In an effort to curb what the government perceives as “unrealistic beauty standards”, the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family are issuing new guidelines to various broadcasting companies.
The guidelines seek to limit the number of idol singers that can appear on a TV show at once because of their “similar appearances” which can narrow beauty standards for younger viewers. The guidelines are critical of the lack of body diversity among Korean idols.
“Are the singers on TV music shows twins? They seriously look identical. Most of them are skinny and have similar hairstyles and makeup, with outfits exposing their bodies”
These guidelines are facing significant backlash from netizens and opposition politicians alike. They believe that “beauty” is not something the government should try to regulate and furthermore that this is a nonsensical way of trying to promote body positivity.
The ministry claims it is only trying to raise awareness of the negative effects of “lookism” on public health and their recommendations are not mandatory. Many netizens are still worried about the effects these guidelines will have on their favourite TV shows.