[OPINION] I get you, Seo Joo Hyun.
Seohyun of SNSD has been enjoying the spotlight in the Korean media recently. Ever since her stint on the popular reality show “We Got Married”, this unique maknae has gained many adoring fans, including myself. But I keep hearing that Seohyun was virtually unbearable and extremely awkward before her appearance on the show. While I may agree to some extent, I feel the need to come to her defense. One reason I am such a huge fan is because I share many of her characteristics. She’s not a robot.
There’s no denying Seohyun’s epic awkwardness on almost every variety show EVER, even to this day. It’s easy to see that Seohyun has always been uncomfortable when away from her unnies. She’s the one always stuttering when put on the spot and the one most susceptible to her unnies’ pranks. She enjoys things that would lull most to sleep and demands order and punctuality from her older bandmates. Her personality is quite unheard of actually.
But what is it that we haven’t seen behind the scenes for the years leading up to WGM? The playful personality that Yonghwa was able to bring out wasn’t non-existent before then. Jessica has outed her for being quiet on television but much more outspoken at home. Hyoyeon and Tiffany insisted on calling her “Rapper Hyun” for how much she talks when she’s at the dorm.
It is even more obvious to me when watching videos of Soshi during their debut era. Seohyun is still quiet and well-spoken, but has a very bright and energetic personality. During GGTS, when playfully blocking her unnies faces with her hair, Taeyeon mentioned that she was always like this. In her MTV SNSD episode, she shared her love for Keroro and showed much enthusiasm when dubbing for the character. Playful Hyun has always been there. She may not have been as in-your-face as some of the other members were, but she has always been an interesting person. Through observation, it seems that after a few years, she became tired and a bit jaded, as they all did. Her expressions changed and they were no longer as bright as before.
Per haps I’ve gotten a little off track, but what I’m really here to say is that Seohyun’s personality may seem weird to you, but the reality is that there are many out there who are similar to her. I know I can relate to her in so many ways. In highschool, I was always the youngest of my friends and the one who tried to keep them in check. I was considered the most innocent and would have rather worked on my own than cheat off of the papers they circulated amongst each other. I was raised by my grandparents, who were very strict and instilled me with a strong set of values. I cared so much about my friends and was able to let loose and become more relaxed around them. When I would get around people I was very uncomfortable with, I was accused of having no personality.
I used to take the “no personality” comments to heart more than any other actually. I would think “Do I have no personality because I’m nothing like you?” Eventually I learned that “having a personality” meant making them laugh and entertaining them. Doing the things that I enjoyed doing were not interesting to the people who made these kinds of comments. If it bored them, it was boring in general.
That’s why when ever I watch Seohyun on variety, I don’t cringe because she’s terrible, I cringe because I can imagine being the one put on the spot. I know how it feels like to be a riot amongst your closest friends but then completely freeze up during an uncomfortable situation. I know how it feels to be told time and time again “You’re so quiet!” and going back to tell my friends who shake their heads in disbelief. I love to go out and party, but wouldn’t mind being cuddled up with a good book either.
And I’m not trying to completely praise people with Seohyun’s personality traits, either. As a teen, because of the high moral standards I set for myself, I was a very judgemental person. As much as I cared for the people in my life, I wanted to conform them into believing the same things that I believed. But I have definitely grown out of that stage. I can see Seohyun is slowly beginning to do the same. She may still have a love for order, but I think she’s also starting to see that not everyone can be like Seo Joo Hyun. For me at least, it always came from the heart, so I can relate.
Seohyun has certainly come a long way from where she started, but I don’t think it’s because of the fact that she had an unbearable personality to begin with. I just think that fans aren’t able to see most of the things that go on when the cameras are off. There are members who are mostly reserved but play up their wacky sides for shows. Seohyun, for the most part, hasn’t had it in her to be that way. But as someone who knows what it’s like, I am proud of all the recent progress she has made. You continue to be an inspiration to me, Seohyun, and I am not at all ashamed to say that I am very much like you.