Jaehyo decided to freak everyone the hell out by doing a video where he explains his insane diet to be on the cover of the Korean Men’s Health.
I do recommend actually watching the video yourself. What he talks about is very, very unhealthy–he says that he hasn’t had any water in four days and has no energy, and I do think he looks too thin. But since it’s K-Pop everything is getting massively exaggerated, so that when he says:
That gets transmogrified into him being forced to drink nothing but beer or alcohol for four days. Because beer is suddenly a diet drink. (And did he really not drink any water for four days? If you look at this video at the 8:10 mark, he says he’s been restricting his water intake, not eliminating it entirely.)
Also when he refers to his meal before the shoot:
It becomes that he had to live off salt and breadcrumbs for days on end (a diet that would actually kill him).
So, what was he doing?
Jaehyo was engaged in something that is pretty typical before men’s modeling shoots. The idea is to make the muscles stand out, so water is restricted. Then just before the shoot, the model eats carbs and salt (and works out–you can see Jaehyo start that at the end of the first clip) to make the muscles really pop.
Here’s an account of John Krasinski’s buffing up for a movie, which appeared originally in the U.S. edition of, you guessed it, Men’s Health.
The trick for those shirtless scenes? His trainer curtailed Krasinski’s carb intake for weeks, also cutting fluids the night before the shoot so he was a bit dehydrated. But the real secret, Walsh admits, is one popular among bodybuilders—Krasinski would eat sorbet right before shooting, because the sugar would cause his muscles to swell.
Are you getting the feeling that Men’s Health is not really about, you know, men’s health? Have you ever read Shape or any other of the women’s so-called health magazines? Yeah–these magazines are not about health, they are about appearance.
And they’re about how you appear in photographs. I lived in New York City for 14 years, and I’ll tell you, a lot of models who look great in photographs look like shit when you see them on the street–underweight and gawky. The aspirational “health” photographs sell magazines, but what the models do to get that look is not necessarily something most people want to do in their everyday lives.
I do hope that Jaehyo decides that this really wasn’t worthwhile (he does seem pretty miserable), but of course it’s his career, and he’s in an industry that really does not care about healthy weight loss (and let’s not pretend the entertainment industry anywhere else is any better).
He is at least getting some concern from the other members.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, U-Kwon ate half a cake all by himself, and then followed it up with noodles and sandwiches.
Anyway, hopefully Jaehyo will make healthier choices in the future. You can’t look 19 forever–and that’s OK.
ETA: The pictures came out.
And Jaehyo looks great and totally healthy, even though he looked pretty grim in the V App. That’s how modeling works. What doesn’t necessarily look so hot in real life can look terrific in photographs.
And if you like beefcake, now you know how it’s done. Welcome to the sausage factory!