OMG! The members of Block B work in the entertainment industry!

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I’ve been getting, like, a bazillion searches lately aaallllll about the various members of Block B and have! they! had! plastic! surgery!?!

It more or less started when this aired (go to the 3:50 mark):

 Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 2.32.51 PM 1 Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 2.32.55 PM 1Screen Shot 2016-06-05 at 2.32.59 PM 1

Which is hardly the first time someone in Block B has copped to and/or joked about cosmetic procedures.

(The 4:00 mark)

(The 4:00 mark)

If you get tired of that, you can always discover to your shock that the members of Block B diet, often, and even take pills to help! OMG!

If you get tired of that, you can realize that they usually wear heavy makeup and are shot through filters and then the resulting images are Photoshopped!!! Their vocal quality is affected by production!!!! There is truly no end to the perfidy!!!!!!

You know, my father was a doctor, I covered health care, and I have some pretty adamant beliefs about unnecessary surgical procedures. I freely admit that it bugs the shit out of me that performers in K-Pop are forced to have plastic surgery, because you’re removing medical decision-making authority from the person who has to undergo the risks and the pain of the procedure, and that to me is simply unethical.

And I feel like people who perform surgical procedures (be they cosmetic or not) tend to downplay the risks, because hello, that’s how they make a living. (A few years ago where I live, they were playing radio ads for bariatric surgery that implied that diet and exercise were, you know, too much work if you wanted to lose weight. Because abdominal surgery that will forever impair your ability to absorb certain nutrients is most definitely the easy choice. And don’t get me started on the overuse of Cesarean sections and induced labor–we’ll be here all day.) That makes me rather skeptical that, for example, P.O knew he was potentially signing up for a lifetime of pain while eating when he had his teeth done.

But the “concern” many K-Pop fans seem to show about plastic surgery and dieting at best is profoundly unrealistic (and at worst is a transparent effort to make the fan feel about themselves better by shitting on someone else). It’s fine for me to not give a fuck about how I look, but that’s not actually OK for anybody in any field where appearance matters. And if you perform, appearance matters a great deal.

When I was in graduate school I used to joke that you could kidnap a random person off the street, throw them into NYU’s journalism department, demand that they immediately identify the people who worked in television–and they would be able to do it. Regular manicures, full face makeup, dry cleaned clothing, and perfectly coiffed hair were de rigueur–and that’s just to report news.

For us slobs in print all that work on our looks would be overkill, but so what? No audience was watching us, and it would have been really douchey and idiotic of me to, say, walk around the broadcast journalism department waggling my finger and lecturing the people there about how they needed to accept themselves for who they were. These people were not spending hours getting ready every morning and constantly watching their weight because they lacked self-esteem (and things like getting permanent makeup done can save you lots of time when that’s your lifestyle).

It’s not like we print people were any less unhealthy. What do writers do? They sit. A lot. Sitting a lot has some very negative health ramifications–I for one first developed varicose veins when I was in my 20s, and to this day I wear braces when I type because my wrists are fucked up.

Obviously, like most people, I do my best to manage the health issues caused by my choice of vocation. What’s not helpful is a bunch of lectures from keyboard nannies who have no idea of what’s involved in what I do. You probably will never have to be as focused on your appearance as the members of Block B are–good for you. Don’t borrow trouble. But also don’t act like the fact that you don’t face the same pressures as somebody else makes you a better sort of person.

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9 responses »

  1. The way people went on about Jaehyo’s diet, I thought, how about all of you get some exercise and cut a few carbs for a change? Get some inspiration! I know I did just because he was so calm on his one meal a day. He did that entire V App without eating until they got to dinner. And even then, he ate calmly. So, he’s obviously doing well on that regimen.

    And while I’ll never agree on jaw-shaving for people without a deformity because*horrifying*, I’ve learnt to accept there’s an obsession with small faces in SK, and it’s cultural, and one can only accept it.

    • If people were upset over Jaehyo’s actual diet, that would be one thing, but it’s all about the ENTIRELY IMAGINARY beer/breadcrumbs/salt regime–like, JFC, get a life. I would buy the concern as genuine if it wasn’t so aggressively counter-factual.

      There’s a Korean-American model who tried to break into the Korean market, and the list of procedures she was told she “had” to have was mind-boggling–if memory serves it included having her legs broken and made longer, which is notoriously excruciating. Of course she wound up doing fine without all that. But definitely there’s a mentality that no one will ever say no, so why not go for the most-extreme procedure? Shaving and lipo and broken legs!

      People insist that Kyung had his jaw shaved, but I think it’s pretty obvious from the way it moved around that he had his jaw reset, not shaved. But of course that involved a year of looking funny before it settled into place, so most labels would want the faster-but-more-dangerous option.

      • They went on on twitter about how he didn’t eat enough, that he wasn’t drinking any water at all – I pointed out to a few that he couldn’t have survived not having any water at all, and only one grudgingly accepted because bias confirmation is hard to lose – and, while I didn’t see the craziness you did, what I did see was overly-hysterical enough. 🙂

        I heard about that Korean-American model too. Her name escapes me right now, but she is lovely, and anyone who wanted her to change must be blind. Then again, Hollywood actresses go through changes like this too.

        I didn’t know about jaw-reset surgery. Good for Kyung getting appropriate medical work done as opposed to unnecessary plastic surgery.

        • There were some desperate efforts to make A Thing of it on Tumblr–when it became, “No one cares about eating disorders except for MEEEEEE!!!! MARRY ME JAEHYO OPPAR I’M THE ONLY ONE WHO CARES ABOUT YOU ALL THE REST ARE BITCHES!!” I rediscovered the ignore button. The funniest bit was that someone wrote The Oniontaker about it, and he was like, “??? But…that…makes…NO…sense…as…a…diet.” I was like, Thank God, someone else who knows the first thing about water retention!

          I think both with Hollywood and Korea, they push one look, and you get told that you must be standardized (and pay them lots of money) or you won’t have a chance. But then no one can tell you apart from anyone else, so…. That model finally did get a big campaign in Asia specifically because she looked different!

          Obviously I have no insider knowledge regarding what Kyung has or has not had done, but it looks to me like his jaw was shoved back and then brought forward into place–otherwise it would have to be that he had it shaved, then had it built up again, which seems like a lot of effort. Plus I think that’s his “I didn’t have plastic surgery” fig leaf (although I’d bet money he had his eyes done before his debut).

          • I’m sure Kyung had his eyes done. They look different from his childhood pictures where they looked smaller in proportion to his face whereas they should’ve looked much bigger.

            That model: I looked her up back when I’d heard of her, maybe it was on the Beyond Hallyu site, and she looked to me what a natural East Asian beauty would’ve looked like. As in, perhaps that’s what Jang Heebin (Korea’s Anne Boleyn) would’ve looked like.

            Jaehyo Oppar only needs to marry me. I’ll let him develop his abs all he wants. 😉

    • I remember the “Jaehyo diet incident,” but I think the freakout was mainly due to how miserable he seemed during that solo v-app broadcast before his photoshoot. (Though misinformation was a factor, too). If he’d been all chipper, I doubt people would have reacted as dramatically as they did. The subtext of his broadcast was that he was enduring a miserable diet to make fans happy, and a lot of folks realized they didn’t want to see Oppar openly broadcasting his misery.

      Yep, double standard – you want Oppar to be more beautiful but you don’t want to hear about the hardships he had to undergo to get there.

      • Ironically, his misery calmed my concern–he was so obviously eager to be DONE with it, I worry more about the people who claim to absolutely adore fasting (it makes you so lightheaded and happy–whee! you’re right up there with the angels).

        But I agree–most people don’t want to know what goes into making pretty pictures. At all.

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