*** TRIGGER WARNING: DEPRESSION, SUICIDE, BULLYING**
On October 14th the world of Korean entertainment lost another shining star in the passing of Choi Jin-ri better known as Sulli. At this time it is reported that she took her own life. This has caused many around the world to question what drove her to this point.
She started in the entertainment business at a young age. First as a child actress and then a member of K Pop group f(x) until she left the group in 2015. She continued her acting career in the years to follow, most recently in the 2019 drama Hotel del Luna. She resumed her singing career by featuring on Korean R&B singer Dean’s 2018 single Dayfly and most recently releasing her own mini album Goblin as a solo artist.
As I was reading article after article today about her passing I learned that Sulli’s birth name Jin-Ri means “the truth” in Korean. I thought to myself how fitting of a name for a woman who was very open and vocal.
Sulli was know to be very vocal about everything from politics, being comfortable with her body, women’s issues, social issues, and being bullied on social media. She has spoken out in the past about her bouts with depression and social anxiety stemming from cyber bullying. She has appeared on the show The Night of Hate Comments in which celebrities respond about online comments. On the show she spoke openly about rumors and hateful comments.
Her her solo EP she sings about mental illness which is still a very sensitive topic in South Korea. It just shows that Sulli was a person who was not afraid of speaking her mind despite hateful comments and opposition.
I didn’t know much about Sulli as an artist. I know she was an actress and I knew she was a xformer members of the non disbanded f(x). However I knew about her more from the controversies it seems like she always found herself in and the backlash it caused.
In January 2019 there were some pictures Sulli posted on her Instagram of a New Year’s celebration at her home. Some perceived her photos to be outrageous and in poor taste. People went as far as to say she was disgrace for posting such photos. In western media those photos wouldn’t have even made the the tabloids or entertainment news. This just shows how conservative the general populous of the South Korea is.
In June 2019, Sulli made headlines again for a video on her IG of her going braless in public. Not exposing her breast but just wearing a tank top braless. This caused more outrage about her “disgraceful” behavior and how she must be “mentally ill” to exhibit such behavior in public. In a video done by Korean Youtubers DKDKTV, they went on the streets and asked Korean citizens what they really thought about women going braless in public. Although the responses were positive, they were still mixed, even among woman. Most of the negative opinions were about public perception. It just show how consecutive, even in 2019, a number of Korean citizens are when it comes to women and positivity. So can you just imagine the big risk Sulli took by doing such a thing as an entertainer and posting it on social media.
If you would like to check out the video see the link below. https://youtu.be/4eSITNj10lw