Scandals in KPop part 2

Posted on February 5, 2011


Are you ready for part two of this ‘scandalous’ post? You can read part 1 of this post HERE if you’ve not yet!

Plastic surgery

If I said that Korea was a land of plastic surgery, would you feel offended? If so then, before you read this post, let it be known that I don’t mean to offend and am merely passing on a few things I’ve learnt about the topic.

In a past thread “Korean ideas of beauty,” I briefly wrote about plastic surgery in Korean culture and pinpointed some of the most common procedures undertaken there; for this post- I’m going to delve a bit deeper and look at the ‘scandal’ of plastic surgery (as well as other scandals) in the Kpop industry!

In a place where students can get discount vouchers for surgical procedures before they go to University or getting a few tweaks to get ‘double eyelids’ isn’t given a second glance- it’s still a bit surprising when you find the media digging up past photos of celebrities and trying to find out if they’ve had a few tweaks or not.


Singer Solbi admitted to having had plastic surgery

Singer Solbi, is one of the most recent and notorious examples of someone having faced a plastic surgery scandal, after (bravely) admitting to having had numerous procedures and expressing her regret in doing so. The connotations of ‘Solbi’ and ‘plastic surgery’ became so strong that, in order to appease her managements worries on the matter, she signed a clause in her contract stating that she wouldn’t have any more procedures done. The outcome of her confessions was interesting; prior to admitted to having had any surgery, she faced criticism from the public for her changing face but after confessing all, the public felt sorry for the guilt and pressures she must have felt for having to get the procedures done in the first place.

It seems that no young starlet can avoid the plastic surgery spotlight; just googling the names of any KPop girl group or singer and the words “plastic surgery” or even the words “pre-debut,” will bring up interesting thread topics on who still has a ‘genuine’ face- it all makes for a very interesting read and is something I highly recommend you do if you want to know more on the topic.

Gambling and draft dodging (avoiding military enlistment)

I was going to break this section into two parts and write about each scandal with an example each- but, in recent memory, there has been one singer who has faced both these scandals; in 2010, a lawsuit was brought against Rain, with the main accusations against him being that he owed an old acquaintance Andrew Kim $150,000 (money he had borrowed to feed a gambling addiction he had taken up during the US leg of his 2006 world tour) and that he had sought Mr Kim’s helped in acquiring an American green card in order to avoid having to enlist in the military for 2011. After such accusations, everything snowballed and talk of international money laundering was also put forth. Evidence to support such accusations included statements from the management team who handled the tour who confirmed Rain’s gambling trips to Las Vegas, confirmation from the Ballagio hotel (where the gambling is said to have taken place) that he had gambled there and documents from the lawsuit with details of everything Mr Kim had to say on the matter.

Rain’s management J Tune, reacted to the lawsuit with a statement saying that whilst he had gambled once or twice during his time in the US he didn’t have a gambling addiction and therefore no need to borrow such an amount of money. Furthermore, they stated that they felt things had been blown out of proportion because, whilst he might have bet $1000 in a week, it was not substantial enough to have brought about such negative press attention. Rain personally reacted to the claims by filing a $300,000 lawsuit against the newspaper Sports Seoul and the journalists who broke the news- claiming that they had put forth a one sided story which had tainted his name and image. Resolution on the issue of draft dodging was brought about a few months later when it was confirmed that Rain would be starting his military enlistment in 2011.

Since the lawsuit was brought against Rain and consequently the statements from his management team, I’ve not heard an inkling on any further outcome on the matter. Perhaps it’ll take years to be sorted out if Rain’s past lawsuit for his failed US tour is to go by.


Shin Jung Hwan and MC Mong's scandals have people waiting on bated breath for the outcome

In most cases these scandals seem trivial and amuse the curiosity of the common everyday person who looks into it. And whilst, what can be classed as a ‘scandal’ in KPop might differ to other countries, some things remain universal- the reactions garnered from such stories and the ways that they are resolved. Like TV entertainer Shin Jung Hwan’s recent return to Korea after his gambling debt problems and MC Mong’s draft dodging issues- these are just two (of hundreds of) stories with people following and waiting on bated breath for the outcome- which probably seems more daunting for a celebrity than of a scandal actually coming to light.

Source: MTVK,, All KPop,,


Posted in: K-Pop Newbie