(First published August 2017)
Girls’ Generation is near and dear to my heart. They were actually one of the few groups I had heard of before getting into K-pop. When I decided to go all in, they were one of the first I looked up. I love everything about them: their music, their choreography, their variety show appearances, and their style. To me, they’re the ultimate girl crush group. They can handle any concept, from cute and girl next door to fierce and glamorous. Also, I really relate to them because they’re my age. K-pop is an industry where it feels like you’re doomed after 25, so it’s so empowering to see these fabulous women still thriving.
First member I recognized: Yoona, mostly because she has such a reputation as a visual. But I think that they all have pretty distinctive features and are easy to recognize.
First bias: Sooyoung. I got into SNSD by watching reality shows, and I found that she and I have similar personalities and senses of humor. She’s so sassy and unintentionally funny! I cracked up when I watched her on Weekly Idol and Running Man.
Current bias and why: I tend to change between Hyoyeon and Sooyoung, but right now my bias is Hyoyeon. I’ve found that with girl groups, my bias is either someone that I think I’m similar to or someone who reminds me of my best friend. In this case, Sooyoung would be the former and Hyoyeon is the latter. She just seems so sweet and easygoing, and total girl crush material (like my real-life BFF).
Favorite song: “I Got a Boy.” I know this is a love it or hate it kind of song, but whenever I hear it I drop everything and dance. Every. Single. Time.
Favorite MV: “Lion Heart.” The story’s definitely cheesy, but I love the sixties/retro aesthetic. Plus their fashion is absolutely on point.
Favorite era: “Party.” This was their most recent release when I got into K-pop, and I got to know them by watching all of their variety shows.
Favorite choreography: “Mr. Mr.” They’re all great, though.
Who I think is the best looking: Sooyoung. Honestly, she’s so gorgeous she could be a model. But they’re all very pretty, so I think it’s just a matter of opinion.
Who I think is the cutest: Hyoyeon, especially when she has her hair cut short. She looks cute as a button in “Party” and “Lion Heart.” (
Anyone that says she’s ugly can fight me)
Favorite singer: Taeyeon. Her voice is so versatile, and it just blends so well with so many different styles. She was seriously meant to be a pop star.
Favorite rapper: Hyoyeon. I feel like SNSD songs have rapping just to keep up with the trends, but I really like Hyoyeon’s voice and tone. It’s kind of husky but also girly.
Favorite dancer: Hyoyeon. SNSD has a strong dance line, but this is still undisputed.
An unpopular opinion about the group or a member: This isn’t directly about SNSD, but about something that happened to them recently. Hyoyeon posted on her Instagram that EXO was the only group that greeted them on M! Countdown. It’s tradition for hoobae groups to greet sunbae groups and give them their albums, so the internet reaction has been ugly (I assume in Korea, but definitely internationally). I just saw some posts that Weki Meki and Gfriend greeted them today, but a lot of the comments I read were very nasty – mostly “hypocritical” and “too little too late” kind of things.
I get that respect and seniority is huge in K-pop. I’m not Korean, and I’m very big on respect myself. And when I first saw that post, I was definitely surprised that EXO was the only group that greeted them. However, I think there’s a more neutral stance to take here. Hyoyeon probably didn’t post that to shade other hoobae groups and summon hordes of netizens; it was most likely to thank their labelmate EXO. And Sooyoung’s post about Weki Meki was appreciative, not calling them out. Even if the hoobae groups do it after those posts, people shouldn’t call it out as hypocritical. It doesn’t matter if they have a legitimate reason or if they’re doing it to make amends – it’s the right thing to do.
(This version features a lot of Hyoyeon and Sooyoung, but I promise I like the other members too!)