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 ]
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.