With Girls’ Generation’s 10th anniversary approaching, the feels really hit you. To say they’ve come so far since their debut days is an understatement. I remember during high school when I first started stanning our girls, people around me would say they won’t be big and they’ll disband soon because of the ‘5 year idol group curse’. The girls proved haters wrong and have become an undisputed legend in the music industry with their longevity and success. Being the first girl group to bring massive success in an era that was dominated by males, dominating album sales and chart rankings both nationally and worldwide, setting a record with 9 consecutive wins with “Gee”, being the only girl group to win the prestigious Daesung award 3 times in a row, appearing on popular American TV Talk Shows—The Late Show with David Letterman and Live! With Kelly, turning heads when they won “Video of the Year” Youtube Awards in 2013, and not to mention ranking 4th on the list of “The Highest Grossing Girl Group Concert Tours of All Time” after TLC, Destiny’s Child, and Spice Girls.
Girls’ Generation/SNSD (소녀시대) debuted with “Into the New World” back in August 2007 and this year marks their 10th anniversary. The last 10 years for SNSD are very meaningful as their schedule have been carefully filled without gaps and shown steady results, but describing SNSD as “the longest running girl group” is not enough because in fact, Brown Eyed Girls reached their 10-year mark and S.E.S celebrated their 20th anniversary recently. However, SNSD’s 10 years are the most prominent presence among Korea’s girl groups. According to web magazine ‘Idology’, the number of new girl groups who debuted in 2015 is 37. Yet a lot of them have disappeared from the music industry without getting their songs known. There are also many groups who have disbanded. The trend changes quickly and SNSD’s 10 years achievements are unusual.
Recently, an article was released breaking down the meaning and strength of those 10 years in 4 letters, “소.녀.시.대.”
소 “So” – a girl group that communicates well
Friendship is the greatest background for eight different people who have been working together for 10 years as a team. It came from communication.
SNSD had the ‘5 minute talk’ during their rookie days in which they shared their feelings for the day every night. They didn’t build up complaints and immediately released them so that it wouldn’t deepen. Chatting has become a habit and naturally lead to the effort to understand each other and improve their bond. Although it’s normal for the members to take care of each other’s birthday, it became the basis of teamwork. As the members’ individual promotions and brands have grown, they still support and cheer each other on. When one member starts an individual activity, the other members rush with encouragement for her. One aspect of that friendship is when the members became ambassadors of Korea Retinitis Pigmentosa Society (KRPS), which is headed by Choi Jeong-nam, Sooyoung’s father.
녀 “Nyeo” – feminine charm
A star does not exist without fans. Girls’ Generation were girls in their late teens when they debuted. As they matured into women, they captured the hearts of people of all ages and genders. The fandom wavered when Taeyeon’s relationship was revealed, but is now stable that they support Sooyoung’s relationship with actor, Jung Kyung Ho.
시 “Shi” – different from the start
Girls’ Generation was the first girl group to learn singing, dancing, acting, and foreign language before debut with the goal of advancing abroad. Thanks to this ‘birth background’, it became a key point in KPOP, which has become an international market. They also attempted various styles musically and became a power brand with all their syndromes–the wannabes of women, fantasy of men– and became the best ‘product’ to match the title of ‘idol star’.
대 “Dae” – representative brand
Girls’ Generation became a powerful content with their differentiation, diverse appeal, and solid teamwork, and has steadily made great achievements. They’re considered to be the best example in the 20 years of girl groups. Without member change, male group–Shinhwa–have been active for 19 years and are becoming a “myth” in the idol world. Girls’ Generation has become the “role model” for girl groups with their longevity. They also achieved various achievements overseas and established themselves as a representative brand of KPOP. Kang Tae-gyu, a popular music critic, noted “it is significant that in the music industry, they left a task to ‘create contents that overcomes SNSD’”
Translation credits: @TippaCha
The article really sums it, wouldn’t you agree? In retrospect, Girls’ Generation has become a gold standard for girl groups.
These last 10 years, we’ve seen quite a few girl groups with member changes, a number who disbanded, and some who disappeared overall. Sadly among those girl groups were groups that many of us loved seeing promote along with our girls–Wonder Girls, KARA, and 2NE1. And for Girls’ Generation to last this long and still stay on top is amazing despite experiencing numerous obstacles in their career–the black ocean, Jessica’s departure, scandals, and even political matters. What is also amazing is the fact that it’s not just Girls’ Generation as a group that has shown success, but every single member has gained recognition with their individual activities.
If you are out of the loop and are wondering what the girls have been up to while the group is on hiatus since their Lion Heart comeback,
Taeyeon just dropped her first full album, My Voice, along with the music video for the title track which achieved an all-kill
Sunny has been focusing on her musical, Cafe-In
Tiffany released her solo album, I Just Want To Dance, last year and has been busy with photoshoots (recently, MIXXO and Casio)
Yuri is busy as Lawyer Seo in her drama, Defendant
Sooyoung has been busy with photoshoots (recently, Instyle) and pranking maknae with Hyoyeon
Three weeks ago, all the girls got together to shoot for Casio Baby-G 2017 S/S and Tiffany went live on instagram.
And even though Jessica is no longer part of Girls’ Generation, we can’t forget her because she contributed to Girls’ Generation’s success. Ahem, especially her iconic “My angel and my girls. My sunshine, Let’s go.”
Jessica has been busy holding fan meetings after the release of her 2nd solo album, Wonderland, as well as in the fashion business. Few months ago, she opened a flagship store of her fashion brand, BLANC & ECLARE, in New York.
Rumors have it that the girls started prepping for an album to commemorate their anniversary but SM hasn’t officially confirmed their comeback schedule. Let’s anticipate what they have planned for their 10th anniversary!
Source: as tagged, respective YT accounts, @ehsep_gg, Naver