She was honest about her experiences.
Ancient GWSN member Miya recently sat down for an interview with Asahi Shimbun Digital. Here, she talked about her time as a K-Pop idol from when she was a trainee until her debut. She revealed that she had been through many heartbreaking moments, saying she felt like the members “were in jail.”
I was on the phone with (one of) the (GWSN) members the other day, and we started joking like, “We were in jail, weren’t we?
The practice itself was not the hard part for them. In fact, spending hours each day perfecting their craft was a respite from the other realities of their job.
No, practice times were actually when I felt the least stressed. We started practicing after the younger girls came home from school every day, and we each had our own individual lessons as well as group practices, so by the time we were done it would be completely dark outside.
It’s the controlling nature of the business that has made apprentice life a prison. In particular, they had strict rules regarding diets and what they could or could not eat.
Every time we went to practice we had to weigh ourselves in front of a manager first. Then we would report the meal we were going to eat: ‘I’m going to eat a banana and a boiled egg‘ (Or) ‘I’m going to eat an apple.
No one has been exempted from this treatment. Even the members in their teens – the youngest being born in 2002 – came up with ways to eat even a little more.
At the time, some of the members were young and in high school, and normally you talk about stuff like boys at that age, right? We were only talking about food. Sneaking up to the convenience store was what we did for fun. It was against the rules for us to have money, but everyone had a ‘slush fund’ of allowance from their parents. On the way to our practice room, we would go to this low-key convenience store behind the building and use the 10,000 won (about US$8) in our pockets to eat ice cream while we detoured.
The company’s obsession with the girl group’s weight hurt them mentally. It didn’t help that they were also limited to the things they could own. Miya said she had reached a point where she thought she “might go crazy.”
There was usually only time to put something in your mouth twice a day. I thought I might go crazy. My previous company was particularly strict, so we had no free time, no money, and our phones were confiscated. I was barely able to talk to my family using the manager’s phone.
GWSN had its contracts terminated in January 2023. Miya resigned with the Japanese agency main lights where she will work on her solo activities. She always keeps in touch with her members.