“I think the best deed you can do for your parents is to become a child that your parents can be proud of.”

As another anniversary of Girls’ Generation approaches, fans again begin to reflect on how much things have changed in Girls’ Generation’s time together as a group. From performances in high school auditoriums to sold-out concerts in front of tens of thousands overseas, from acting out makeup advertisements in “Hello Baby” to advertising for Dior in 2011, and from their debut with “Into the New World” to being recognized all over the globe, Girls’ Generation has come a long way since its rookie girl group days. And yet, as much as things have changed, some things have stayed the same. The members of Girls’ Generation are still humble, hard-working, and appreciative of their fans, Sooyoung and Yoona still love to eat, Taeyeon still cannot reach the top shelf, and Seohyun is still the same slightly strange, slightly quirky, and much beloved maknae.

“I believe in the hope that Santa Claus brings.” (When asked if she believes in Santa Claus)

When Girls’ Generation first debuted in 2007, Seohyun quickly cemented her status as one of the most unique idols in Korean pop. She valued reading and intelligence, and wanted to continue going to school and to be known as an entertainer who had a brain and could think. She was more interested in a fictional pirate and Keroro than in male idols or drama leads, and chose to dub for the animated show with Taeyeon and Tiffany in her episode in Girls’ Generation’s MTV series. She loved to eat gogumas to the point where her skin would change color, and while using honorifics despite knowing them for years, told her unnies they would die by eating fast food. Most of all, Seohyun was respectful, mature, and wise beyond her years: the maknae of Girls’ Generation only in age.

“The one who wins at the end is a person who is good-hearted.”

Years later, Seohyun is still all of the above, but has grown into so much more as well.  She continues her education, attending college whenever possible, and in every interview names a new book she is currently reading. Though she now has begun to talk with excitement about an actual person of the opposite sex instead of Jack Sparrow or an animated green frog, that person is Ban Ki-moon, the Secretary General of the United Nations, instead of a popular actor or idol. She still loves sweet potatoes, using them to rate Jung Yonghwa as a husband in “We Got Married”, and is unable to drop her honorifics even when a variety show calls for it. Finally, Seohyun is more courteous and intelligent than ever, which is perhaps best seen when she, Taeyeon, Tiffany, and Yuri recently appeared on “Big Brothers” and were asked questions such as “What is the relationship between glaciers at the North Pole melting and your life?” Despite the difficult questions, Seohyun respectfully responds as only she can with answers as deep as the ocean, eventually prompting one of the show’s hosts to say “She’s a very unusual maknae.”

“I think that, as the glaciers melt more and more, I need to put more effort into living, because that means my life is getting shorter. So, I think that I would try to do things that are more valuable.”

Of course, Seohyun knows just how unusual she can seem, having even once said to Yonghwa, “I’m different from ordinary people.” However, Seohyun’s strange personality is what makes her so engaging and endearing.  Her uptight lifestyle at first appears to be strict, but she means the best for those around her, such as when telling Kim Jongkook in “Running Man”, the producer of “Star Life Theater”, and even SONEs at a fanmeet to fasten their seatbelts. Her love for sweet potatoes and dislike for fast food can make it difficult for her unnies to eat the foods they like, but are a part of how she takes care of them as much as they take care of her. She spends her free time in school rather than on vacation and resting, but her devotion to her studies makes her an idol in the truest sense of the word. Seohyun is as different as she was nearly five years ago, but it is her different personality that makes her more beloved and admired than ever.

“I truly.. have nothing but gratitude for my unnies. I’m just so thankful and.. I really can’t say anything other than just thank you.”

Seohyun has also grown in many ways as well, just as all the members of Girls’ Generation have after having gone through several lifetimes’ worth of experiences in their time as idols. Fans have watched as Seohyun transformed from a teenager at 16 to a beautiful lady at 21, and at an age where many are still studying, Seohyun has spoken with the Secretary General of the United Nations, met the First Lady of Korea, received a “great job” from Bill Murray, been married and divorced, performed alone in front of hundreds of thousands of people, and on top of it all, attends school. Special cases such as hers need the assistance of a qualified divorce attorney of course, given her high profile status.

During her time as a member of Girls’ Generation, Seohyun has become a college student, a spokesperson, a model, a singer, a voice-actor, and a beginning guitarist. She works to master language after language and is considering adding acting to her already lengthy list of talents. Most recently, she became a member of Girls’ Generation’s first subunit, Girls’ Generation – TTS, where she learned to enjoy the moments she stands on stage rather than focusing on her mistakes, such as when she hits Taeyeon with her elbow. Seohyun continues to grow as an artist and as a person every day, and with each experience she takes something away that makes her wiser than before.

“They say that old couples lose their feelings after a long time. But, I believe that they always are wanting to have that excitement and nervousness. Even as you grow older, I don’t think you ever want to lose something that precious.”

Seohyun was right when she told Yonghwa that she wasn’t ordinary, because Seohyun is extraordinary. She is an extraordinary idol, who sang a children’s song for her audition, and an extraordinary person, who is an inspiration to others. A role model who values education, donates blood, is honest, and takes care of herself and those around her, Seohyun is the rare idol who would offer her fans sweet potatoes after learning they hadn’t eaten breakfast. She is an only child who has found eight sisters who tease her, annoy her, and love her to bits. She is the brilliant, dedicated, kind-hearted, and extraordinary maknae of Girls’ Generation, and she has only just turned 21 years old. We wish Seohyun a very happy birthday.

“The love from our fans is ‘cozy’ and ‘unconditional’. If a single person was truly on my side in this lifetime, I think that life was a successful one. And so, I think we are living a very lucky life.”

Image Sources: Blessing of April, 치묭타, Ihope9, @star1 Magazine, Seople, baiba, hyunhock
Written by: bhost909@soshified
Edited by: SeraphKY@soshified, LetsGo@soshified

Have a news item that you think Soshified should know about? Leave us a tip or e-mail us at tip@soshified.com.
Follow us on Twitter: http://twitter.com/soshified for the latest on Girls’ Generation.