Today’s pop idols are under constant pressure to be better, more attractive, more talented, richer and thinner than their competitors to stand out in a crowd.  Being able to stand out is no different for South Korean singer, dancer, and songwriter, Park Ji-min.

Feeling Pressured

Despite attempting to impart a positive influence on their fans by releasing the “Love Yourself” thematic series in 2018, Jimin revealed that he fell victim to the pressures of being an idol and how he struggled with dieting. During BTS’ “Blood Sweat & Tears” era, Jimin confessed to adhering to an unhealthy diet that had severe repercussions on his health. 

Confrontation with Dieting

JTBC’s ‘Please Take Care of My Refrigerator’ – a South Korean cooking-variety program starring various chefs and celebrity guests – interviewed two of the boy band members, Jimin and Jin, where Jimin disclosed: “I came to think that I want to become handsome while looking in the mirror during Blood, Sweat & Tears practice.” He then added, “So I went on a diet; eating only one meal for a day for ten days. I struggled that much to lose weight, but the handsome ranking within the group remained the same.” 

(Image source: Youtube Sayeeda khan)

15 Pounds Lost, But Still Struggling

While he managed to lose a total of 15 pounds, the diet took its toll on his health, and he admitted that he often passed out during dance rehearsals.

The Effects of the Diet

The effects of Jimin’s extreme diet not only affected his health but what about the effect this had on young fans who looked up to the boy band members as role models?  A quick browse through the BTS ARMY fan club page, it is evident there are a surprising number of adolescent followers claiming they want to try the diet too because they’re body-shamed at school.

The Jimin Diet went viral on YouTube, with fans documenting their experiences. Ultimately, they advise against it as their health suffered dire consequences.

(image source: Twitur #parkjiminisperfect)

Influencing as a Result

J-14’s Liam McEwan had an exclusive interview with BTS to discuss the 2018 “Love YOUR: Tear” album. 

One of the BTS members, Suga, told Liam “Anyone with influence should be trying to send out a positive message.”  While after the interview, Jimin announced that he would love it if their fans remembered them as boys who always wanted to show their sincerity and their most truthful side.

BTS’ songs are about being true to, and loving yourself which they try to express to their fans.  They have a significant impact on these fans.  This impact is evident by the number of people experimenting with the Jimin diet.  Eating disorders affect millions of people worldwide every year, and body shaming is sadly becoming more and more common.  Understandably, being a celebrity doesn’t make you immune to self-esteem issues, but should we also expect them to set a positive example for the youth of today?

(image source: Twitter @dreamytaetae)