sunny wink

Ever since her debut, Sunny has been known as various things: the vitamin, the energy pill, the aegyo master of Girls’ Generation. And sure, labels are only labels at the end of the day, and bear no indication as to whether their claims are actually true. It’s standard practice now, to put each member of any idol group into a neat little box, packaged and ready for the audience to digest and hopefully learn to love.

Sunny, meanwhile, is one of the cases in which she does indeed encompass any and all of the above listed things. And the reason is simple: she’s managed to charm her way not only into the hearts of her members, but also into ours, one way or another. And now that she’s here, she’s definitely here to stay.

sunny stage

“Charming”, of course, often implies some kind of trick. It can be an innocuous one, as innocent as deciding to put your best foot forward when faced with thousands of judgmental eyes watching your every move. And this is how Sunny became known for what she’s known for: someone who can pull out her aegyo-that-calls-for-a-punch at the drop of a hat, someone who can brighten anyone’s day with a brilliant smile and a cheerful catchphrase.

This isn’t to say that none of Sunny’s brightness and energy is real — in fact, it’s quite the opposite. People can respond to any kind of manufactured happiness, to an extent. But it’s the genuine vibrant personality of someone like Sunny that warms our smiles and heals our souls, even if it’s just the smallest patch to an enormous tear. Because the best place to start is always the beginning, and every small step — every one of her upbeat smiles and singsong encouragements — will help us make our way forward.

sunny surprise

So, charm can also be a natural trait. Something that someone like Sunny unconsciously exudes, drawing others towards her because she’s a comfortable person to be around even when she’s not trying to be. It’s this side of Sunny that has come to the forefront in recent years, as she’s been able to branch out of her “best foot forward” approach and settle into the charm she already effortlessly gives: someone who is everyone’s friend because she’s as caring as she is practical, and as ready to relax on the couch all day as she is to break out the drinks, or even catch live chickens on television only because no one else will, now will they?

It’s this inner calm Sunny has — evident even during her debut days, when she was always ready to bring forth pure brightness on the briefest command — that makes her down-to-earth and relatable to so many. And although she is no longer as fresh-faced and wary of the long climb ahead, Sunny is just as bright now, in another way: a steady presence in the industry that she has undeniably conquered, just by being her usual charming self.

sunny smile

It’s been more than a decade. But ever since she burst into the new world with a bottle of spray paint and a graffitied wall, Sunny has continued to live life to the beat of her own lighthearted drum. And whether purposefully or not, she’s led many others to do the same — because just by being comfortable, she lets others be, too.

Happy birthday, Sunny. Here’s to another year of your calm quirkiness, easy smiles, and steadfast faith that tomorrow will always be what we make of it.

sunny sogeum

Sources: Sunny’s Instagram, FRESHRIMP, CHEWING, PEEKABOO
Written by: moonrise31@soshified