Sulli From f(x) Passes Away At Age 25

Trigger Warning: Death and Suicide.

Choi Jin-ri, respectfully known as Sulli, on Oct. 14 was found dead at age 25. According to CNN Entertainment, her manager was contacting her for hours. Eventually, her manager decided to check up on the artist, only to find that Sulli had passed away on the second floor of her home in Sujeong-gu, Seongnam, South Korea.

Christi Carras from the Los Angeles Times shared that “there was no evidence of foul play or a suicide message, though police told CNN that a note — the contents of which are still unknown — was found at the scene.” The case surrounding the death remains ongoing.

Sulli was once part of the Korean girl group f(x) which debuted with SM Entertainment in 2009. Besides Sulli, members include Amber Liu, Krystal Jung, Victoria Song and Luna. They were considered a unique, eccentric group. As a writer on Soompi claims, “f(x) always strays away from overused concepts in favor of bringing something new to the table.” The group has yet to disband; however, the girls have not been active since their last comeback with “All Mine” in 2016. Regardless, f(x) did celebrate their ten year anniversary September of this year.

In 2015, though, Sulli pursued a solo career, leaving f(x). She was the only member to leave the group, for she wanted to focus on a career in acting. Before becoming a K-pop idol, she was a child actor; therefore, this was not a sudden shift of interest. She did, indeed, begin with an acting career.

Media and fans speculated that the reasoning behind her departure from f(x) corresponded with dating rumors that surfaced once Dispatch---a news outlet notorious for exposing relationships between idols---posted images of her with Choiza from Dynamic Duo. Pregnancy rumors even began to circulate. Of course, those were false.

Experiencing a difficult time with cyberbullying, fans reasoned she left the group due to the hate and pressure. Nonetheless, SM Entertainment decided to respect her wishes of leaving the group. Since 2015, f(x) became an active four-member group.

Sulli became a successful actress having been featured in shows such as Welcome to the Show and movies such as Real. This year, she starred in Hotel del Luna alongside Lee Ji-eun, better known as IU. It felt as if she was happier pursuing an acting career as she was given more independence as opposed to the controlled lifestyle idols have due to the K-pop industry being one of South Korea’s number one economic resources.

Sadly, she was faced with many negative comments. This year in June, Night of Hate Comments aired on JTBC2 with Sulli appearing as a host. On the show, hosts and idols address cyberbullying. In the first episode, Sulli had to read comments about herself. One of the main criticisms of her focused on the fact that she does not wear a bra.

Courtesy: allkpop

She responded by confidently stating: “the no-bra controversy is my personal freedom. Because it has iron and wire, bras are bad for your health. I just don’t wear it because it’s convenient not to wear it. I think it’s pretty and natural. Brassiere is just an accessory to me. I don’t look weird right now, do I? I’m not wearing that accessory right now. Isn’t it natural?”

In South Korea, she serves as a great influence on females because of her liberal perspectives as well as her bold personality. She is confident in who she is. This attribute is rare in the Korean industry due to strict censorship companies impose on the idols and actors. Many idols have decided to leave companies due to the strict expectations. For example, E’dawn and Hyuna from Cube Entertainment left their entertainment company last year when their relationship was exposed. As idols, there is a rule to not date. That is why dating rumors can be highly controversial. Another idol that has left his company is Kim Hanbin, his stage name being B.I, who was the leader of YG Entertainment’s boy group, iKon. He left his leadership role due to media accusing him of former activity involving weed and other drugs. Till this date, he continues to be on a trial due to these accusations.

The industry is, therefore, not one free from stress. Last year, sadly, Kim Jonghyun from SHINee passed away, having committed suicide due to the pressure endured within the industry. His friend made the decision to post his suicide note on Instagram to show the public how the industry can impact an idol’s mental health.

The cause of Sulli’s death remains unknown at this time. But this sudden loss has caused the public to pause and speculate the treatment celebrities in South Korea undergo. Perhaps in the future, people can think before posting negative comments online. People like Sulli already go through so much due to their careers; we do not need to add more onto their plates.

Rest in peace Choi Jin-ri.

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