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INTERVIEW: Girls Generation's Tiffany Young on being a nerd & other fun facts to know

SNSD's Tiffany Young makes an appearance at Lancome's flagship store in Singapore. (PHOTO: Reta Lee/Yahoo Life Philippines)
SNSD's Tiffany Young makes an appearance at Lancome's flagship store in Singapore. (PHOTO: Reta Lee/Yahoo Life Philippines)

Behind the glitz and glamour of K-pop Girls’ Generation’s Tiffany Young is the grit and determination of a strong-willed and thinking lady who has come into her own. Embarking on the road to stardom at the tender age of 15, Tiffany Young is no stranger to backlash from critics throughout her career. Losing her mum even before she became a celebrity, the self-proclaimed ‘defensive’ teenager has come a long way to become the independent and thoughtful Tiffany Young we see now. As the lead vocalist of the K-pop girl band, the health scare when she was diagnosed with vocal nodules in 2008 only strengthened her. Now that she is ‘33 and fabulous, she is so much more than the superstar façade we see and truly embodies Lancome’s latest campaign tagline – #StrongIsTheNewYoung.

Yahoo Shopping was fortunate to score an exclusive chat with the superstar about the pressure of being a role model for young women, how she has metamorphosised over the years, what keeps her going through the difficult times, and, surprise, surprise, her confession to being a ‘nerd’. So here are some fun facts about Girls' Generation's Tiffany Young. Remember, you heard it here at Yahoo first!

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On social pressures

On feeling the pressure of being Lancome’s ambassador for the #StrongIsTheNewYoung campaign – which aims to “inspire, empower, and uplift their community to be stronger together” – Young is quick to express her gratitude for being able to help spread the message of women empowerment across the region.

“I definitely feel the pressure but I’m very fortunate to work with Lancome for this campaign. The #StrongIsTheNewYoung is such a beautiful message, it’s all about being strong and not cater to some image or what society expects of you. I’m proud to align with this campaign.”

On spreading joy to her followers

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The lives of celebrities, and even more so for superstars like Young, are put under a constant intense spotlight. But, over time, Young has learned to be more selective in what she shares with the public because she has come to understand the impact it has on her followers.

“I have become a lot more careful and mindful of what I’m posting and writing online. Before, I used to post in real time. Now, my fans know that I’m taking more time and putting in greater thought over each post. Quality over quantity is what’s really changed for me. I hope that’s a positive influence to my fans. I’m glad we are able to come out of the pandemic. There’s nothing that makes me more energetic and joyful than listening to music!”

On her metamorphosis

Beyond her cheerful demeanour, Young not only comes across as affable (too cute!) but also very thoughtful in her replies. When Yahoo Shopping dug deeper, we realised that Young has been doing a lot of "self-work", as she calls it, looking within, contemplating and polishing her mindset and daily habits.

“I was 15 when I first started and I’m 33 and fabulous now (cue: journalist gushing over her hair flick moment). There’s a lot of self-work. The times have changed and everything has changed. My heart and eyes and my ears have opened up so much more. Before I was more resistant and defensive. Now I’m more like come what may. The mindset really comes through my performance and what I’m singing.”

And on that note, Young was unabashed about sharing how therapy helped her get through unconstructive thinking and the challenging moments in her life, "Go to therapy, everyone, best money I ever spent!”

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On cultivating mindfulness

An advocate for mindfulness and personal growth, Young shares that she has been “meditating daily for the past five years. I look through my library and reflect what I’m consuming. I’m constantly filtering what I’m reading, and watching my social media intake.” Not just that, the tough cookie embraces changes and is always on the lookout for self-development, “A lot has changed and I’m open to more changes. Change equals growth.”

On grounding her thoughts via journaling

Whenever she feels out of touch or when her ideas are “all over the place”, Young journals when she has the time or uses the phone to do so when pressed for time. “There’s something magical about connecting your mind with paper and pen. You don’t know what’s going to come out from journalling. There’s a release there. I find song lyrics there. It gives me peace, it keeps me grounded and connected to myself. That’s really important.”

She’s a self-confessed book ‘nerd’

Young is a voracious reader of self-improvement books, seeking to improve herself constantly. She has recently completed The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden, citing it as "a beneficial book” for her. Her close friends are well-aware of her reading hobby, and she’s excited to start reading The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, a gift from his friend Jack. However, an author she goes back to repeatedly has got to be the bestselling author Professor Brene Brown. “I love Brene Brown. You can read her books over and over again, and it hits you differently each time. So I read a lot of Brene Brown.” But the book that impacted her the most was Bob Iger’s The Ride of a Lifetime. “That book changed my views on everything regarding creating, leadership, looking for partners and understanding companies with the mindset of wanting to create change from everything.”

“I read a lot and I’m a nerd, for sure.”

READ: Travelling to Singapore? 3 tips to stretch your dollar

On getting inspired

Young is multi-talented. Not only does she sing, dance and act, but she also plays musical instruments such as the flute. Now that she is doing more songwriting, she takes “a lot of inspiration from films. I didn’t realise that until I was studying acting. My favourite directors are Baz Luhrmann and Bong Joon Ho. I have been a fan of them for a very long time.”

“I been hanging out a lot in nature these days, it keeps you focusing on the simple things. Simplicity is the most important thing when songwriting for me. My thoughts are all over the place because I have too many ideas. Staying in nature and finding the ways to simply the things I want to say and the stories I want to tell. I have been journalling to write lyrics and come up with ideas for TV and film stories.”

When asked if she has plans for a memoir, Tiffany pondered a few seconds, probably weighing the things on her plate before replying, “That’s a good idea to venture into for sure.”

Lancome Advanced Genefique. PHOTO: Lancome
Lancome Advanced Genefique. PHOTO: Lancome

On her beauty secret

As Lancome’s ambassador, Tiffany refers to the brand with lots of love, “Lancome is life," and attributes her great skin to having “consistency in terms of using [skin care] products”. As beauty lovers, Yahoo Shopping pressed the gorgeous superstar on how she ups her beauty game despite her busy schedule. I mean, the lady is glowing from head to toe. She revealed, “A lot of water, electrolytes, and prioritising sleep. I go to a skincare professional once a week or every 10 days; it's like finding a good personal trainer for your skin.”

And the biggest beauty secret reveal? “I did remove a lot of dairy from my diet. It was great for my throat, and that really helped my skin tremendously." But first, Lancome.

The Lancôme Beauty Tech Flagship will be open to the public from now till 7 September 2022, at Mandarin Gallery, 333A Orchard Rd, Singapore 238897.

For more information or to sign up for your slot to explore the Beauty Tech Flagship, visit this website.

Yahoo Shopping Southeast Asia
Yahoo Shopping Southeast Asia