticism from their trainers. Even after debuting you might work your buttocks off and not be paid (well enough) for a certain period of time until your performances pay the investment back to your agency. Cramped in idol dorms, you might need to live like this for years before you would be able to afford to buy a flat. If you happen to be cast in an average band, you might not be able to earn as much as you dreamt about.
Is the K-Pop industry too tough? Let us know about your thoughts in the comments.
Be smart. If you are not smart, you will quickly end your career with any stupid move. Where trainees abound like a flock of sheep, you are quickly replaceable. Think before you act and keep in mind that the whole world is watching you. You are an idol, literally speaking: a role model for young fans. What you do, how you speak and how you act affects ductile young followers. Don’t underestimate this!
Fame doesn’t last forever. At least, not in K-pop, where bands come and go and can easily be forgotten. Don’t neglect your studies, you might need that degree 10 years later when nobody remembers your face anymore. Even the most famous and richest idols plan ahead, they invest their hard-earned money for their future. They buy property, they open shops, restaurants or otherwise build up a business, so they have an income after fading out as an idol.
Smart boy: Junsu is known to be the richest idol in terms of real estate property.
Be versatile. Nowadays, if a K-pop idol is merely a singer or a dancer, it is difficult to compete with look-alikes and the constant stream of up-and-coming rookies. There is not a minute of rest in K-pop. Many idols seek opportunities in variety shows, television dramas and movies, because the more feet you stand on, the more stable you are, and the more visible you become to industry leaders and the audience alike. True, as my colleague Brandi pointed out, this carries the danger that you are not able to focus on one area of expertise and become superficially trained in multiple crafts. On the other hand, competition is so huge nowadays that K-pop idols need to grab whatever opportunity comes along, simply to stay alive. The luckiest will achieve new heights this way, like Yoochun did, others will stumble and fall. Like a natural selection process.
Be emotionally stable. It’s difficult. It’s difficult when you have to keep up the pace, follow strict schedules, fight sasaeng fans, deal with constant criticism, and you cannot see your family as often as your soul would need, either. You will be tired, and you will eventually face depression. Even some of the biggest stars have to go through this phase now and again. Have friends you can confide in. Keep your original surroundings as much as you can, try to stay on the ground and play it cool. If you take things too seriously, that’s going to have a toll on your mental stability. We all know about the celebrities who committed suicide because they were no longer able to cope. Seek professional advice if you feel down. It’s not very much accepted in Korea but you have to think of your own health and not what others think is right.
Kim Hyun-joong tells how friendship helps him cope with stress.
Eat well! In the desperate fight for survival in the industry, many K-pop idols resort to torturing diets and workout programs. Unfortunately, many girls as well as boys feel they need to be pole thin to be pretty. This comes down to the stupidity of the ‘fans’, actually, who point out even the slightest weight gain, even if the person is not overweight or unhealthy looking at all. But as public figures, K-pop stars are the ones who can change this. If they advocate healthier diets that show a balance, eventually fans will approve. If the idol resorts to eating almost nothing for weeks, fans will think this is the normal way to live.
Would you still want to be a K-pop star? Let us know about your thoughts in the comments.
We all know that K-pop stars maintain their figures by dieting and this has sparked a number of articles already. But while we mostly tend to associate dieting with great figures for women, it is easily forgotten that male stars also need to maintain their bodies. They do this not only by working out in the gym like crazy, but also by adhering to strict diets, just like the ladies do.
I personally believe that the crazy dieting trend of K-pop is bad. It’s bad because it gives all the wrong impressions to gullible teenagers, and distorts their own body image. Yes, being pretty or breathtakingly muscular is what everyone wants to achieve, but it’s important to note that you can do it without torturing your body too. It will take longer, of course, and that is why celebrities turn to ruthless diet programs, because they yield results faster. K-pop is an extremely competitive industry, where artists have back-to-back schedules and new projects follow each other like ducklings at the waterside. They might need to launch a new image every six months or so; a new comeback, a new TV series, or a new endorsement (you name it) may require them to lose or gain weight or work out more. This doesn’t mean that you need to follow them blindly yourself. You can bet that while they smile into the camera they go through hell at home to maintain that body.
Back to the guys now. From time to time, we read snippets of news about guys dieting, but they don’t get as much attention as girls do. Probably because we think men are tougher, and thus it is easier for them to go through the hardships of dieting. Well, ask a guy his opinion. Guys I know like eating, and I love a guy who knows how to eat well. It’s just… manly. When a guy needs to give up his regular delicious Korean food for eating nuts, fruits and a diet shake, like J.Y. Park did, you can bet it is difficult. If my husband did this to himself, I would be heartbroken for sure. You can’t live on nuts for weeks. Others also followed strict diets to achieve or maintain their admired chocolate abs. 2PM‘s Junho lived on a meal comprising of steamed cabbage, sweet potato and one tiny chicken breast – once a day. Sure, we all love his abs, but one meal a day?
A famous dieting no-no is what Rain did to his body back when he was preparing for his role in the movie Ninja Assassin. He talked extensively about how he had to stick to eating salmon or chicken breast with eggs and nuts for months, without sugar and salt, along with training day and night. The result was breathtaking, but it sure did involve a lot suffering and nerves of iron to achieve.
Rain shows his diet during the shooting of Ninja Assassin. (From 6:00)
For me, one of the most shocking weight losses recently was Kim Jaejoong‘s, especially because he is known to be a big eater, who loves to cook and eats like a healthy Korean guy would eat. He loves his tummy, period. Roughly a month and a half ago he posted a photo on his Twitter, where his scale read 57 kgs (126 lbs). That’s extremely thin for a guy standing at a 180 cm in height. Even though there is no news about him being on a diet, and stress and hectic schedules might account for some of his weight loss, I doubt he would be this stressed. Especially since his individual and band activities are all going well recently, and he enjoys much more personal and artistic freedom compared to idols under big company contracts. Now he has gained around 4 kgs, but that is still far from what a guy of his height should normally weigh.
Jaejoong in February 2013. His skinniness looks terrifying.
Dieting is OK to a point. We have all done it, or will do it at some point in our lives, although not everyone needs it. These men, who have breathtaking bodies anyway, certainly do not need to lose more weight. Of course, you could argue that the industry demands it, that they do it for their roles in movies (like Hyun Bin lost 8 kgs for Secret Garden), that they want to present better images of themselves - but this is still not healthy. When you are slim and brawny already, and you decide to lose more weight, it’s not what your sane doctor would approve of, unless you pay him to shut his mouth. What I worry about is the reactions of netizens to such diets, be it male or female celebrities. Many young girls take these idols as idols, as in: examples to follow. Artists and management alike should be more conscious about what they represent and what enormous influence they have on youngsters’ lives.
Don’t be excessive in your diets. Just because your bias started shredding kilos for whatever reason, it doesn’t mean that you need to follow along. Healthy meals, regular exercise, less sugar and more veggies – this is all you need to look good.