Not even famous stars — with their wealth and fame — are exempt from the detrimental effects of depression, but we should know that already.
K-Pop superstar Sulli was found lifeless in her Seongnam home not far from Seoul, Korea. While authorities haven’t confirmed the exact cause of her death, they have speculated that the singer had committed suicide. Local media reports that her manager had told police officials that she had long suffered from depression.
Sulli is one of South Korea’s most controversial stars. The actress and singer is known for going braless, calling her male seniors by their first names and openly expressing support for the country’s revised abortion law. While these acts aren’t surprising for the Western world, South Korea’s conservative beliefs and culture lead to Sulli’s condemnation in the public eye.
Korean actresses and K-pop idols are expected to be respectful and reserved. According to an article in The Washington Post, this also means revering elders, (especially if they are male) keeping their political opinions mum and hiding one’s sexuality — most especially as a woman.
Sulli has experienced insults, online bullying and public disdain for her actions and non-conventional stances. On a recent TV show, the star had to defend herself from detractors saying “When I met people in the past, even before saying hello, I felt like I should explain myself: This isn’t who I am! The rumors aren’t true!”
Most of the public believe that cyberbullying played a substantial role in Sulli’s death. While this could be true, her demise also begs the question of how far conservatism takes a toll on “unconventional” women who dare try to break the mold.