Firstly, I need to seriously repent; to be honest when I first started following EXO, I didn’t like TAO one bit. In fact, I was a little brainwashed by the hate and developed a negative impression of TAO.
I didn’t watch their variety shows in chronological order, so the first time he changed my impression of him was when they were on that show and he said to KRIS, “I’m by gege’s side everyday and he has his ups and downs, gege I hope that you won’t keep your unhappiness to yourself when you’re upset, I can bear your burdens with you.” That’s the gist of it; I can’t remember his words verbatim. At that time, I was really taken aback. I didn’t expect him to be able to say something like that- he was around 19 years old then? From then on, I decided to really get to know TAO.
Let’s talk about Showtime. The incident that left the deepest impression on me- I’m sure I’m alone in this- was when they were at the cookie stall with the grandpa. @*$%# I was watching it and hammering my chest while howling because he’s such an angel! At first when he was talking to the grandpa, the old man didn’t even pay any attention. I really felt that the rest of the members were feeling awkward, but TAO didn’t mind and continued talking to him anyway. I can tell he’s very easily satisfied, a mere cookie can make him happy and wholeheartedly praise the grandpa for his effort. He isn’t stingy with his kind words. When he was helping the grandpa draw shapes, he said to LUHAN that the other shapes weren’t as pretty as the star shape, finally causing the old man to laugh. The whole process must have taken less than 5 minutes, but the grandpa went from ignoring TAO at the beginning to telling TAO, without being asked, how his sales were the day before. Before they left, he even gave TAO and the rest some buns. TAO melted an iceberg in 5 minutes, didn’t he? He even reminded the grandpa to dress warmly- %&$^# I teared up watching this bit because this cutie is too heart-warming!
From this we can tell that TAO is very cheerful and likes to interact with other people. When he got ignored, most people would feel awkward or even get upset, but TAO didn’t seem to be offended at all and continued speaking to the old man. TAO also knows how to share: when he got the cookies and buns, his first response was not to eat them himself but to pass them to KRIS, and he even took the smaller cookies for himself, leaving the bigger ones for his hyungs. TAO has a really sweet mouth, but what do you mean by calling a grandpa ajusshi….
This snippet left a deep impression on me. I actually realised that he had good people skills because he interacts with others with his heart. To be able to establish such a connection with a stranger he’ll probably never meet again- TAO really has godly social skills, the speed at which he makes friends is really shocking…. Huang Xiaoming and Mingdao etc.
//(She talks about SuTao and BaekTao here — basically about how close they are)//
TAO is probably the member that gets the most hate. I really want to sit down with some haters and talk about their mob mentality issues. TAO is such a cutie, so please don’t hate on him anymore! The so-called ‘hate points’ are basically - low EQ and lack of sophistication. Dear haters, we really need to have a chat! People with low EQ can’t possibly make friends so easily! But why do people accuse TAO of having low EQ? I think it’s because of how real he is. He’s the same on and off-screen, he doesn’t try to hide anything.
People with ulterior motives only see him bickering with CHEN but fail to see TAO telling fans on shows how hard it is for XIUMIN and CHEN to promote in China, and asking fans to show them lots of love.
These haters only see him ‘bullying’ SUHO but fail to see how often he confesses that SUHO is the one who is a constant source of comfort and support for him.
Haters may only see him tease KRIS but fail to see how he always shares food with KRIS, and is too soft-hearted to punish KRIS during variety show games.
Haters only see him playing around with LUHAN but fail to see how he comforts fear-stricken LUHAN in high places, and even tells BAEKHYUN to stop teaasing him. At the haunted house, despite being scared shitless himself, he was the first to rush to the door upon hearing LUHAN scream. Usually, they’re playfully hitting each other; but in times of need, LUHAN is his brother.
Haters only see him quarreling with BAEKHYUN but fail to see how he always says BAEKHYUN is like a real brother to him.
To be honest, these are easy things to base hatred upon. But at the same time, his genuine nature is a huge plus point. Because he’s too real, his weaknesses are also his strengths. He gets hated on because he isn’t SM’s typical idol. He’s too individualistic, but for a child who parachuted (T/N: only trained for a short period of time before debuting) into SM without knowing a word of Korean, to force him to smooth out his rough edges may be too much to ask. There are already too many polished people in this world, he doesn’t need to become another.