My Seomate Story: Mari

Mari's impressive Seohyun collection

My Seomate Story is a new featured article that introduces you to Seomates from around the world and gives them a chance to tell the story of how they came to love SNSD & Seohyun . This month, we meet Mari, a 19-year-old American SONE who first heard of K-Pop as an exchange student in Taiwan. What made her fall in love with our maknae?

Okay, how to start this… My name is Mari, and I’m a 19-year-old female SONE living in the Chicago area [USA]. My life is pretty uneventful. I’m currently taking a break from school and just working to support my Soshi fund, ha! No, really, most of my time and money goes to SNSD, but I can’t say I dislike that. So my life currently consists of me spazzing over the girls and of course, buying more stuff to add to my meager collection. How did I become so obsessed with these nine beautiful and quirky girls? Good question!

It started way back in 2009 when I did a youth exchange program to Taiwan, an island in Asia. K-pop was pretty popular there, and by K-pop I mean Super Junior and the Wonder Girls. My exchange year ended and before I knew it, I was on my way back home to the States. I arrived home to find that my sister, who the year before was completely and utterly obsessed with anything Japanese, had switched countries. She was now obsessed with anything and everything Korean. To say I was surprised was an understatement. My life now consisted of hearing K-pop blare through the house at all hours of the day… and night. I was definitely put off since I had spent a year abroad in Asia. I was ready to be Americanized again, which meant listening to English music and shows, and doing “normal” stuff. Instead, I was forced to listen to Korean music and watch shows I didn’t understand.

1 of the 2 Korean groups Mari knew of while living in Taiwan

I’ll admit she got me hooked on K-dramas and I spent several late nights, or should I say mornings, watching dramas feverishly. I started liking some of the music around August, but I dared not say anything since my sister would gloat. My sister was anti-SNSD at the time, but she still had more of their popular songs in her library, and she did show me their music videos online. I was slowly getting hooked, and that’s also when I realized that a music video I saw in Taiwan had been none other than SNSD’s Gee. Maybe I picked up an interest in them because my sister disliked them, or because even then I couldn’t resist their charms. I‘ll never fully know.

September rolled around and my sister was off to SMTown LA to watch her then favorite group Super Junior, and I found myself feeling slightly jealous that she was getting to see Girls’ Generation before me. She came back and excitedly told me how great everyone was and how I should have gone. She also took great pleasure in rubbing in the fact that she saw SNSD live, and she even admitted that they had a lot of charisma on stage.

September also marked the beginning of my love for Seohyun and SNSD, that until now, has never wavered. No doubt, my sister was behind this as well. She kept continuously nagging at me for days to watch a variety show, and I refused, until she finally became too unbearable and I caved. That reality show was none other than We Got Married. The episode? The Chuseok special where alongside the YongSeo couple, the Adam and Khuntoria couple were also present. From just about the minute it started, I could tell I was going to be hooked. There was something awkward, cute, and just so real about the YongSeo couple that drew me in like a moth to a flame. I never had a chance. The minute it was over I was begging my sister to find me the rest of the episodes. I literally devoured all the YongSeo episodes I could find and I fell in love with them. I guess I’ll stop there with YongSeo, since once I start, I won’t stop spewing how they’re perfect for each other, should get married and have babies together… (:

YongSeo Couple

 After I finished backtracking all their available episodes, I grew even more curious about Seohyun and started YouTubing videos of her. Of course the other SNSD members were in the clips which is also when I started to fall in love with the other girls. I mean really, there is no resisting a group of nine incredibly dorky, weird, talented, gorgeous girls, right? I watched all their old shows, their music performances… basically anything I could find on them.

Mari's copy of Seohyun's Marie Claire issue

Watching all the YongSeo episodes along with SNSD’s variety shows left me with a good sense of Seohyun’s personality. This was a girl unlike anyone I had ever seen. An idol from arguably South Korea’s most loved and popular girl group, who remains completely humble and morally up-right. A girl who cried because people think “entertainers have no brain”, and she’s definitely proved them wrong, has she not? A “health freak” as dubbed by many, who takes several types of vitamins daily, makes a ma drink every morning, exercises, and of course… eats no junk/fast food. She is reaping the benefits by rarely, if ever, getting sick when her unnies get sick. In between flying in and out of the country and her hectic schedule, she STILL finds a way to attend university. How she does it all, I will never know. I can honestly say I haven’t looked up to anyone else quite like I do to Seohyun, she truly is a great role model.

Of course, you can’t be a huge fan of someone without eventually picking up some of their habits. I’ve always been a huge reader, ever since I was little. I now occasionally find myself waking up at the insane hour of 7 am just to read a book in the peace and tranquility of the morning. I can see why she enjoys it. No one is awake and the world is still quiet, the perfect time to relax. I wish I could say my eating habits have also improved, but sadly, I still enjoy burgers and the occasional fast food meal. Maknae would disapprove! I’m still trying to figure out how to make that infamous ma shake…

Mari's Poster Collection

So basically since August/September of 2010, my life has changed a lot. I can’t spend a day without Twitter or Soshified. I have to be up-to-date on everything that SNSD does because let’s face it – they’re always doing something! I am constantly broke buying anything SNSD or often times Seohyun-related. I even flew out just to see them perform in New York and attend the [Soshified] fan-meet. Being a SONE and a Seomate is a full time job, but something that will always make me happy.

Seomates, I hope you enjoyed reading Mari’s story. Please look out for more Seomate stories in the future!

Add Mari on Twitter: MariV52

Mari’s Profile on Soshified: Mari52

  • Written By: MariV52
  • Edited By: lvsanchez115
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About L

Interested in Japanese language and culture, J-Pop, K-Pop and Asian Dramas.

Posted on March 28, 2012, in Opinion and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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