I’m just going to start off by saying that Taeyeon has always been my bias, so I hope you guys all understand if this article gets pretty personal.

I still find it hard to believe that when Taeyeon was my age, she already had years of training under her belt in addition to a big-screen debut as the leader of Korea’s arguably most popular girl group. Damn girl. All I did was drag myself to school everyday. 4 years later, she’s taken the title of world star to a whole new level with a slew of CFs, tv shows, international albums, musical, etc etc.

When I got into SNSD a couple years ago, I didn’t even notice Taeyeon. On variety shows, Sunny is the all-kill. On music shows, Yoona has the majority of shots. Jessica has the blonde hair, Sooyoung has the height, etc etc. Sure Taeyeon has her solos, but then again… (so does almost everyone else.) But now, I see Taeyeon as the leader who lets her girls take the spotlight.

Pre-Debut Days

She is not necessarily a leader because she barks orders around or because she is the most talented of the 9 girls. Rather, Taeyeon gains her respect naturally through her genuine love for her teammates, and her sacrifice that demonstrates this care. I mean, who else keeps spoons in her bag to feed the other members?

As cheesy as this sounds, she has really been a role model for not only me, but also for many other fans around the world. Seriously, this girl is just so modest, and she might be shy and introverted, but she’s courageous as hell. In Mnet’s “Girls Go to School”, Taeyeon was unsure of her abilities to lead a group, but look at her now. Without her, I doubt Soshi bond would be as strong as it is today. Like seriously, TGFT- thank god for Taeyeon. Because of her, I could say TGFT- thank god fo Taeny whenever I see things like:


The reason why I like Taeyeon so much is that she understates herself when she actually has the capability to amaze the world with her talents. She never shows any arrogance for her singing skills, and she just seems so.. real, naw mean? She’s like the girl you would have as your best friend, always there to have fun and take care of you.

Have you ever noticed that it is never Taeyeon who flaunts the years of hard work she’s gone through, but rather it’s SM officials and other people who have watched her through her pre-debut times? Of course, trainee years are extremely difficult, both mentally and physically, but never once did Taeyeon b**ch about it and use the pity card. Instead, she’s always willing to show her strongest image to her fans without actively trying to take credit for her efforts. She’s always the one drying the other members’ tears and hiding her own, only to cry behind the scenes.

I used to wonder if her easygoing personality was all just for show, only to please the fans, while in reality she was the mean girl no one liked. But now, it’s clear that she is, in fact, selfless and genuinely loving. She’s grown so much, not physically lol, but in maturity. In the years since her debut, she’s shown her innocent, naive side and an unexpectedly fierce, mature side. But no matter what the latest “image” is, and no matter how much popularity she receives, I think we could agree that she will always be the humble, pure, and talented girl from Jeonju.

I’m gonna confess one thing. When I signed up to write this birthday post, I honestly couldn’t think of a nice, unique thing to say about Taeyeon. The first things that come to mind when I think of her were: short height, ahjumma, dork, byuntae… and those aren’t really compliments LOL. (Which is also why I didn’t go with my usual birthday-post styles). But I hope that I was able to represent fellow Sones in appreciating Taeyeon through my own account as a Taenganger. Too often, people focus only on the face, the bod, the fashion, often overlooking deeper, more meaningful attributions of someone beautiful both inside and out. Hopefully, people start looking beyond her looks, and appreciate her personality as well as her amazing voice because this girl certainly deserves it all.