[FANYISM] Understanding Tiffany
When I see people bashing Tiffany, I know its because they don’t have the faintest understanding of her. They misunderstand her enthusiasm, her openness, her concern, her selfLESSness for selfISHness. This is ironic and tragic at the same time. If they could walk 10 steps in her shoes, they’d have nothing but admiration and love for her. I’ve been going down the list of the Soshi members, trying to understand the magic of 9 and I can say this. Tiffany is without a doubt Soshi’s biggest fan.
Let me say again.
No one believes in the power of 9 more than Tiffany does.
Look at the road she’s taken. First she had to believe in herself, the power of 1. To take a leap of faith like she did, coming by herself to a foreign country, and fully embracing it. Think of what that means, the language, the customs, the food, waving a freaking lollipop (ask any valley girl to do that and you’re risking life and limb, seriously), the culture of respect, you know none if it was easy. But she did all that, and then she climbed on top of a very precarious mountain, not by pushing others off, but by helping and holding tight to those around her. Really, this is something more than remarkable. What strength of character that took. What belief in herself, and her dreams that showed.
When they debuted, they were nine girls, some had been friends for years, but the long process of training together, of working towards a common goal allowed something singularly precious to form. A seed that would grow into Soshi. But by getting to the top with her sisters, Tiffany opened herself up to the people that would hate her, just for being different. Judging her because she’s somehow not worthy in their eyes. Her sometimes hesitant Korean is just a convenient focus for people already determined to not accept her. Some people have issues with her for being religious. Whatever. If that’s a source of strength, good for her. In my opinion she personifies faith, optimism and hope. Is that so bad?
Even with that said, Tiffany is the member I worry about the most. She’s a walking contradiction. Incredibly brave, strong and caring, she wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s utterly transparent, incapable of hiding what she’s feeling, hurt her and she cries, if she’s happy, she shines. And when she smiles, people melt.
No one is a harsher taskmaster of Tiffany than herself. Think about that for a moment. No barb, no cruelty, no criticism can make her work harder than she already does. She would welcome her worst enemy, and not defend herself. She’d take every curse and hate thrown at her and try to understand it and improve, even when she feels the pain more than most people with normal defenses would.
In interviews, she’s almost always the first to answer a question, not because she wants the attention, NOT BECAUSE SHE WANTS the attention, but because she cares how Soshi is perceived. She won’t protect herself, but she’s fiercely protective of her family, her sisters, of Soshi.
On Hello Baby, it broke my heart when she felt she was rebuffed by the baby. With everything she’s been through, any connection she can make is more precious to Tiffany than her pride. Here’s the next lovable point about her. Knock her down and she gets right back up. Bleeding, bruised, it doesn’t matter. If she can, she’s perseveres. Please go re-watch episode 2, the first time she’s picked as worst mom (I was so pissed for her. . .), where they’re all in the living room. The only thing she looks at the entire time is Kyungsun. She must have cautioned everyone else at least a dozen times. “Be careful, be careful, be careful.” There’s slight vindication later in the series, when one of the honorary fathers, who was an actual father, awards Tiffany the best mom, BECAUSE HE’D SEEN EPISODE 2.
Because she’s lost people in her life, she fearful of losing anyone else, it’s always present at the back of her mind. She’s more aware of mortality and loss than the others. In Wonderful Outing, when Seohyun is doing the bar flip you’ll hear Tiffany’s “Jho-shim.” Be careful. When the girls went on Intimate Note, Tiffany was absent. Her grandfather had passed away in the States. I was really proud of the other eight because they did their best even though you know their hearts were with Tiffany, thousands of miles away. And yes, the KJE Chocolate show. If you’ve ever thought that Soshi was a manufactured product, with fake plastic dolls, go watch Chocolate. That’s our Soshi, those are the real emotions behind their professionalism. 9 young women who’ve sacrificed so much to entertain us. A stone would have wept.
In Chocolate, you see the other eight girls put their own loneliness aside and their concern for Tiffany is more than touching, it’s inspiring. Taeyeon worries about Tiffany a lot, because Tiffany, the one so many hate because they think she’s selfish, doesn’t take care of herself. She has no quit in her. The story about how she took her cast off early, because she couldn’t stand to not be dancing with her sisters, that’s Tiffany. Singing herself hoarse, every time, disregarding the health of her voice for live performances to the point where Taeyeon has to worry about it, that’s Tiffany. Re-watch the interview that took place right after their solo concert. Look at Tiffany’s face. It scared me, because she was beyond exhausted. Totally limp. She left it all out there.
The rest of the girls have the control to hold a little bit back, so they’re not hammered flat, but Tiffany doesn’t know anything less than 110% effort. She’s not the best vocalist or the best dancer, but no one works harder than her.
Because Tiffany comes from a different culture, she adds a depth to the relationships within the group. Korea is a highly stratified culture. To be socially acceptable, everyone has to follow the forms of etiquette. Because she was unfamiliar with them she was an easy target. Oh, she’s rude. Oh, she’s ignorant. . . grrrr. (I’m saving up for a rant on the Korean predilection for being overly judgmental. . . emphasis on the ‘mental’.)
But now, she knows the proper forms. Always greeting, always cheerful with that smile from heaven, that’s Tiffany. The flip side to that is she knows how to break down the walls within the group. Within the group, she’s the casual American cousin, etiquette be damned. That strengthens the already incredible bonds that we can see. She’s a momma for Seohyun, an English tutor and sister for everyone else, wife to the Byuntae.
Lastly, to understand Tiffany, I think it’s important to understand the scars she carries from losing her Mom. I can’t begin to understand what that feels like, but I think I can appreciate her hunger for belonging. She said when she was a trainee, she didn’t really think about her family, didn’t miss them, didn’t regret choosing this path. It was only when she debuted, when the prize was in front of her, that she felt the void. She knew then that achieving this monumental success was empty without someone to share it with. The years of ignoring and pushing away the need for a family really smashed into her. That’s why we’ve seen her confront, acknowledge and finally accept what losing her mom did to her. You KNOW what Soshi means to her? Everything.
How can anyone not love Tiffany? Just boggles the mind.