Who is Goo Hara?
Goo Hara, born 13th of January 1991, was a Korean singer and actress and was a member of the South Korean girl group called Kara that debuted in 2008. Not only that but she had also appeared on TV in different dramas including City Hunter. She made her debut as a soloist in July 2015 with their release of her EP Alohara. Sadly, she was found dead at home in Seoul this week. Her death came less than 2 months after the death of Sulli, another K-pop star and Goo's close friend. Police are still investigating her death but they did find a note. This also happened after she launched her own cyberbullying campaign after her suicide attempt in May.
tHE DARK SIDE
Her death has shined light on the pressures that K-pop stars face especially females in the cutthroat industry that is highly competitive. There is also a need for perfection and that takes a toll on their mental health. Experts say both Goo and Sulli faced cyberbullying and sexual harassment from the public and media.
In the K-pop industry, dozens of groups debut each year however only a few debuts and even fewer are commercially successful. Aspiring artists train from a young age, as young as early teens and they train for years. They're more likely to be successful if they sign with a handful of top entertainment agencies, such as Big Hit Entertainment and YG Entertainment.
The industry is also known to have rules for K-pop stars including dating bans, spartan training and diets and sometimes slave-like and unfair contracts because of how hard they train. It's difficult for K-pop stars to seek professional help with depression in a country where many people believe that psychiatric disorders can be "treated with one's will", along with taboos that prevent people from seeking help.