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Fat or skinny, it’s hard catching a break

I commiserate with Kim Mi Ryeo. At first, I was annoyed with all the news she was garnering — for her weight loss, for her crying on television, for her leap from actor to singer to actor — but now I just feel kinda sorry for her. She’s one of those stars who probably has just as many anti-fans (if not more) as she does fans.

She originally leapt into the public eye as a TV comedienne, but suddenly became the center of attention when she lost a bunch of weight. Dropping 13 kilograms (nearly 30 pounds), her transformation from a loud “big girl” to tall and svelte meant that the nation was immediately analyzing her diet and exercise routine, marveling at her success and attempting to re-create it.

And then, of course, the backlash. She was making the transition from comedienne and actress to pop singer, while talking about weight loss and filming a reality special centered around her transformation. She was criticized for faking emotion when she broke down in tears onscreen earlier this year; people accused her of putting on an act to cause a stir and promote interest in her TV program. Then, in the midst of her pop-singer activities, she also made time to act in a guest role in the TV historical drama The King and I. People criticized her some more, this time for acting when she should be singing. Or something.

SONG OF THE DAY

Kim Mi Ryeo – “가시” (Thorn). [ zShare download ]

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Kim Mi Ryeo, before and after

 
I agree that her scattershot approach does make her look like she may be overreaching, but that’s her problem, not mine. And she’s an easy target because she’s female and she used to be fat (or what the Korean public deems “fat” for its female stars) and therefore less likely to be taken seriously.

(Remember Jo Jung Rin? She’s cute and chubby and people say, “Aw, she’s so talented! Too bad she’s chubby or she’ll forever be relegated to sidekick roles.” Then she loses weight and people say, “Oh my god, how dare they make her lose weight?” or “Now she’s ready to be a REAL actress!” Seriously. People talked about her newly slimmed-down physique as being an indicator that she was ready for the “next step” — as though her few extra pounds precluded her from success.)

People are so busy scrutinizing every sign of weight loss or gain with Kim Mi Ryeo — this time she’s making widespread headlines (CNB News, Maeil News) for gaining some weight back in the dreaded yo-yo effect — that they’ve overlooked the fact that hey, she’s actually not a bad singer. Or, if her singing ability is acknowledged, the credit is given extremely grudgingly.

When discussing her role in King and I, nobody actually bothers to review her acting performance — they just harp that it’s unfair she was given a role so easily, that she must not take her singing career seriously if she’s jumping back into television, et ceteraaaa. Because heaven forbid a woman actually possess more than ONE limited talent and try to express them all. But no, they’d rather talk about how she’s back to eating salads and sweet potatoes to get back to her lower weight. Sometimes I really hate the entertainment industry.

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aww, that's really sad. i didn't know korean entertainment was that harsh. what does weight really have anything to do with talent?

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aww, yeah, I know you don't have to be skinny to be popular or anything. There are some fat actresses,, like Queen Latifah! I LOVE HER! She's amazing!

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This happens to us ordinary folks, too... If I'm happy with myself, why the pitying looks and the "I'm telling you this because it's good for you" talks?
It's like the whole "Now she's ready to be a REAL actress" thing you mentioned... You aren't living until you're at a weight society deems to see fit.
It can be quite depressing. -_-

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her left picture is her "fat" picture?? what is wrong with these people?? O.O
she just looked like a curvy woman...you know, a REAL woman. But i guess only stick figures are acceptable in the korean entertainment industry...

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it's a case of "damned if you do, damned if you don't" it's very depressing if we focus on what others say and how that could affect her. but if the focus is on her talents (her comedy and singing), it's not that depressing. there's plenty of celebrities out there with no talent to brag about.

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Yeah well. She's really unlucky... Unfortunately that's part of Korean society. There's a real obsession about weight over there. One of friend is 1,60 meters tall for 50kg I mean isn't it slim? And so I told her that I really looked chubby standing next to her with my 1,58m for 60kg and she told me " No way, according to Korean standards I'm fat." Fat?
What the hell?!!!

How do they weight people in Korea? Talking about it you guys all saw "My Name is Kim Sam Soon" they were saying she was "fat" when I only saw her with forms. By the way Javabeans... Do you know if Korean men always look for the skinny type? I mean maintaining that kind of weight even eating only Korean food ( there's so many vegetables in these, It's hard to even try putting on a lot of weight) must be hell. Lee Da Hae for instance is 1,70m for 48kg 0_0
Does she eat only an apple a day?

Personally I find Korean actresses too skinny. When they're small usually it's ok but when they're tall arg. I got a sort of trauma looking at Han Chae Yeong's legs in Sassy Girl Girl Choon Hyang, looked like sticks too me.

And like you said, weight, and pretty faces are really idiotic requirements to become stars... But this is Korea. Even Dennis Oh who is the most mediocre actor I've seen in my whole life had managed to be the lead in Sweet Spy. Oh my God! Great body he has but the acting :O
Now I don't know the actress/singer you've talked about. Personally I tend to think that when you do too many things at the same time it doesn't allow you to be great in either domain. There's some exception obviously but none comes to mind as I'm writing this. She must be pissed though. You make every efforts to sing and act well and all you get is " What did you do to lose weight ?".

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I hope she rises above the bs and just has fun being herself. All the power to you woman!! She has a nice singing voice too.

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I found it really sad when I found out Jo Jung Rin lost so much weight. She looked really pale and unhealthy in those new weight loss pictures. She seemed really open about her weight, often joking on variety shows that she likes meat, so it was really a shocker when I heard she sadly succumbed to the korean stereotype that you have to be skinny to be successful. Koreans focus wayyyyyy to much on image instead of talent and unfortunately most of asia is like that and so is everywhere else. You would think after millions of koreans have watched 200 pound beauty they would have taken a hint....maybe it was too subtle....or maybe they didn't get the point of the entire movie and thought "see....kim ah joong being skinny made her successful!"

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Well, i just pray that God will give her strength to accept all the criticisms and not drive her to depression to suicide. Hope she remains happy and have a positive outlook in life. Just keep raking all those money coming in (^-^). Yes, i think weight is such a big issue in Koreans, take for example the 200 pound beauty which flopped in Japan.

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how terrible... i really like this lady.. she was so funny as "samonim".. i'm sad she's not doing comedy anymore... but it's great that she's a talented singer.. & she must be a decent actress if they chose her for the role in the king and i.. korean society & entertainment industry are shiz..

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Whether we like it or not, it's the sad truth.
I find it funny though... how the Korean Media always likes to cover these weight loss stories... as if it was a miracle or some kind. -o-... Yeah... on some level... losing lots of weight is hard... but dear God... all these attention just for that mere fact?

Ha... but then again... the Korean audience buys it anyways... so... i guess it's none of our concern... lol

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I dont really care about her but I think she must have been having hard times these days... blame the korean critics... or netizens???

seriously, slim or fat, youre still an easy target for criticism.. I just hope she'd
cover her ears and eyes so it wont get to her...

or she might be too depressed and you know...

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I feel bad for her that everyone' saying all this stuff about her but she's actually a really talented singer - I mean compared to the female artists out there today...she can blow them away. It's just sad how her weight and her appearance can cause people to overlook her obvious talent and focus on things that aren't important.

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I love Jo Jung Rin and I am SO sad that she lost all that weight. =[

Media business is almost as bad as high school. No lie.
On the other hand, do you watch Pushing Daisies, Javabeans?

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i actually think she was a bit chubby before..
but i dont take to a different level than some korean netizens do..
they REALLY put you down..they will say the rudest things to you..
but the thing is.. you just have to remember that these people (most of them) are people who just wants to spark a fire
and some of them are immature to understand what's really happening in the world
i have seen some of their comments.. and they are quite funny actually.. because they sound so stupid

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Thanks for em songs all the time, its great to listen too.
As for her..hmm haven;t seen her before =-p.
However i guess she is is getting criticized .. since she seems to much of a product..therefore people can't really relate to what she really is.
Just my 2 cents.
Peace ^__^

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I think its sad that most people do discriminate... they like saying (when you're not at all perfect physically and quite frank about it) ... 'You're a wonderful person why do you keep putting yourself down'... and yet they are the same people who would criticize you when you make an effort to improve yourself. I think some people like it when they think you have a reason to be insecure about yourself and hate it when you have the guts to improve on it. Like you should keep living the imperfect you.

With artists making a transition on their image, It's just unfortunate that when the fan's like you too much on your first act, it's seldom difficult to get them love you on a totally new act (whether really talented or not). I think it helps to be as versatile as possible upon entry so artists won't be typecast into any characters they portray. Lucky for those who are able to show it all off upon entry and be able to showcase them everytime. Not everyone is a Terpsichore though.

I like seeing an artist do a tv show (e.g. Gag shows ), then act on tv series or film portraying different roles (action, drama both antagonist and protagonist) . And if they can, sing and dance in a concert or a fan meet etc.

Let's face it, people - whatever level of admiration they claim to have for another - hide a green monster inside. We build our own perception of a person regardless of capabilities. The character that we coin of another is THE ONLY identity the other person SHOULD have. Otherwise, we stigmatize, we excommunicate

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oops dupe.. sorry

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.... (cont'd)

I'm all for health – body and mind. I don't mind seeing a fat artist so long as they showcase a real good show. If it’s called for in the role, I say go - exhibit the correct body measure.

Come on… look at her, she's a lot prettier right?

So she's into a different field now. Why not? If it were me, I wouldn't want to waste the chance and show off another side of me if I look that good. She probably needed to hibernate from playing comic. Everybody experiences a drain (if it is her reason). What's good about her is that she has another side of her to exhibit.

Well, let’s all go ahead and patronize the natural/cosmetically enhanced beauty and give way to the lots of them that turns singer w/o talent, or allow them on our TV screens and watch them over films because they portray the real us (we thought the 200pound beauty was beautiful after she lost all that flab didn’t we?)

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I think she shouldn't be "jumping" so much. I find it okay that an actress has many talents, but I think if you wish to branch into a new section, you should put A LOT of thought and energy into THAT one first, and when that's said and done, do something else you want. It seems as if she's rushing.

Then again, it really WAS only a guest role. And if she has more than one talent, why not show it off? And really, the entertainment industry is ridiculous sometimes. I wished they'd stop paying attention to "weight" so much. If they didn't pay attention, these stars wouldn't even WANT to lose weight, or when has lost weight, would've done it in a healthy way and jumped back into their career with no prob. It reminds me of Nicole Richie...On one side, they're like, "Oh! She must be anorexic", on the other, "Oh, she looks SOOO fabulous!!!" I mean, make up your mind!!! Plus, I don't mind her losing weight as long as it's healthy.

*sigh*

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Hmmm, because of those people who have nothing better to do except sit there and look at people and then complain about their weight, height, and beauty, yet unable to look at their own self in the mirror and see the phrase that before you criticize other see for yourself if you are actually better...

What a pain in the @ss for her since it sucks that after she tried so hard to match to the damn society's way of stereotyping the skinny freaks she got complaints about why she lost weight so fast. Who cares!

-_- If I talk on more I might get too absorbed, something I prefer to read from others than to read from my own words after I write it. So anyway, I hope she isn't following what others want and just live doing what she likes to do.

Fat chicks rule!

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As a part of Asian culture myself, even if living in the US, I fall victim to the need to be skinny. (Though I want to point out also that many of the celebs in the US are extremely skinny).
Being skinny is nice. But I ask the question, is it really necessary to be "unnaturally" skinny?

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