After leaving SM Entertainment, a former trainee revealed the struggles she faced during her life as an SM Entertainment trainee.
Many groups such as WINNER, iKON, TWICE, and MONSTA X have taken part in pre-debut and post-debut reality shows in order to catch the public’s interest and to show the challenges they must overcome to achieve their dreams.
These shows, however, do not always give a complete, or entirely accurate, picture of what trainee life is like behind the scenes.
In an online post, the former trainee shared the hardships she experienced behind closed doors.
This included the vigorous methods SM Entertainment used for her vocal training.
“If you’re late or go against the rules you have to sing while running around the practice room 10 times. You train by singing while doing sit-ups and while someone hits your stomach in order to develop muscle and vocal power.”
“If you do anything wrong, you write about what you did wrong and you aren’t allowed to practice until you can clearly state what you did wrong.”
“They check your body fat percentage every month and teach you manners and attitude.”
“During meditation, you have to sit there for an hour and you can’t even open your eyes and after they tell you to write down what you did wrong that week.”
“They teach you instruments and play random notes on the piano and make you guess which note it is.”
“Everything is on schedule and there’s homework. It’s easier to go to school for 30 years. They say learning pop songs is important and language is considered very important.”
“If you don’t improve but you’re pretty they tell you to stay underwater and hold your breath for 5 minutes, and make you sit in a V, and drop basketballs on your stomach when you breathe.”
“I wanted to go to school and eat and hang out with friends so I cried a lot. During counsel time if you say you want to do those things, they say if you want to do that, you can leave.”
“It’s been a while and I used to think becoming a singer was my only path and I would die if I couldn’t be one…”
“…but now that I quit, I feel like I’m fine not going that path. In fact, I feel better. It’s been a while but still I can’t forget those days.”
This experience, as reported by the former trainee, has become a reoccurring theme in the lives of trainees and entertainment companies have increasingly found themselves in hot water.
Fans hope that these companies will reflect on their mistakes and continue to improve their treatment of the idols fans care so much about.