XV. Early 2008 – Girl’s Generation & My First Crush
Up till this point, you may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned a lot of females when it comes to Korean and Japanese artists. I mentioned Younha, for her vocals on the ending theme on “Bleach.” I also mentioned BoA for her “Every Heart” theme on Inuyasha.
But other than that, I didn’t exactly have an urge to download or buy music from anyone else. Even when it came to the Wonder Girls that I wrote about in Chapter XIII, I acknowledged that “Tell Me” was a major hit…but not exactly my cup of tea.
Then there was Girl’s Generation.
Haha! I know. Not exactly what one would expect from someone who also into Dir En Grey or H.O.T’s rock driven hits. But SM Entertainment…those bastards know how to work beauty. Should have known. If they can make their men pretty, it was easy to produce a girl group complete with nine of the heavenly girls you’ve ever seen. Therein lies one of my many contradictions when it comes to the resentment of “sex sells”.
Girls Generation also known as SNSD, consists of the members, Taeyeon, Sunny, Tiffany, Hyoyeon, Yuri, Sooyoung, Yoona, and Seohyun, Girls Generation was a sister group to labelmates Super Junior and, more importantly, DBSK.
However, that didn’t bring them instant success. In fact, quite the opposite. From what I saw, Girls Generation got a lot of hate from fans of DBSK and Super Junior. Remember what I told you about Cassiopeia in Chapter VII (Big Bang vs the Pretty Boys). DBSK’s fan base numbered almost half a million. And these were die-hard teenage girls who would tear into anyone threatening the success of their beloved DBSK.
Just because they were on the same label, it didn’t exempt Girl’s Generation from their wrath. Sad to say, it makes sense. If you’re teenage girl who thinks the world of the boys of DBSK and Super Junior, dreaming of them, wishing to one day meet them and have them but throw a glance your way…how would you feel if you saw nine girls your own age of extraordinary beauty, fraternizing and working together with your beau?
Yes, it seems these fans were absolutely ravenous. Girl’s Generation had rough beginnings and it wouldn’t be until 2009 that they’d breakthrough with the infectious hits, “Gee” and “Tell Me Your Wish.”
I’m mentioning the “Gee” phenomenon now, because even when it’s released in January of 2009, I never really liked the song, but still, recognize that it definitely put them on the map as one of the top acts in the industry. Even people who didn’t know what kpop was, would eventually hear of “Gee” in the states. Especially if you were a DJ or in the club scene.
But let me back up for a moment…even before I heard of Girls Generation, I had heard of Hyoyeon before their debut. There was talk of a female version of DBSK’s Yunho who could dance just as good, if not better, than Yunho himself. I checked her out and found her dancing with the renown choreographer Jaewon (formerly of Black Beat).
You can find other Youtube videos of Hyoyeon rocking it back before she was with the group. In fact, it seems almost all of the members had some notoriety before their debut. Their first release, “Into the New World,” merely piqued my curiosity. It didn’t hook me or make me a fan. Just someone who was interested in seeing how far they’d go.
Hyoyeon, as you can imagine, caught my eye in the beginning. But that was before I saw the girls on a program called…I’m not sure what it’s called actually. Manwon Happiness or something. Essentially, it’s a variety show where two subjects are given a booklet a money and have to go a few days trying save as much of the money as possible. Whoever saves the most money wins.
On this episode I downloaded, it was Big Bang vs Girls Generation (SNSD). It was adorable. I challenge you to watch the girl’s interaction and not fall heads over heels. Mind you, this was recorded in 2007, a different time, different culture. I’ll upload one part to give you a glimpse, and you can track down the rest.
But in it…you really get a sense of who they are…not just entertainers, but people. They were so cute. Playful and innocent. And more significantly, I confess…there was something about Taeyeon that struck my fancy.
Taeyeon was the leader of Girls Generation, often called the Kid Leader because she looks the youngest even though she was the oldest. I don’t know what it was about Taeyeon, aside from her angelic visage that drew me in, but she’s definitely the first girl in kpop that I had a crush on.
Don’t get me wrong. I’d seen legendary beauties in the kpop industry, sex icons like Chae-Yeon and Lee Hyori.
But I dunno…Taeyeon seemed different. Hyoyeon was a close second. There was something about her character. Perhaps it’s the way she handled herself as the leader of her group, taking care of the others. Or the way Yoona relied on her in the second half of the program and she happily took on the challenge.
Either way…for the better part of 2008, Taeyeon and Girls Generation were definitely a delight to my eyes. The only music I liked and listened to was mainly from that first album. All subsequent videos, I’d contribute a Youtube view, sure, but it was mainly just to be mesmerized by their beauty.
It’s inspiring. Their beauty. Back then, I was 21-years-old, 6’3, and weighing over 370lbs. I committed my mind to lose weight and it wasn’t easy. I wasn’t even sure if it was possible. No lie, you can check out this video of me dancing for a student project. I’m that huge behemoth in the vest. FAIR WARNING IF YOU CLICK ON IT! It’s the cringy-est thing you’ll ever see.
Rest assured, I don’t look like that now. My point being…the hope that one day I might lose all that weight and improve my chances of being with a woman just as beautiful…it’s one of the main motivators that drove me. I believe this is what drives most men, whether its their physique, money, or status. Sure there are women who like big men, but I compare it to casting your net. At 378lbs, the net of finding a woman who’s into big men is not as wide as one who’s into physically fit men. And so…I hustled and sweat and burned, never losing focus of the end goal.
This crush on Taeyeon…it would last for most of 2008…that was until I learned a year later, that during an appearance on a radio show she said of Alicia Keys, “For a black person she’s really pretty.”
Oh! I wasn’t hurt by the racism of the comment. Nor did I hate her or Girl’s Generation after this.…but more so…hahaha! It was like, “well damn. I’m black. I guess I must be fugly in her eyes.”
To each his own, I guess. And thankfully, as I got older, I developed a stronger preference for full-figured women. That’s all I’ll say about that.
But still. Girls Generation was a staple of 2008 and that first album they put out. I give them credit not only for shouldering through the storm of hate and animosity from their debut…but also the class and grace by which they conducted themselves when they reached the top. Girls Generation would outlast numerous girl groups and inspire a whole new generation whether others want to admit it or not.