Girl spends S$14,000 on K-pop merchandise; disappointed father cries on national TV

We all have our vices.

We all have our obsessions. Unfortunately, some can be unhealthier than others.

Recently, Yuna, a middle school girl appeared on a Korean TV show called Hello Counselor to talk about her obsession with the K-pop group SEVENTEEN.

She was brought by her friend who was increasingly worried by her behaviour, and that it was hurting those closest to her.

Skipping school and stalking

Yuna would often be late for school or sometimes skip it altogether. On the days that she even attends, she’s often found sleeping in class.

Why is she so tired you ask? She’s been busy watching videos of SEVENTEEN online and when that’s not enough, she stalks them.

She waits outside their recording studio around 3–4am, waiting for over 4 hours just to catch a glimpse of the members walking in.

Sometimes, she would chase after their schedules the entire day and not go home.

It’s gotten so bad that she has to repeat a year of school because she’s missed too many classes and tests— she went over the 60-day limit.

Ungodly splurging

Arguably, the worst of all, she’s spent 12 million Won (~S$14,000) on SEVENTEEN merchandise.

When her father stopped giving her money for this purpose, she took a part-time job, devoting all her salary to obtaining more fandom goods.

In an emotional moment, her dad broke down in tears, blaming himself for how his daughter turned out.

He says that he was too focused on making a livelihood that he didn’t have time to spend time with Yuna, making her desperate for attention.

“My heart breaks because of my daughter. It’s been hard. I think she started having this hobby because of the loneliness. I work in the clothing section of the Dongdaemun Market. I go to work by 1pm and come home in the middle of the night.”

— Yuna’s Dad

Sound advice

The show’s host,  or ‘counselor’, Lee Young Ja told her that her obsession wouldn’t make any celebrity happy. They would want to know how their music has made a fan achieved more in life, not lead them to drop out of school.

As a surprise, SEVENTEEN appeared in a video message to Yuna. They said even though they thanked her support, they wished to see her put studies before the K-pop group.

They even promised her VIP tickets to their show if she starts focusing on school again.

An overjoyed Yuna said that she’ll be a good KARAT (the term for a SEVENTEEN fan) and turn over a new leaf.

It’s great that this story went full circle and she’s (hopefully) able to return to normal life. Who do you think needs a similar intervention?

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