hyoyeon you dj

In a world where success depends on something as finicky as public opinion, very few are able to strike the balance between toeing the line of social convention while also remaining true to the colors they want to show off to their audience — an audience who may have stopped by on a whim, ready to look elsewhere as soon as they’d glanced over in the first place.

There are just a few seconds to make an impression, and the first impression is everything. But according to Hyoyeon, there’s not much to do except take a deep breath, put on her best self, and knock the crowd off their feet so they won’t even think about turning away.

hyoyeon you woah

Hyoyeon has never had a problem with standing out. There are those who note that it’s easier to make it somewhere this way: by having a more eye-catching color, by unabashedly offering opinions and tripping over her own tongue for the sake of variety and entertainment. Idols are still genuine onscreen, onstage, and with fans; but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t filtering themselves at least a little, picking and choosing which parts to hold back and which ones to push forward, all for the sake of likability.

And so the debate — one that anyone involved with fandom in some capacity will face — now comes to light:

What is real, and what is just for show?

hyoyeon for world peace

The thing about Hyoyeon is that she’s always been in it to win it. She puts one hundred percent of herself into whatever she does. She doesn’t have time to think about what action might reflect better in the moments after she’s done it, or what words might sound better if she could phrase them just so.

Because as much as Hyoyeon is unarguably one of the best dancers and performers of her generation — because of her power, her confidence, the sharpness and fluidity of her technique — she is also known for traits that conventional idols are hesitant to embrace: her honesty, her humor, how easily her current thoughts become the exact words she speaks next.

It may not work for everyone, but it works for Hyoyeon. And it has brought her to where she is today: a giant in the midst of an industry taking the entire globe by storm.

hyoyeon you goof

Happy birthday, Hyoyeon. Here’s to you and your uncanny ability to make the best out of a bad situation, whether it’s for your members, your fans, or the juniors scrambling to fill in your footsteps. Here’s to you and the way you can make us stare in slack-jawed awe for one moment, and then laugh so hard our cheeks hurt in the next: the perfect dichotomy between someone born to stand on a stage in front of thousands, and the familiar childhood friend we can never truly grow apart from.

Here’s to you, Hyoyeon, and your many happy birthdays to come.

hyoyeon you cutie

Sources: SMTOWN@Twitter.com, Girls’ Generation’s Official Twitter, SBS Power FM, Hyoyeon’s Instagram, Hyoyeon’s Twitter
Written by: moonrise31@soshified
Lyrics translation from SonexStella@soshified