“ize” magazine recently included a feature on Girls’ Generation, which looked at Girls’ Generation’s career as a whole and at each individual member.

1. Girls’ Generation’s Newly Met World

”Right now is- Girls’ Generation!” It’s been 8 years. During that time, Girls’ Generation has become an unprecedented girl group. It’s safe to say that they are a team that’s received uniform love from the general public for such a long time. Also, while nearing 8 years, their 4th mini album ,”Mr.Mr.”, was released this past February. It seems to be an album they’re using to announce that they’re not over, but proceeding into another [time] period. That’s the reason why “ize” (read “eyes”) decided to talk about Girls’ Generation right now. While retracing how and how much the nine girls grew up, we also looked at what they’ve been showing currently. We also prepared infographics for each members’ characteristics and history. It would be good to even call it a complete collection of the past, present, future, and survival plans of a girl group’s [members] that are no longer young girls. It’s a method of interpreting the signal of Girls’ Generation’s approach, which was different from past generations, so to speak.

In a sense, “Mr.Mr.”, which Girls’ Generation released on February 24th, is the hottest song right now. As soon as this song, created by The Underdogs, was revealed, harsh criticism poured out from people. They consisted of comments saying it’s not catchy, it’s not trendy, and it’s not popular [to the general public]. In reality, the song not performing well on MelOn, Mnet, and other music charts compared to Girls’ Generation’s fandom and popularity within the general public is like evidence. The music video release, which was set for the 19th, also went badly when a part of the data was corrupted. The music video that was revealed on the 28th left ambiguous results not having been able to clearly deliver the concept, possibly because of the mishap. These controversies that came about before Girls’ Generation’s first performance seemed to show that this girl group nearing 8 years this year isn’t the same as before. Is there really something wrong going on for Girls’ Generation?

“Mr.Mr.” is actually like a song that doesn’t pay attention to those kinds of words. The song doesn’t relate itself to the current trend, but reminds us of where Girls’ Generation’s starting point was. It’s kind of like their debut song, “Into the New World”. With “Into the New World”, Girls’ Generation delivered the image of healthy, innocent young girls with their clearest vocals. “Mr.Mr.” also starts off with Taeyeon’s distinct high note, and the rest of the members also let us hear [clear] vocals without [distracting] techniques. Also, like “Into the New World”, they did graffiti and danced, showing their individual characteristics. This music video also focused a bit more on showing each members’ individual images, rather than the group dance. What’s even more important is that it’s a choreography that consists of both the feelings of women and men. At the time of their debut, Girls’ Generation members were pretty young girls in short skirts, who handled energetic choreography and kicks. While they are a girl group, they are a team that has the “strength” that can be found in boy groups, and it is one of the main factors that helped them draw in fans from early on. In “Mr.Mr.”, Girls’ Generation does urban hip-hop dances, comparable to how EXO did with “Growl”, wearing a mannish look. They show masculine choreography such as fastening their shirt cufflinks, or fixing their neckties. At the same time, they danced together with male backdancers on stage for the first time since their debut. It’s a message that they’re full of confidence, being able to show off the power and vigor of a male while not giving up femininity.

And so, the criticisms that “Mr.Mr.” isn’t popular to the general public is meaningless. Rather than this moment’s trend, “Mr.Mr.” seems to be showing the group’s future, and, even early on, the group Girls’ Generation caused a sensation amongst fans before their popularity from the general public. Of course, after releasing “Gee” in 2009, they have been regarded the nation’s girl group. “Gee” was a rare song from SM, following the hook trend. People loved the repetitive hook song, and the “so bright, bright, blinding” nine girls. Also, Girls’ Generation became the first group that SM, the idol market, and the general public experienced. There were girl groups in the past, like S.E.S, that retained a passionate fandom. There definitely were groups that, comparatively, appealed to the general public like Fin.K.L. However, there weren’t any girl groups like Girls’ Generation that equally had both. Men desire them, women want to be like them, children envy them, and they are just pretty and cute girls to adults. That was Girls’ Generation after “Gee”. Their activities as CF models for food, furniture, banking, and home appliances, as well as being chosen as the number 1 celebrity in the recent “Korea Power Celebrity 40” list by “Forbes Korea” are all positive proof of this.


With the extensive love they receive, there are a lot more things they have to consider, and it has become more complicated and difficult to choose a concept. Those worries show through the moves Girls’ Generation has made from “Tell Me Your Wish” to “Hoot”. They wore uniforms and showed a sexy feel different from before (“Tell Me Your Wish”), wore cheerleader uniforms and cutely sang, “oppa, I love you,” (“Oh!”), and they showed the image of a strong, powerful woman (“Run Devil Run”, “Hoot”). They weren’t bad selections, but it’s difficult to say it was their best. Unlike their debut in 2007, in a market that became more competitive for girl groups, these were concepts that anyone could show. Their popularity continued to increase overseas, and the members started strengthening their own areas [of work], but the characteristic of the group itself was hazy. “The Boys” and “I Got A Boy” didn’t really help them make a breakthrough either. In their mid-20’s, and as an 8-year old girl group, it seemed there wasn’t an answer as to what more they could do.

“Mr.Mr.” yelled out “eureka” for somewhat finding the answer. Mixing with the group dance was distracting, but this song’s music video looks like a sensuous fashion film. The girls appear wearing stylish outfits that women their age would want to wear, and rather than overall context, it gives off the feeling of a photoshoot by emphasizing the feeling of each and every cut. It’s completely different from “I Got A Boy”, which let us hear the chats about guys that women in their 20’s could sympathize with, but not being able to show consistent characteristics while wearing outfits that western teenage girls would probably wear. The emotions and attitudes that come from the song definitely changed. It’s a song about a confident girl supporting guys, like “The Boys”, singing, “Mr. Mr. who made my heart race (the best guy) Mr. Mr. (that’s exactly you),” and “the chosen one who will make me shine.” With these lyrics, it draws out a much more complicated, and delicate female figures. It’s a song about dedicating oneself to the man they love, along with the pride of a beautiful woman. It’s a new direction pioneered by Girls’ Generation, who can’t be girls anymore.

It’s difficult to say that this promotion cycle will help them hit the peak of their popularity like before. It’s impossible to know what their next stage will be, and it’s not necessary. What’s important is that they aren’t putting a stop to their 8 years of activities, but it’s a fact that they’ve gotten a future now. And so, the “Mr.Mr.” lyrics “you’ve got the key to open the future” is heard as words Girls’ Generation is saying to themselves. The 8 years has been reset to 0. No, not “reset”, but rather “newly set”. A generation of girls in their mid-20’s that nobody has experienced is coming. A generation that will make your body shake from excitement from not knowing how far it will reach.

2. Girls’ Generation 2007 – 2014


CONCEPT 2007-2014

“Into the New World” (2007) ▹ “Gee” (2009) ▹ “Tell Me Your Wish” (2009) ▹”Oh!” (2010) ▹” Run Devil Run” (2010) ▹ “Hoot” (2010) ▹ “The Boys” (2011) ▹ “I Got A Boy” (2013) ▹ “Mr.Mr.” (2014)

“Girls Go to School” — Fresh girls’ debut process
“Factory Girl” — The girls became fashion editors
“Horror Movie Factory” — Picking a horror queen. Cancelled after just 6 episodes
“Himnaera Him” (aka ‘Cheer Up’) — Cancelled after just 2 episodes due to poor viewer ratings
“Hello Baby” — The girls appealed in a lovable way through a baby book
“Girls’ Generation and Dangerous Boys” — The girls become mentors for boys

Accumulated music video views — 508,216,621 (as of 2014.03.03, only including Korean version music videos)

84 — Korea: 70 / Overseas: 14

Food — 7
Clothing — 4
Games — 5
Banking — 1
Electronics — 8
Shopping — 1
Accessories — 1
Furniture — 1
Mobiles — 2
Total = 30 (entire group)

US — France — Japan — Thailand — Indonesia — Singapore — China — Hong Kong — Macao — Taiwan

KBS “Music Bank” — Number 1 for 9 consecutive weeks
On television 3,800 times for 3 months (public television+cable+radio)
Number 1 on Japan’s Oricon daily single chart (first time for a Korean girl group)

3. Taeyeon, Her Voice

 Vocals 40% — Leader 30% — Fan Service 20% — Kkokkoma (translator’s note: kid) 10%

Her Voice
The girl wearing goggles, shyly hiding her young face in the “Into the New World” music video turned into a different person when she stood in front of the mic. OSTs she participated in became consecutive hits, and by standing next to seniors like The One and Kim Bumsoo, she used tactics of appealing to people through music. And like how she cutely sang Rain’s “It’s Raining” on KBS “Happy Sunday — Immortal Song Special”, Taeyeon knows when and when not to show off her singing skills. It’s the reason why Taeyeon, a singer for 8 years, is still called “Woo.Choi.Ri” (translator’s note: 우최리=우리 최 리더=the first characters of ‘the best leader’ written in Korean) by fans. The way she uploaded a video of her covering Justin Bieber’s “Be Alright” without a word to console fans was like a strong side of her. Taeyeon says a lot of things through songs rather than [spoken] words.

OST — “If”, “Can You Hear Me” number 1 on charts

“Salamander Guru and the Shadows” — shadow of a cameo

1. Artist Taeng
2. Canine Ginger
3. Minion
4. Nail art
5. Color shot
6. with SNSD

During a Girls’ Generation – TTS performance, when Seohyun hit Taeyeon in the face with her elbow, Taeyeon couldn’t hold in her laughter.
While sleeping, Taeyeon can grind her teeth, snore, host a radio [show], and introduce Girls’ Generation.
Taeyeon treasures her pea plush, “dookong”, takes selcas with it, and takes it to the airport.

4. Jessica, Blushing Young Lady


Ice Queen 40% — Sergeant Sic 35% — Fashion 20% — Jung Sisters 5%

Blushing Young Lady
She looks coy. She’s also chic. From her eyelashes to her pedicure, it seems like she’d be perfectly maintained. Who knows. But this young lady who is physically weak, sensitive to heat, and sleeps a lot could be full of cracks. On talk shows, with a beautiful facial expression, she says things like, “I’m normally not the type to clean,” or, when speaking about their title song, she would say, “I didn’t really feel it.” MCs then proceed to tease her, and Jessica’s face turns red and she becomes flustered. The reason why this happens so often for her is because she isn’t good at expressing things. To be honest, it’s a risk for idols to show their actual intentions and images unexpectedly, rather than making comments that smooth out the show’s mood. It’s hard being loved by everyone. However, some people receive love especially because of those things. Jessica’s really “daedanada” (translator’s note: this is a reference to Girls’ Generation on “Radio Star” in 2013).

Myeongca Drive — Number 1 on music charts with “Naengmyun”

“Wild Romance” — a drama’s tall wall

During a mission to call a senior they want to become close with, instead of a male celebrity, Jessica chose Lee Hyori.
Jessica once said, “Because I don’t have a sense of humor, (the guy) doesn’t need to have one either.”
When Girls’ Generation members placed her in 7th when choosing the member who is prettiest without makeup on, Jessica shouted, “Are you all crazy?”

1. Physically weak
2. Sleep
3. Jinx
4. Pitch
5. Cucumber allergy
6. Sergeant with little time left to serve

5. Sunny, Ability to Open Everyone’s Hearts


Aegyo 40% — Wit 30% — Uncle Fans 20% — Uncle 10%

Ability to Open Everyone’s Hearts
She’s the youngest sibling with two older sisters who are 15 and 10 years older than her. She used aegyo naturally while growing up, and her personality has become one that she herself describes as being “optimistic about everything and too bright”. And so she fit in well with four actors who aren’t just big seniors, but elders. On KBS’s “Invincible Youth”, when a baby she was looking after hugged her, she commented, “Auntie can’t feed you,” showing that girl group members are capable of having variety show skills. Regardless of the program, she gets along with anyone, and if needed, she tosses out her girl group image. With her name Sunny, as is, she approaches anyone brightly and gets along well with them. Saying she’s the most compatible member for variety shows out of other girl group members is a low appraisal. If Sunny didn’t exist, would Girls’ Generation have been able to receive as many favorable impressions from any gender and age?

“Invincible Youth” — Rising star in variety

Ad from long ago — Concept’s scapegoat

1. Aegyo that calls for fists
2. Nose wrinkling
3. Oppa♥
4. Sunny>[Lee] Seojin
5. Short, quick steps
6. I’m sulky

Depending on her condition, Sunny’s drinking capacity changes, but she confirmed that she’s a good drinker because she’s always in a good mood.
During the Gulf War, she lived in Kuwait, and has trauma when it comes to the sounds of fireworks.
There was an incident where a pack of chocolate milk that Sunny left in her bag and forgot about exploded in their dorm in the middle of the night.

6. Tiffany, Shoujo Jidai


Beauty 40% — MC 20% — Eye Smiles 20% — Ddilfany 20%

Shoujo Jidai
When Girls’ Generation held lollipops and sang “Kissing You” in 2007, Tiffany showed cute eye smiles on KM “Sonyeon Sonyeo Gayo Baekso”, becoming the general trend amongst many males. She also earned the nickname ‘Ddilfany’ for speaking broken Korean and dancing in the opposite direction on stage. However, she was a vocalist who showed off explosive vocals on stage. It’s now 2014 that’s singing “Mr.Mr.”, which Girls’ Generation showed with flashy stylings through the music video. Tiffany became a cosmetics model and shot a beauty photoshoot, her airport fashion became a hot topic, and she lets us hear vocals that have enough presence as a voice of Girls’ Generation with Taeyeon. In her teenage years, she represented the “girl” in Girls’ Generation, and her 20’s represents Girls’ Generation currently. Like the word itself, she is Girls’ Generation.

TaeTiSeo — Even when hidden, I twinkle, what can be done

Pitch — A wild pitch in front of Ryu Hyunjin

Tiffany and Jessica were born in the same hospital in America, and during their trainee days, they greeted the first snow of the year 3 years in a row.
Tiffany likes eel so much that fans put two pieces in her lunchbox.
Tiffany is the youngest of 3 siblings, and her sister calls her “baby cake”.

1. Car
2. Bag
3. Headphones
4. Lipstick
5. Trenchcoat
6. Doll

7. Hyoyeon, The Girl Who Rides a Groove


Dance 35% — Optimism 30% — Slapstick Comedy 20% — Confident 15%

The Girl Who Rides a Groove
2011. During Girls’ Generation’s performance at the SMTOWN Paris concert, the loudest cheers for Hyoyeon probably felt gratifying for everyone, and not just Hyoyeon’s fans. That’s because people who know how Hyoyeon has played her part as the choreography and dance leader, not showing a hint of distress despite receiving groundless criticism during their early debut days, could do nothing but be happy together at that moment. Not only on stage, but even on variety shows, she minds the members’ ad libs and readily parries persistent MCs’ attacks against members. She’s like the eldest sister of Girls’ Generation with a big heart. The words she said energetically to the camera, despite being covered in mud after rolling around a mud flat for a show, is the way she lives. “I came to work right now. How would you work without getting any dirt on your hands?”

SMTOWN Paris concert — Europe is Hyoyeon Generation

“Kissing You” — Hold a lollipop and be all like this

Hyoyeon, who has some confidence when it comes to fashion, tried to match a training look with Uggs and a leather jacket, and was criticized by Sooyoung.
With the dream of becoming a good wife, Hyoyeon said, “In 2021, I think I’m going to have four kids.”
Hyoyeon got her place wrong during a performance, and secretly tried stepping back, earning her the nickname “hyokkeum hyokkeum”.

1. Running
2. Cycling
3. Skiing
4. Golf
5. Dance
6. Jump!

8. Yuri’s Place


Hard-working 45% — Kkab 30% — Healthy Beauty 20% — Fashion? 5%

Yuri’s Place
Beautiful on the outside, a dork on the inside. She wants to hide her trademark “kkab” as she gets older, but after being shy about it, once she focuses, she shows slapstick comedy. Her members also exposed how she slept through the movie she said she likes the most, only watching the beginning and end. Those kinds of things make you want to tease her. Yuri’s a young lady that makes you like her more after seeing her put in 200% of her efforts into dancing, pitching, and variety shows, not being able to hide her greed of wanting to stand out amongst the members and receive love. So it doesn’t matter if she’s not the center, leader, or main vocal. Yuri’s bright and healthy energy right now is, and will continue being, one of the most important things that makes the “girl” in Girls’ Generation.

Pitch — The legend of “BK Yuri”

“No Breathing” — An unnecessary love triangle

1. Pacific
2. Surprised
3. Embarrassed
4. Delight
5. Merong
6. Eolssu (translator’s note: this is a sound effect)

Yuri appeared in a Chinese Chocopie commercial as a student getting a bike ride from Jang Donggun.
Yuri denied rumors of her not doing “kkab” anymore because she was bitten by the “actress bug” and elaborately danced Lee Junghyun’s “You”.
During their Japan activities, Yuri’s self-introduction was “I am Yuri who likes takoyaki.”

9. Sooyoung, Lady Long Legs’ Wish


Brave 30% — Style 30% — Shikshin 20% — Tall 20%

Lady Long Legs’ Wish
Tall with big eyes and lips, Sooyoung is like a cool senior unnie in an athletic club in Girls’ Generation with her outgoing way of speaking. Auditions she didn’t make during her trainee years was “training to let go of things that aren’t ‘mine’.” Debuting first in Japan as a teen, going to schedules riding the subway became the background of how she pleasantly takes on Girls’ Generation’s busy schedules. But with her early start, she has a lot of thoughts. The general public asks to see idols’ honest appearances, yet they don’t like it when they stray from the image they anticipated. This worry has been Sooyoung’s dilemma for 10 years. And so, the weight of honesty that you feel from Sooyoung’s request to fans, “After time passes, when you recall today, could you remember that you were happy that Girls’ Generation was there?” isn’t light.

“Midnight TV Entertainment” — Entertainment awards rookie MC award

CF from 10 years ago — Reggae, never ever

Sooyoung tricked Tiffany saying, “The sacheoltang you eat on Bok-Nal, is a food that has four irons in it.” (Translator’s note: sacheoltang is soup made with goat meat. “Sa” is “four” in Korean, “cheol” is “iron” in Korean, “tang” is “soup” or “stew”)
In the “post ugly pictures contest” in Girls’ Generation’s group chatroom, Sooyoung consistently wins.
Every 6 months, Sooyoung makes the members eat anthelmintics, but Jessica didn’t know what it was at first.

1. Chungseong! (translator’s note: said when saluting)
2. Fighting!
3. Me?
4. Oh my
5. It’s the best!
6. De-het (translator’s note: just sounds)

10. Yoona, Girl the Wild’s


Center 40% — Acting 30% — Boy 20% — Strength 10%

Girl the Wild’s
In idol groups, the “center” is a position that’s just as important as the leader or main vocal. Fair and slender “standard beauty” Yoona stands at the center of Girls’ Generation. Jumping into acting and being met with innocent, sad, and sometimes a cheerful “Candyrella” (translator’s note: mixing Candy from ‘Candy Candy’ and Cinderella) character is an expected sequence. However, Yoona’s actual image, wrinkling her face waving her hands going, “Oh [no]~” when you bring up her beauty, is beyond all this. She’s called a “choding” (translator’s note: elementary school student) amongst her members for being strong, eating well, and pulling pranks. This brave, boy-like lady gives a letter to the people she worked with after filming ends, and quietly does charity work. The way she smiles freshly, like someone who is modeling a cool drink, talking about how she’s become determined after doing 100 auditions makes it clear there are more charms to discover from her.

“You Are My Destiny” — Average viewer ratings 40%

“Prime Minister & I” — Average viewer ratings 5%

1. Park Jaejung — “You Are My Destiny”
2. Kwon Sangwoo — “Cinderella Man”
3. Jang Geunsuk — “Love Rain”
4. Lee Bumsoo — “Prime Minister & I”
Reality: Lee Seunggi

Yoona secretly fed Sooyoung kimbap filled with salt, and the latter grabbed her by her shirt collar.
Impressions Yoona’s particularity good at doing are imitating the face of halibut and Ahn Youngmi.
Yoona said she wants to delete the photos of her eating rice wrapped in greens on the plane by paparazzi from her life.

11. Seohyun, Maknae on Top


Maknae 40% — Rule of Principles 40% — Health Products 10% — Random 10%

Maknae On Top
She recommended a book to the person opposite her on MBC “We Got Married”, Jung Yonghwa. On another variety program, when the MC asked her to speak informally, she replied, “Ah… Alright.” She was awkward about not being allowed to use honorifics. Proper living maknae amongst talented unnies. However, her eating habits, enjoying vegetables and tomatoes, helped her have a body that other women want to imitate. And her earnest way of living helped her handle various roles from TaeTiSeo’s “Twinkle”, to singing “Jjalajajja” with senior Joo Hyunmi. Also, during the introduction of “Mr.Mr.”, following Taeyeon’s part, she attacks men with the line, “It’ll be too late if you calculate everything.” The maknae who is in the middle of Girls’ Generation through hard work before talent. This is the proper living maknae who hears the words “maknae on top” by Girls’ Generation unnies.

“We Got Married” — Proper living girl

“We Got Married” — Stifling young lady

1. Meditation
2. Role model
3. Self-help books
4. Donating blood
5. Sweet potatoes
6. Public transportation

Through UFOtown messaging, Seohyun encouraged fans to vote for the 18th South Korean presidential election.
To Sunny eating a hamburger, Seohyun seriously said, “Unnie, you’re going to die from eating that.”
Seohyun, who doesn’t flinch when the members provoke her to get angry, cried when Jessica and Sunny acted like they were fighting.

Source: “ize” Magazine
Translated by: ch0sshi@soshified
Edited by: bhost909@soshified

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