It’s a really good read. Jae speaks about mental health, his panic attack, his collaboration and donation for mental health cause, and speaks about the problems with kpop.
This is just a snippet of the article which I think is pretty good to read about
Is K-pop part of the problem?
“Especially, I feel like [K-pop] idols are … supposed to uphold a standard of perfection, but that in itself I think is a form of toxic positivity. It’s extremely, extremely toxic, more than most people think. We’re role models, right?
“If we’re always picture perfect, squeaky shiny, and always for the right causes, never have an opinion [on] anything, what happens when the people who look up to us have an opinion? When they’re not squeaky perfect? If they’re comparing themselves to us, they may think, ‘My favourite singer is always happy. He’s always cheery. But I’m sad. That’s strange.’ What kind of role model is that?”
Change is happening slowly in the industry, and artists are increasingly talking about their own states of mental health. The past few years have seen several K-pop artists go on hiatus to take care of themselves. But there’s still more work to do, according to Jae.
I think people need to be more real. I think people need to be more transparent. Mental health has become a wider known issue these days, so I think more people are open to talking about it.
“We preach that it’s okay to be normal, but it’s not something that we actually show, don’t actually act on. We preach it all the time: ‘It’s okay not to be okay.’ You see it in the songs everywhere. But I feel like the same artists who sing these songs and the same people who say these things publicly are the same people who always are perfect on the red carpet, never transparent enough to show who they actually are as a person.
“I feel like that in itself is a kind of hypocrisy. I try to be as human as I can while upholding a certain standard because I recognise and respect the culture [of being a celebrity].”