The following is just my opinion, but it’s one I’ve been working on, thinking, musing, enjoying, for quite while now. When I see the 9, now, as opposed to when I first started my appreciation, I see them all as their own stars. To me, each is an amalgam of impressions, memories and iterations of connections, reinforced with every new understanding.
But when I first started watching them, I noticed that there were several standout members, the ones you couldn’t help but notice. Let’s call them LARGE personalities. If I had to pick the one that made the biggest impression on me, it would be Sooyoung. She of the never ending legs, with cheek bones that support that huge smile, a raucous laugh and an ability to verbally overpower any situation.
When I look at Sooyoung, I see someone who’s living her dream, but at the same time, having gotten there, I see someone who wants MORE. Call it her appetite. She’s modeled, been a cast member for a sitcom, supporting actress in a movie (which I really liked), been a radio DJ and was part of an international duo, oh, and she joined this girl group called Girl’s Generation. She’s also a freshman in university.
A lot of people would be giddy to have done 10% of what she accomplished before she turned 14, much less debuting with Soshi. But do you think that’s enough for her? Where do her limits lie? What drives someone like her to have such a huge appetite?
Not for food. Her constant hunger is legendary, but really, that’s just a byproduct of her prodigious metabolism. I’m talking her appetite for life. This girl wants it all. A family, outside activities, school and boys, in short, she wants everything life has, and she wants it NOW. There’s very much a sense of impatience about her.
I blame her parents. See, it’s like this. People are a product of many factors, some external, some internal, but if I’ve noticed one constant it’s this; really happy people come from really happy families. Hopefully everyone has seen the shows that have her mom, sister and sometimes her dad. That’s a family. She spent three years working in Japan. But she never once doubted, never once forgot that she was dear and precious to some very cool people. That’s powerful mojo. I have no doubt that she understands what’s important in life.
While she has the skills of an idol, her greatest strength is speaking. I’ve never seen her at a loss for words. Taeyeon is facile, as is Sunny, but Sunny’s aegyo orientation within the group doesn’t lend itself to taking a front-and-center position. Taeyeon is more than happy to pass the mic to anyone else, unless she’s making a statement for the group. But Sooyoung, with her brash oversized demeanor is at ease with anyone, anywhere. If I could pick one girl to be a sports reporter in a men’s locker room, guess who that would be? And you know? She. Would. Love. Every. Second. She’d get the job done, run home to the dorm, and be laughing for hours. Days.
But her personal ambitions don’t make her selfish. Remember that family? Family is about taking care of each other. People have described her as best friend material, and she is, but her really big heart embraces everyone around her. Not friends. Family. Need someone to watch your back? Need someone to speak for you? Need someone to smack you on the head if you’re being silly? That would be our girl. She knows how to fight for what she loves, and she’s not shy about it.
What does that mean to Soshi? Soshi has a couple moms, a baby sister, but Sooyoung plays the role of the enforcer. When Taeyeon, stressed and tired, ran out to her room to cry, rather than speaking about what was bothering her, Sooyoung went to get her. I’m sure the rest of the girls were just in shock, scared even. But Sooyoung is the one that knows if something needs to be done, it NEEDS to be done, not later, not ignored, but now.
On their Factory Girls show, where they interned as editors, one of their assignments was in setting up a dream date for a very nice young lady, who was going to confess her love for someone she’d pushed away earlier. As they went about their preparations you could just SEE how much Sooyoung, Hyoyeon and Tiffany invested of themselves in making this happen. When things didn’t initially turn out as planned, they went into mama mode. (Seohyun, bless her professional heart, kept playing the piano throughout.) It was funny, but so touching because of how much they empathized with this random girl. Seriously, that guy ran the risk of bodily injury. Sooyoung would have held his arms while Tiffany and Hyoyeon administered the beatdown. I could see it coming. Anyway, it all worked out, but I really got the sense of how much connections, however brief, mean to them.
Having said all of that, there’s also softness to her. Only glimpsed rarely, seen in brief moments, but its there. She’s not all brash courage. She’s a young woman, with lots of young woman insecurities. She knows, no matter how much she’s accomplished, there’s still so many things missing compared to a normal girl’s life. She’s determined to do everything, have everything, be everything, you know, after conquering Asia.
Next she’ll be taking over the world, just to see what that feels like.
With people like her, it is any wonder Soshi is so special?