1. She has many hardships as the leader of Red Velvet, she just doesn’t express it
In an episode of Yangnamja Show, Joy explains that the other team members always talk about the difficulties they are going through but Irene never says anything during those times. In response to Joy, Yang Se Hyung shares his own experience as a leader of a group, saying that he realized if he said negative things as a leader of a group, the whole group collapses. As he explains that instead, he simply holds it in or goes to another senior to ask for advice, Irene’s eyes start becoming teary. It seems as if she has some hardships as the oldest leader of the group that she had been holding in.
2. She goes the extra mile to take care of her members
Despite her petite build, she often carries heavy things for her members so that they can be more comfortable.
She often buys her members food and gifts.
Even if something is difficult, she makes it work for her members. In an episode of Level Up Project Season 1, she carried 4 drinks with her small hands!
She tries her best for anything she does for her members. In this case, she is giving her full attention to removing all the fishbones to feed her members.
3. She’s extremely sensitive and gets easily attached
Although it may take her awhile to become familiar with people, once she gets to know them she gets very attached. Irene began crying at the end of Red Velvet’s variety show Level Up Project Season 1 making everyone else cry as well. It appears that she was sad to part ways with the staff she had grown close to.
4. She’s extremely caring, including to her fans
After seeing that a fan looked cold, she went ahead and offered her own hot pack to the fan.
5. She is the perfect leader
Joy confessed her affection for Irene, complimenting her as a gentle, yet reliable leader. She said that Irene calmly pointed out things that were wrong while accepting all of the members’ opinions and maintaining peace within the group. Seulgi also added that despite the hierarchy system that existed when they were trainees, Irene suggested that they forget about it and start fresh as a team when Red Velvet was formed.
6. She tries not to cry in front of her members
After winning for the first time on music program THE SHOW, Irene did not shed a tear while the other members became teary-eyed as they were all extremely worried about their new title song. Some anti-fans had criticized Irene for being cold, but in a follow-up interview after coming down from the stage, Irene was spotted trying to hold back her tears while listening to her members talk.
She had once said in a radio program that she tries not to cry in front of her members and that if it’s too difficult to endure, she goes to the practice room and cries alone. She added that listening to music helps her feel better and the stress she gets from not expressing her emotions eventually disappear if she deals with it alone.
7. Irene misses her family and hometown very much
Irene revealed that when she goes home, she loves doing the most ordinary of things such as simply going to the market with her mother, doing chores for her and listening to her nagging. She explained that of course, her mother can’t nag her anymore because they’re always apart. She was eventually asked to send a video message to her mother during which she cried over her overflowing emotions when thinking of her mother.