aespa recently posted their Ep 2 of “SM Culture Universe”, talking about 4 of the MOST SEVERE issues that affect the mental health of most Kpop idols. Check out the following details of the issues and see if you can feel and withstand the pain if you experience every single one of them at the same time.
aespa Revealed Ep 2 of “SM Culture Universe”: Next Level, Talking About Issues Affecting Kpop Idols Mental Health
Following the apparent evidence of their climb to be the next Kpop Queens with their upcoming comeback, “Girls”, aespa dives further into the new universe created by their agency, SM Entertainment.
Starting in May 2021, SM Entertainment created a whole new concept for their monster rookie, aespa, that makes the group one of a kind. For the first time in the entire Kpop industry, SM Entertainment creates a concept that blends the reality and virtual world, creating a brand new universe.
On June 20, aespa official social media posted the new chapter of “SM Culture Universe”, the Ep 2: Next Level. While Ep 1 was mostly an introduction of the basic concept and characters of aespa “SM Culture Universe”, we will dive deeper into more serious issues in Ep 2.
Previously in Ep 1, “Black Mamba”, SM Entertainment introduced the new world, in which people live in harmony with their alter ego avatars, known as ae. These aes are the data products that each person uploads on their social media daily, forming their appearance and personality.
You can summon these aes into the real world with a process named, REKALL. Together, you can play games and spend time leveling up your SYNK level, which will determine the level of connection with your ae.
During Ep 1 of aespa “SM Culture Universe”, all these aes suddenly disappear from the real world. This phenomenon is called SYNK OUT, and is apparently the evil deed of the main villain, BLACK MAMBA.
That is why in “SM Culture Universe” Ep 2, aespa members decided to dive into the virtual world with the help of their guide, Naevis.
Little did they know that the one waiting inside was BLACK MAMBA with her evil plan to bring out the worst nightmare and issues that all Kpop idols must face every day that take a toll on their mental health.
4 Most SEVERE Issues Affecting Kpop Idols Mental Health in aespa “SM Culture Universe” Ep 2: Next Level
Represented by each aespa member, “SM Culture Universe” Ep 2 reveals an intense storyline, talking about 4 most severe issues affecting the mental health of all Kpop idols.
Here’s how Karina, Winter, Giselle, and Ningning display the most severe issues that most Kpop idols face every day simultaneously, which takes a toll on their mental health.
1. The Pressure & Expectation of Being PERFECT
aespa leader, Karina, begins with one of the most apparent issues that affect Kpop idols mental health: the pressure and expectation of being PERFECT.
As public figures with the most influence today, Kpop idols are expected to live with the perfect image built by the public’s expectations. That is why in “SM Culture Universe” Ep 2, aespa Karina appears in a scene where she is overwhelmed by her insecurity of failing to fulfill all these expectations.
“Karina is mature.”
“I trust you, Karina.”
Karina and her scene were talking about how these perfect image and expectations from the public have resulted in issues with the mental health of Kpop idols. Especially the part when the corrupted ae-Karina appeared in front of Karina, taunting her with all her insecurities.
“Karina, how long did you think I’d stay by your side?
You uploaded data that you like on social media. And I was created with only your best qualities. I am the perfect version of you that you always wanted to be.
Do you think you’ll continue to look the way you do when you get older? What will happen when you fall ill?
You will change as time passes. But I will always be perfect.”– ae-Karina.
The fear and anxiety of failing to look perfect all the time and not fulfilling the expectations of the public, especially the fans, are among the most severe issues affecting Kpop idols today. And aespa “SM Culture Universe” Ep 2 portrayed this issue with such wonderfully dramatic angles and scenes.
this scene was sad ngl. Karina is under so much pressure to always be perfect and be "everyone's", this was a painful reminder of that pic.twitter.com/ImyR7tlXFX— ً (@ty_rinas) June 20, 2022
2. Constant Battle with Malicious Rumors
The second most severe issues affecting Kpop Idols mental health aespa was talking about in “SM Culture Universe” Ep 2, are the constant battles with malicious rumors.
aespa Winter represented the issue in a scene where she was walking in the middle of people gossiping about her.
“I heard she’s not nice…”
“Did you hear that?”
“I heard someone…”
“Don’t you think she doesn’t need to be there…?”
The constant gossip and malicious rumors have proven to be one of the most severe issues affecting the mental health of Kpop idols and most celebrities. And worse, these malicious rumors come from not only the general public but also the people close to them.
For example, actor Kim Seon Ho had to battle malicious rumors from his ex-girlfriend, causing the whole Kdrama universe to cancel him without knowing the truth. And even after Kim Seon Ho managed to cancel the cancel culture after the rumor proved to be false, the aftermath had affected his own mental health.
Winter portrayed these issues very well in aespa “SM Culture Universe” Ep 2. No matter where Kpop idols and celebrities run, malicious rumors will keep following them like snakes to their prey, devouring them and eating away their mental health.
And they must face them constantly and simultaneously with other severe issues.
Winter is surrounded by strangers gossiping about her, spreading malicious lies about her character. There are always rumors and gossip surrounding public figures. pic.twitter.com/xxZQwkRqiv— ً (@SUSHIZIONNE) June 20, 2022
3. Having ZERO Privacy
The third of the most severe issues affecting Kpop idols mental health that aespa “SM Culture Universe” was talking about in their Ep 2 is the fact that they have almost zero privacy in their lives.
As public figures, the life of Kpop idols mostly revolves around cameras. When they’re on stage, they must keep smiling and maintain their image during performances. At the same time, when they’re off stage, they still have different programs, variety shows, and reality shows, where they need to maintain a smiling face and “happiness” in front of the camera.
Especially Kpop idols on their rise to fame like aespa, the only time they had a break from the camera was between schedules. Even then, the company sometimes decided to make a show out of their free time.
But nothing tops the horror of the hidden camera belonging to paparazzi and personal phones of the general public. Because once they notice a Kpop idol, the hidden camera will immediately capture them, leaving absolutely no space for their privacy.
aespa Giselle represents this issue with the scene where cameras and flashlights bombarded her with no break—capturing her movements from every angle and grabbing her feet to prevent her from running away.
You can scream as loud as you can. But there’s no running from all these cameras and exposure.
Even as Giselle screams, the public surrounds her, grabbing at her ankles, proclaiming the lack of privacy that kpop idols are allowed to have as they’re constantly being photographed. pic.twitter.com/GqlyXpMOhe— ً (@SUSHIZIONNE) June 20, 2022
The last and most severe issue affecting Kpop idols that aespa “SM Culture Universe” Ep 2 was talking about is cyberbullying
In “SM Culture Universe” Ep 2, aespa Ningning represents the issue with a scene where she stands among emojis. While these emojis might seem endearing and cute, with just one hate comment appearing, the atmosphere would change completely.
One single hate comment can divert and direct public opinions. With one hate comment from one person, everyone with the same opinion will start voicing the same issue. Over time, it would build a malicious community. South Korea is notorious for this hostile community phenomenon called Anti-fans.
With the rising development of the internet and social media, hate comments have become the deadliest weapon that eats away the mental health of Kpop idols. In fact, we have lost 2 of our dearest Kpop idols in 2019, Sulli and Goo Hara, because of this issue.
Unlike the rest of aespa, Ningning‘s scene seems almost lighthearted at first, with cute emojis surrounding her, likely representing her fans’ love and support through social media. pic.twitter.com/KonTbXrweo— ً (@SUSHIZIONNE) June 20, 2022
Kpop Idols and Their Constant Battle with Their Mental Health
Approaching the end of the video, there was a scene where Karina’s inner thoughts started reprimanding her with hatred towards her ae. Since aes are created initially from the selective data they upload on the internet, it represents the perfect persona they want to be.
Therefore, this part of the scene represents the constant battle of Kpop idols between accepting who they truly are and maintaining the perfect image of who they want to be. Even when their life is falling apart and broken inside, their perfect image will not change.
“I am the perfect version of you that you always wanted to be.
Who do you think people will like between you and me?”ae-Karina.
That is why aespa “SM Culture Universe” Ep 2 showed a scene where Karina started doubting and hating her alter ego and even considered deleting her, erasing her from existence. It represents the constant battle of Kpop idols with themselves, whether they want to stay and fight or simply quit and end everything.
But in the end, Karina realized that it was not real. All the corrupted thoughts were only BLACK MAMBA’s evil plans to break the connection between aespa and their alter egos. So Karina decided to free her mind and her friends by punching through the spell and breaking them free from all the corrupted thoughts.
Can You Feel the Pain?
So, now that you understand all the issues aespa was talking about in “SM Culture Universe” Ep 2, can you feel the pain of these Kpop idols and their constant battle with mental health?
Today, “SM Culture Universe” has revealed their Ep 1 “Black Mamba” and Ep 2 “Next Level”. Does it mean that the next episode will be SAVAGE?
In the meantime, here’s the full video of aespa “SM Culture Universe” Ep 2.
Subscribe to Kpoppost Telegram channel for latest stories and breaking news.
More to read about Kpop & Kdrama:
- 8 Kpop Idols who Impeccably Rocked Backless Fashion Trend
- (G)I-DLE Soyeon “SUN” Versus ATEEZ “WAVE” Song Controversy CONTINUES! What REALLY Happened?
- ARMY Unites in a Romantic “Purple String Project” to Support BTS Chapter 2 – You Know the Meaning?
- BTS Jungkook x Charlie Puth “Left and Right” Collaboration Song Release Date Needs YOUR Help! Will You Join?
- “Happiness” Star Han Hyo Joo to Make a Big Transformation in Korean Movie “Believer 2”