[OPINION] Jukku’s Takeover: A Brand-new Seohyun?
For fans of SNSD and K-pop, when the name Seohyun is mentioned, there are a few images that come to mind. We immediately think of a shy and demure young girl who is meticulous in every area of her life. The girl who has never had a boyfriend. The girl who scolds her unnies for not leading a proper life. What about a fun-loving young woman who looks like she’s having the time of her life on stage? No? Well, let me introduce you to a girl named Jukku.
Most of you who don’t follow every fan account or catch every tweet may not know what I am referring to. What is Jukku? The name itself is a bit random. A fan at a fan signing during the I Got a Boy era told Seohyun that this was her new nickname, and Seohyun responded by calling it cute. The name became a short-lived inside joke between Seomates and after a few weeks, I didn’t really see it used at all. But the name left an impression on me. It’s a very cute nickname that exudes positive energy. I felt like this new word, “Jukku”, would be perfect to describe the transformation happening right before my eyes. Like Beyonce’s “Sasha Fierce”, I view Jukku as an alter-ego of Seohyun, a new side to her that has blossomed and become a part of her just like the rest of her endearing traits.
Now when I say “transformation”, I don’t mean to suggest that Seohyun has never been playful. It’s true that she’s always been a little quiet and more reserved than the average girl her age, but if you pay close attention to her pre-debut and early debut footage, it’s easy to see that the girl has always had a bright personality. She has said that her charms include her “silliness and randomness.” Her episode of the MTV SNSD documentary really displayed her quirkiness well. She isn’t and has never been the “robot” people describe her as. So why is it that fans seem to get that impression?
I haven’t been a fan for too long, so I can’t pinpoint exactly when it happened, but Seohyun appeared to be closing herself off when appearing on television. For all we know, she was the same loveable jokester behind the scenes, but on shows she really didn’t say much. And while I’ve always enjoyed watching Seohyun perform on stage, even I will admit that at times it didn’t seem like she was fully engaged or passionate about her performances. It could’ve been that she was concentrating too hard on her vocals or worried about making mistakes, but it showed on her face.
Over time, Seohyun began to slowly turn that image around. As she grew and matured, she also began to improve and put more effort into her peformances and other appearances. These changes haven’t come out of nowhere. However, her vibrant personality has never been more apparent than during the I Got a Boy era. Perhaps it’s the playful atmosphere of the concept that makes her more relaxed, but Seohyun’s liveliness has spread to all areas of her career. She has mastered the art of the wink and other fanservicey gestures. She always looks happy and like she’s enjoying everything that life is handing to her. Her smile is infectious. She plays around more on variety shows and has become more open about her romantic side. She really does seem like a brand-new woman. Except she’s not.
Seohyun is still Seohyun. I can joke that Jukku has been a personality transplant, but in reality she’s still 100% genuine. She’s still that girl who loves to read and eat healthy. And I’m certain she still tries to keep the unnies in check. But instead of always being the one to do the scolding, I think Seohyun has done a lot of listening these past few months. She has relaxed more and knows that she doesn’t have to be so rigid about everything. She has let the other members influence her and as Tiffany revealed on their last Radio Star appearance, they have definitely noticed and are loving the change.
I think what really makes me love and respect Seohyun the most is the fact that she is constantly trying to improve while staying true to herself. She revealed that one of her favorite traits from fellow SNSD member Hyoyeon was having an “open-mind”, which seemed to be her missing link. She’s always willing to learn from others and trying to convert her weaknesses to strengths. It’s like she keeps striving to become a better version of herself in all aspects and I love that about her. Everytime I see her performing, I am wow’ed by this evolution. I have never been more proud to be a fan of this woman, Jukku, Seobaby and Seo Ju Hyun. They’re all the same person in my eyes 🙂
Disclaimer: I’d like to stress that these are impressions I get from observing Seohyun’s public interactions, but this is solely my opinion.
Do you agree? Have you noticed Seohyun’s changes? What would you attribute it to?
Thanks for reading 🙂