I first discovered Sulli (Choi Jin-ri) in the Kdrama, To the Beautiful You. With her irrepressible energy and her charming persona, she made the whole thing highly entertaining. In fact, it is the second drama that I have watched on Viki. It will always have a special place in my heart.
When I got into Kpop, Sulli was once again on my favourites list, being part of the girl group f(x)
Most recently, I have been a big fan of The Night Of Hate Comments not because it promotes hateful comments, but because it brings awareness to them and their terrible consequences. Each episode was a treat thanks to Sulli, who always radiated inner and outer beauty.
Unfortunately, in a place where one is expected to assume a certain role and then simply become a mindless drone, Sulli was often criticised for her progressive outlook on life. It was only natural for a bright and beautiful young girl such as herself to challenge the stale norms of society. Yet she was constantly berated and punished for it. Everyone expected her to act not just like an idol, but also like a doll, a plastic Barbie that could be dressed and undressed and made to perform on the stage whenever it suited higher management. I have always appreciated the fact that she stood her ground, taking legal action against online harassers and even leaving her company to focus on independent projects. When asked by her co-hosts how she was doing, she answered positively, with a smile even. While the bad things that happen to us can’t be easily erased, we can and we should find the strength to move on and actually enjoy our life. “Haters are going to hate” is a frequently used message on the Internet, so to win over them we have to show them that our life is infinitely more important.
Today, I am heartbroken by the news that Sulli is not with us anymore. I am equally upset because she smiled even when she did not have to do it. I wish she had said, “No, I am not alright” when they asked about her health. It is also “OK not to be OK.” You do not have to fight this evil world alone. I hope others will understand this.
Meanwhile, we have lost another Angel, and the world has become that much darker. I will forever remember her genuine laughter and her kind heart and her enlightened spirit. No one will hurt her now.
May she rest in peace.