Chyenne Tatum | @chyandblack


Dear Mark,

Well, it’s here — your 22nd year in this whirlwind of a simulation we call “life.” How does it feel? Did you experience a magical moment when the clock struck 12? If not, that’s okay, because each time you wake up and decide to have a good day, it’s a magical moment already. I think you have somewhat of an idea of how you impact people’s lives, mine included. But, the magnitude of your words is inexplicably potent, and sometimes I wonder if you truly realize how important you are. If not, I’m here to remind you of why you’re so loved and how you make this world a better place.


Mark Lee, the Benevolent

Growing up, we always heard the saying that “nice guys finish last.” But in your book, being the nice guy opened so many doors to your future — a future you had only dreamed of. Regardless of what’s going on in the world, you treat strangers the same way you treat your friends. With you, kindness and generosity are second nature, and it’s one you succeed in with flying colors.

You’re a walking reminder of all the ways we should live and treat other people. I’ve seen it especially this year, with your return to Dream. The group’s needs and desires are more important to you than your own, and they know they can lean on you for support. Not only is that the sign of a good leader, but it’s the heart of a true friend. And you, Mark, are the textbook definition of both those things.


Laugh Out Loud: Personified

Your voice — there are so many remarkable qualities about it. But the one thing I can never get out of my head is your infectious and unapologetic laughter. I’m starting to think the only time you don’t laugh is during your powerful performances on-stage, and I think that’s pretty amazing. The way you throw your head back in amusement, slap your knee or even slap another member’s arm while laughing is my comfort place. Your unconventional sense of humor is to-die-for, and it’s one of the most enchanting parts about you.

Fun fact: Did you know your birthday also landed on Spider-man Day? Not to boost your ego or anything, but that’s so damn cool. You are the Peter Parker of K-pop — a little shy and awkwardly funny at times, but always ready to spring into action for others. 

Johnny said it best one day: you’re unintentionally funny, and it’s why people are drawn to you. You don’t think about what others will think about you if you laugh “too loud” or “too much,” and you don’t care. Laughter is one of the many gifts our body gives to us, and you use it to your full advantage. To this day, I wholeheartedly believe that every time you giggle, an angel gets its wings. Thank you for being the source of my laughter on days when I just can’t seem to find it myself.


Out of the Mouths of Babes

Honestly, I knew early on that you had a good head on your shoulders. It was 2016 at the MAMA Awards when you and 127 accepted the award for Rookie of the Year. In your speech, you were straightforward and honest about how important your faith is to you. You may not have realized it, but you gained so much respect and admiration from that speech alone. Since then, you’ve never shied away from sharing your wisdom and inspirational thoughts with others. You’re only 22, yet you’ve shown so much maturity in the advice you give to your fans.

The positivity you often speak of flows through your veins like water. Honestly, so much so that fans have made compilation videos of your quotes to help get them through tough days. The way you talk to us as if we’re friends and peers only reinforces the kind traits I mentioned earlier. And everyone notices it — the fans, your members, and even other idols who’ve never even met you. Your constant positivity and determination shine like no other, and I hope that never changes.


Happy Birthday, Baby Cheetah

As much as you give to us, please always remember to give yourself that same love and care. You’re one of the hardest working people out there, but even hard-working people can grow tired. Music means the world to me, as I’m sure it does to you, but you also mean the world to me. We have a lot in common, actually; I write my feelings a lot better than I could speak them. So basically, what I’m trying to say is: take care of yourself and don’t be afraid to put yourself first every once in a while. You’re irreplaceable, Mark, and it’s my pleasure to remind you of it.


Forever & always,



For more lovely letters like this, check out EnVi’s letter to BlackPink here!

Thumbnail courtesy of SM Entertainment.