Before starting to tell my story, I would like to thank Soshified for the opportunity to share this story and show how important the members of Girls’ Generation are to me. Since I’m not a Soshified writer I’ll introduce myself: I’m Diéfani Favareto Piovezan, I’m 22 years old, and I’m currently living in Brazil with my father and our family.


If you’re like me, I like to know what the person who is writing looks like, so here is a picture of me.

I’ve lived in a world of silence for seven years. When I was fourteen a neurological condition took my hearing away from me. Back then I was a very active teenager, and I used to go out every weekend to dance, watch movies, and party. But above all other things, I was in love with music. I used to listen to everything from Mozart to Cradle of Filth. My computer would be playing music all day long. Although I didn’t have the gifted talent to play instruments or sing well, listening was enough to fill my soul with joy.

When I lost my hearing, I tried to “listen” to music, but the only way to do so was to actually feel the music. I used to leave my stereo playing very loud so I could feel the sound vibration in order to enjoy it just a little bit, but it wasn’t enough. Hearing aids never worked, since the problem was in my auditory nerve. Either I would have to live forever in a world of silence or get some kind of special hearing implant.

I was afraid of getting an implant, so I chose to live in the silence. When I was 17, I kind of gave up on music. Since I couldn’t listen to the music, I felt like there was no sense in just feeling it, because it didn’t make me happy the way it used to. Although I would keep CDs in my car, I would only put one in when someone was in the car with me.

I was in college when I met a group of deaf people who have cochlear implants. A cochlear implant is a device full of electrodes that is implanted in the cochlea through a 5-hour long surgery. It serves as a substitute for the sensory hair cells within the ear, and has an external piece that works as a speech processor. The sound comes through a device that looks similar to a common hearing aid, passes through an antenna that has a magnet in it, and finally goes straight to the brain. The people I met who had cochlear implants could hear well, and I felt motivated to get one as well.

I went to a doctor and he told me that since I had both American and Brazilian citizenship, I should go to Brazil to get the surgery done for free. I came to Brazil in January of 2010, and I waited nine months to get the surgery done before the cochlear implant was activated on November of 2010. A new world opened up, and I started to really hear and understand both speech and sound by May of 2011. I slowly started to listen to music again, but only the old songs that I listened to when I was 14.


The cochlear implant on the day when it was first activated.

A friend of mine introduced me to K-Pop and she showed me some videos. I liked the blast of colors, but I was still adjusting to the implant and couldn’t really hear their voices over the background music. But I kept listening. In August a big change occurred and I was able to listen to a lot of things. I even started talking on the phone with some relatives. I felt excited to learn more about K-pop, but I didn’t find any groups that I really liked. I heard songs by Brown Eyed Girls, Jewelry, Super Junior, 2NE1, f(x), 2PM, and many more, but nothing excited me. I felt as if it just sounded like “common” music. They were good, but they didn’t really touch me.

It was October 18th, 2011 when S.M. Entertainment uploaded a new video called “Girls’ Generation: The Boys” onto their YouTube channel. A friend of mine who loves K-pop saw it and sent me the link to the video on YouTube. I waited for it to load so I could see it. When the song started, I thought, “Pretty girls”, but then suddenly I heard the song starting and something inside me was screaming, “THIS IS JUST WHAT YOU WERE LOOKING FOR!” It was love at first sight and first hearing. I could hear how each of them had powerful voices. Although I don’t understand any Korean, I could clearly understand the words they were singing. That was the day when Girls’ Generation came into my life.


“The Boys” was the first Girls’ Generation video I ever saw, so it’s very important to me.

After I heard “The Boys”, I was insanely looking for videos on YouTube and information on Google. My friend and I spent 48 hours awake in order to learn how to recognize each member. In the end, we were the ones answering the “who is who” questions on the YouTube comments. Every single day I would wake up and go straight to the computer to do my college work and listen to Girls’ Generation’s songs. I’ve bought a lot of their songs on iTunes. I’ve made Tiffany my desktop and iPhone background. Their songs are my ringtones. I stay up nights watching them.

They touched me deeply because many pop stars act like they are at the top of the world, but not Girls’ Generation. They act like human beings, like nine girls in their twenties. They are loud and playful, they say things from the heart, and they are so grateful to their fans that it makes us feel like we are the ones who are working hard for them.

The members of Girls’ Generation didn’t just touch my heart and soul, but they helped me a lot to improve my hearing more and more. When you are not able to hear for many years, your brain forgets how to hear, and you have to learn how to hear all over again when you get a cochlear implant. It takes many years to be able to do many of the things that I used to do.

I usually select the songs I like the most and leave them playing all day long. They are like my hearing therapists. I listen to them and I try to recognize their voices, and by the voice tone I know who is singing. I also use their songs to identify strong phonetic sounds that can be clearly heard in the Korean language. Of course I get it wrong a lot of times, but I also get it right a lot of times. Their videos work the same way: I let the whole video play, and without looking at it I write down on a piece of paper who is talking and strong phonetic sounds that I hear. When the video finishes, I actually watch it to see what I heard right.

It seems like a stupid thing, right? Well, to my surprise, it actually improved my hearing. On November 11th, 2011 I went to the hospital to adjust the implant’s volume and hearing speed. They conducted the audiogram and all the hearing tests that they always do, and the audiologist said, “Well, I don’t know what you’ve being doing, or what happened, but your improvement now is at 93%. When you last came in August it was 58% and now it’s 93%. It’s insane and amazing. Whatever you’re dong, it’s working, and it’s helping a lot.”



From that day on, I never stopped watching Girls’ Generation’s videos or listening to their songs. I do watch other videos and listen to other songs, but only Girls’ Generation can truly help me with my needs. My friends are starting to love them because of me, but for me they have a much bigger importance in my life. I expect to be hearing even better in a year or two, and I intend to go to a Girls’ Generation concert. Whether they’ll be in New York City, Brazil (maybe, since they are getting a lot of fans here), or in Asia, I’ll try to save some money to see them sing and dance live, and I will enjoy every single part of it.

Thank you, Girls’ Generation. I’m grateful that you have all worked so hard and never given up. Thank you for being such great singers, and for that reason, thank you for helping me to hear better every day. I expect you’ll work for many years more, so I’ll be able to attend a lot of concerts. Your work has set my soul truly free. It makes my soul full of joy, but above of all, it brings a lot of sounds and music to my soul.

Some people might see this story as stupid or childish, but only a person who has lost the ability to hear and then is able to hear again can understand how it feels and the joy I feel inside me. My soul was shut away from the world and sad because my soul is the one of a person who can hear and listen to music, and Girls’ Generation brought my happiness back. Thank you Taeyeon, Jessica, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, and Seohyun. I’ll keep working very hard to hear more and more each day just like you keep working hard to bring smiles to our faces. Hwaiting!!!!



Written by: Diéfani Favareto Piovezan
Edited by: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

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