To. Hyoyeon:

Another birthday, another year — and a lot can happen in those 365 or so days. Now is the time to look back on the falls that you’ve picked yourself up from, the hills that you’ve climbed over, the leaps that you’ve taken to touch the clouds. And can I be honest? I’m not surprised that you’ve made it this far already.


You’ve had huge potential from the beginning, of course — being named the next BoA is no small achievement. And maybe that didn’t pan out exactly as expected; but in my opinion, it came out even better. Because the burdens of the limelight are always easier to bear with more hands to hold your own. Because the special thing about Girls’ Generation, I think, is that even though it’d be so incredibly effortless to overshadow (or be overshadowed), all of the members have managed to somehow find that elusive balance point, one way or another. And you, Hyoyeon, are perhaps one of the very best examples.


From the start, you’ve always stood out: the dancing, the blonde hair, the face that apparently makes even some South Koreans think that you’re not native. We don’t have to dig much deeper to discover that your presence is undeniable as well — you’ve said so before that whenever you go on stage, you pretend that you’re Beyonce. And that confidence extends not only to performances, but also to whenever you happen to enter a room. We’ve seen it at concerts, we’ve seen it on shows, the most fortunate of us have seen it in person. So really, I don’t think you have to do much pretending in the first place.


The easy, smooth path to take from the beginning, of course, would’ve been to rev up your engine and recklessly embrace being the amazing powerhouse that you are. You wouldn’t knock down your own team, obviously, but you could easily do enough so they wouldn’t have to do much of anything — yes, you actually could do it all.

But then you’d ask yourself, “where’s the fun in that?”

Because yes, you’ll always be the first to grin and do some silly move to announce your arrival. But when all is said and done, you’re also the kind of person who’s not truly smiling until everyone else is. Even so, you won’t stay behind just so others can stand on your shoulders — no, not when you could be marching right up to them and pulling them alongside you. Because people can talk about being grounded all they want; you know that the best view is from the top, with those you care most about well within arm’s reach.


Realizing what exactly it is that you do for Girls’ Generation — realizing what exactly it is that you do for any one of us — has never been simple. But that alone means that you’ve succeeded; you’ve hit that middle ground, that sweet spot of beaming through the darkness without blinding anyone in the process. You’ve always been able to laugh and joke and goof around because you have always known what exactly it is that you do. Getting recognition for it, though? That’s just a bonus.

So here you go, Kim Hyoyeon. Thank you for everything you’ve done, everything you’re doing, and everything you’ll do for all of the tomorrows to come. We, of course, wish you a very happy birthday, but we know you’ve already got one planned, regardless.

hyoyeon sun

Sources: deselim, “Hyo Style”, SM Entertainment, Casio, Hyoyeon’s Instagram
Written by: moonrise31@soshified

Originally posted on September 22nd, 2015.