Idol Focus: The Coveted Eye-smilePosted: April 1, 2011
If there’s one thing that every idol group has, it’s a member with a winning smile… and a winning eye-smile (ala Lee Hyori). With the help of some over-zealous netizens, we have gathered a collection of the coveted eye-smile. Check out the candidates after the jump!
One’s eye-smile (Korean: 눈웃음, nun-ooseum) is basically the shape the eyes take when one smiles. With certain eye-smiles, some people have the ability to smile with their eyes without changing expression in other parts of their face. A particularly charming eye smile is definitely timeless, so don’t expect this trend to be ending any time soon!
The coveted eye-smile, as described earlier, is a combination of crescent-shaped eyes when smiling coupled with the drastic turn-around difference between smiling and not smiling eyes. (Eg. KARA‘s Han Seung-hyun is known for always looking angry unless she’s smiling.)
A winning eye-smile can come from both single- and double-eyelid eyes, male or female. The idols gathered in this post are (1) from idol groups, (2) believed to have good eye-smiles amongst all idols, not just within their own group, and (3) known specifically for their eye-smile within their group (in other words, the smiling mascot of the group).
Let’s get this ball rolling.
Let’s start off with an easy one: Tiffany. At Girls Generation debut, many Korean pop music fans found it hard to memorize all 9 members, but Tiffany quickly rose to popularity, mostly because of her pretty smile and her crescent-shaped eye-smile. In general, the SNSD girls style has changed a lot over the years, but Fany’s eye-smile still remains as one of the treasures of this super-large girl group.
Dong-bang-shin-ki & JYJ
Sure, you have a lot of pretty boys in formerly one group, but Micky Yoochun, with his mischievous smile has that great eye-smile that makes you feel every smile is a genuine smile (though we can never be sure). While other members had other things going for them (cute Changmin, anime-looking Jaejoong, etc.), Micky Yoochun became the “smiling prince” to Dong-bang-shin-ki fans all across Asia. Now, he shares that smile with his entrance into dramas, such as “Sungkyunkwan Scandal.”
Actually, it’s hard to do much with this one. It was suggested that within Super Junior, Kim Kibum has a good eye-smile, but since he isn’t very active in Super Junior these days… We honorarily give the eye-smile award to the variety star Leeteuk, who is also known for his winning smile and dimple, which he is able to plaster on his face for hours on various variety programs. You may argue amongst yourselves on this one.
As expected, the adorable Han Seung-hyun is KARA‘s eye-smile mascot. Particularly being able to change her face from utter rage to a smile that brightens a rainy day, this kind of dramatic effect makes you feel the eye-smile’s power even more. The member even admitted on “Star Golden Bell” that every one thinks she’s peeved when she’s not smiling.
Maybe some of you will be surprised to hear that CL holds the eye-smile title in the sassy 2NE1. Why not Dara? Netizens argued that even though Sandara Park has the ability to have a charming eye-smile, in general she doesn’t do the crescent-eye-smile very often, respectively in comparison to CL, who’s eyes turn into happy ever-so-slightly curved crescents. Some netizens argued that this isn’t really the crescent-eye they’re looking for, but regardless, CL’s smile looks more genuine than not and sure does give a change of feeling in her face.
Super smiley and happy-go-lucky Daesung is the always smiling with his half-crescent eyes that fans are certain his face is going to get stuck that way. Cheerful and consistent, if Daesung isn’t smiling, we’re sure he’s sick.
Not so fast, Big Bang has the honor of having two eye-smile princes. Taeyang on one side tends to be rather stern, but his smile sure does bring a lot of warmth. From his manly way of performing straight into his innocently happy smile, fans are certain his eye smile can melt any heart.
Jun Hyo-sung is known for her outgoing personality and her matching bright smile. Even though Secret sports the “glamorous” style, Hyo-sung’s smile seems to effortlessly appear. Falling for this easy-going type of charm, fans are certain her eye-smile has something to do with this contagious smile.
Another mischievous goofball wins the eye-smile prince title. This time it’s SHINee leader Onew. Quite the jokester, Onew has a special skill for variety, bringing out so many laughs, he easily threatens the MC’s job on any variety show he appears in. Nunas love his boyish smile that reminds fans of his funny personality but also makes him much more approachable and friendly. Onew is also known for his eye-smile and his eye-shine (눈빛, nun-bit), especially when he’s telling a joke or messing with the other SHINee members.
Wondergirls mangnae So-hee gains a lot of attention for her eye-smile. With considerably large eyes, she is able to be very expressive in her eyes and face. At the time of Wondergirls debut, many were worried about So-hee when she appeared on variety shows, because she was shy in front of the camera, but when she would crack a smile, all would be put to ease.
2PM‘s “Little Rain” Junho gives us another single-eyelid eye-smile that is all shiny-shiny. The 2PM goofballs were always full of smiles, allowing fans plenty of opportunities to catch Junho’s simply happy eye-smile.
2AM‘s nun-ooseum-jaengi is none other than Jinwoon. The 2AM singer completes is mangnae role by smiling brightly and often. At 2AM’s debut, many nuna fans loved their “cute dongsaeng” Jinwoon with his smiling eyes. In general, Jinwoon is known for having a “smiling expression,” even when he’s singing the saddest ballad. Nonetheless, we don’t ask for good acting from the young balladeer, we only ask that he keeps giving us that beautiful smile.
Another mangnae Sulli has quite the eye-smile and brings a fresh and pretty smile to the f(x) group. Sulli’s bright eye-smile is quite inviting and matches well with her outgoing personality. At the time of the f(x) debut, many fans were drawn to Sullli because of her winning eye-smile and tall stature.
Variety idol, Lee Ki-kwang has an eye-smile that makes all the fans want to smile along with him. Like Jinwoon, Lee Ki-kwang is blessed with the “cute dongsaeng” character and adds a lot of good laughs to any variety program.
Newer member Lizzy got a lot of good buzz when she joined After School because of her charming eye-smile. Netizens find Lizzy’s face to be all-around friendly and kind-looking, and her pleasant eye-smile is easy on the eyes.
Another variety idol, Lee Joon seems to live (at least on TV) between two expressions: mung (absent-minded/spacey) and smiling. Though his character on TV doesn’t prove that he’s the brightest out of the bunch, he could easily live on his smile,
kind of like he’s doing now.
Rocker ulzzang Lee Hong-ki is not only the lead singer of F.T Island, he’s also their eye-smile representative. This multi-talented singer showed off his ability to become the “cute dongsaeng” character, complete with a pinch-worthy smile, in the idol drama “You’re Beautiful.”
Of course the collective opinion of netizens doesn’t have to match individual tastes… So, who do you think has a winning eye-smile? Any more you’d like to add?