After being part of the K-Pop industry for 14 years, Girl’s Generation‘s soloist Taeyeon is certainly no stranger to public scrutiny. In a new interview with Hashtag Legend, Taeyeon revealed how she copes with everything the public says about her.
From dating “scandals” blown out of proportion to getting judged for her facial expressions, Taeyeon has faced it all over the past decade. While being such a popular idol must have its upsides, Taeyeon’s popularity also means she faces intense public scrutiny for all her words and actions. However, despite being so well-known, Taeyeon says she still not used to attracting so much attention.
When the things I say on TV or write on social media become news articles or my name is suddenly trending on websites or on Twitter, I’m really surprised and realize a lot of people are paying attention.
Of course, attention can often be negative—even when the idol in question has done nothing wrong. That said, when asked if she’s ever felt pressure or insecurity from the public scrutiny she faces, Taeyeon showed maturity and optimism in her answer. “Sometimes it can come across as feeling like pressure,” the star explained, “But I want to use it in a positive way.”
Taeyeon went on to explain that the things says can actually be helpful to others if they blow up and become news articles. While she didn’t provide any specific examples, fans know well how supportive Taeyeon’s words and honesty have been over the years. In 2019, she shocked followers by bravely opening up about her depression on Instagram.
Even when some of her followers criticized her for revealing her true feelings, Taeyeon didn’t back down. In an Instagram story, she told fans, “I am suffering from depression,” going on to reprimand those who look down on people suffering from mental health conditions of all kinds. Her words soon hit media outlets around the world, and numerous fans shared how much they were comforted by what Taeyeon said.
I am suffering from depression. Right now, I am taking medicine and working hard to get better. Whether it is bipolar disorder or depression, don’t just ‘tsk tsk’ people and look at them negatively. They are all patients who are sick and in pain.
— Taeyeon, June 2019
As such, Taeyeon told Hashtag Legend that although all the scrutiny she gets could be seen as a burden, she’s actually grateful for the attention. “I think I’ve kind of overcome that pressure and burden,” she explained, “By making it all into a positive thing.”