For a long time, I have been a strong critic of the Asian Idol industry not because of the manufactured music, but also how they treated the girls. In an editorial I wrote and revised back in June, I have been highly critical on the AKB0048 anime as it was used to promote the group. In that post, I mentioned the girls’ tratement because they are forced to promote a purity image.
Well, I think this incident involving a 20 year old member named Minami Minegishi getting caught dating someone and then shaving her head while beg her fans for mercy. Although I don’t know much about idol culture, I think this no-date policy is going too far. It’s not just a problem with AKB48, but also the South Korean counterpart as the agency takes full control of their personal lives just to make more money off a small group who is obsessed over it. They need to change as I don’t think it’s healthy for the women to hold back their love life just to satisfy this marketing gimmick. Besides, people only have one life to live. Because of that, I would like to see some members in this group to challenge it in the courts, although I doubt it will ever happen.