Today is the birthday of T-ara’s original and forever maknae Park Jiyeon!
Like fellow member Eunjung, Jiyeon was originally trained as an actress and only later switched to singing. Prior to her debut with T-ara in 2009, she appeared in several TV shows and was actually the first T-ara member to be revealed to the public when she collaborated with labelmates Seeya and Davichi for the song “Woman Generation“. She also appeared in the MVs for senior artists SMASH and SG Wannabe. In addition to all this, she earned a black belt in taekwondo and has displayed her ability in that regard on many shows.
As I said earlier, Jiyeon was originally trained as an actress and has built up an impressive acting resume, despite only being 19. The same year that she debuted, Jiyeon was chosen for a role in the SBS drama “Soul”. In 2010, she was chosen for the role of Na Hyun Jung in the popular “God of Study” drama as well as the role of Seo Yool in “Jungle Fish 2”. On top of those two dramas, she also was one of the leads for the horror movie “Death Bell 2: Bloody Camp”. After a two year absence, she returned as the lone bright spot as Rian in the terrible terrible drama “Dream High 2“. In all of her roles, she’s drawn rave reviews and is considered one of the few idols who can actually hold their own against other actors and actresses.
Since she is still a singer after all, Jiyeon also contributed to the OST for several of her roles. For “God of Study” she sang “Rolling”, for “Jungle Fish 2” she did “Little by Little”, and for “Death Bell 2” she performed “What Should We Finish“. In “Dream High 2”, she contributed to 3 of the tracks as well as perform several songs during the course of the drama. Though overshadowed vocally in her own group, I find that she is actually quite good if she stays within a certain range. She’ll never win a singing competition, but I am very impressed with how much she’s improved since debut.
Though already popular beforehand, Jiyeon gained more fans who saw her aegyo-filled personality on the variety show Heroes. Her love of eating was on full display on that show as well as her tendancy to act like a dinosaur when she gets frustrated, earning her the nickname Dino-Jiyeon. These traits are only accentuated when she’s with her fellow members on a variety show. Any time food comes into play, you always see Jiyeon hanging around and her unnies are always sure to feed their cute hungry maknae.
Of course, you can’t talk about Jiyeon without discussing just how amazing she looks. She’s often voted among the best looking idols in the industry, and was also chosen by her peers as the best looking idol in person. Early on, she was most famous for though was her resemblance to actress Kim Tae Hee, but she has said that she does not like being reminded of it. Nowadays though, the resemblance has disappeared and to me, she’s way more gorgeous than Kim Tae Hee. In my mind, she’s one of the few girls that can truly pull off a cute, pretty, and hot look. No matter what concept T-ara puts out, it always seems like it fits Jiyeon perfectly. Short hair, long hair, blond hair, brown hair, it’s hard to find a look that Jiyeon can’t do.
Considering all her success, it’s sometimes hard to remember just how young this girl is. Though maybe not as popular as her best friend IU, she is still the face of T-ara and still wildly popular in her own right. It’s hard to imagine just how much more she’ll be able to accomplish and no doubt she will easily transition to acting full time after she decides to stop her musical career.