South Korean singer and actor Sulli was found dead in her home on Monday. She was a former member of popular K-Pop girl group f(x). Her death has been confirmed by the South Korean police. Sulli’s manager found her at her home in Sujeong-gu, Seongnam in the Gyeonggi province of South Korea after not being able to reach her phone.
Police have said in a statement that Sulli was suffering from severe depression. The exact cause of her death is yet to be announced. “Choi seemed to have lived alone in the house. It seems that she took her own life but we are also looking into other possibilities,” a police official said.
Sulli’s real name was Choi Jin-Ri. She made her debut as a child actress in 2004. However, her career took off in 2009 when she debuted as a part of the girl group f(x). The group shot to fame as well as became one of the top girl groups worldwide. In 2014, however, Sulli suspended her career as a member of the group after struggling with online hate. She focussed on her acting career. However, she came back to music in 2018. In 2019, she released her solo album ‘Goblin’.
Sulli’s real name was Choi Jin-Ri. She made her debut as a child actress in 2004. However, her career took off in 2009 when she debuted as a part of the girl group f(x).
Sulli was often criticized by Korean media as well as a section of the public for her views. Sulli was an outspoken feminist. This did not sit well with the conservative society and industry that she was a part of. As a result, she suffered online harassment and bullying.
Struggles with online hate
Sulli, along with other K-Pop stars like Hwasa, had received a lot of hate and malice when they were seen going braless in public or posting pictures where they were not wearing one. On JTBC network’s Night Of Hate Comments, Sulli had officially addressed the issue on 21st July. “Going braless is one’s freedom.” The singer and actor had expressed her desire for a prejudice-free society. “When I upload my photos without a bra, people talk about it a lot. I could have been scared. But I didn’t because I thought it would be nice if more people could discard their prejudices,” she said.
“I thought it would be nice if more people could discard their prejudices.”- Sulli
In April of this year, during an Instagram live where Sulli was drinking with her friends, she called out fans who ‘gaze-rape’ her. Korea Times defined ‘gaze-rape’ as a “newly coined term referring to excessive gazing that makes people feel violated”.
On April 11th, 2019, South Korea’s Constitutional Court decriminalized abortion. Sulli expressed her support of this legislative move and tweeted that now all women have a choice. Several sections of media and netizens condemned Sulli’s pro-choice stance.
The K-Pop star was not only a feminist but also outspoken about mental health and illnesses, a taboo topic in conservative Korean society. In 2018, she revealed on a reality TV show that she had suffered from panic disorders from a young age. She spoke about how even her close friends and family left her. “I was hurt by them, and felt that there was nobody who understands me, which made me fall apart.”
Sulli’s death comes less than two years after the suicide of Jong-Hyun, another popular K-Pop star. In the wake of Sulli’s death, conversations around mental health, toxic fan culture, and the hatred that these idols have to face, have once again begun. However, South Korea continues to have one of the highest rates of suicide in the world, which is the top cause of death for Koreans under 40.
Image Credit: Metro.co.uk
Prapti is an intern at SheThePeople.TV