I finally did it. After three years of longing, I got to see BTS.
Finally, I got to be a part of that ocean of ARMY bombs, and I got to sing and dance along to some of my favorite songs. I got to see the seven boys who helped me get through some of the absolute toughest points in my life. I know, this seems like I am fangirling way too hard. The thing is, though, I am not. I understand that it is hard to believe me, but BTS is so much more than a boy band from South Korea.
To understand how big of a deal it is to be an "ARMY" (the fandom of BTS), it is imperative that you know how they got their start.
They were never supposed to have all this fame. They come from a very small company, where, at the time of their debut, it was only them and one solo artist in the company. Before debut, when the CEO of their company decided to debut a K-Pop idol group instead of a hip-hop group, the rappers of the group (RM, Suga, and J-Hope) were ridiculed and told they were "betraying" hip-hop. The vocalists of the group (Jin, Jimin, V, and Jungkook) were told they would never be successful singers and that the group would never succeed. And now look at them: four Billboard Music Awards under their belt, presenting at the Grammy's, and nominated for a Grammy. That isn't including the multiple other awards they've received inside and outside of South Korea. It is a true rag to riches story.
BTS has such a great love for all people, but their hope and encouragement for the youth in today's world is astounding.
In 2018, at the General Assembly for the United Nations, BTS was asked to speak on behalf of the youth and UNICEF. The leader of this group, Kim Namjoon, who delivered the speech, urged everyone in the room to "speak yourself." Many of us stopped truly living at such young ages and molded ourselves into what others wanted us to be and not who we were actually made to be.
As far as their music goes, it would be difficult to explain how impactful and meaningful all their lyrics are and how important it is that they constantly bring up issues, such as mental health, following your dreams, and socioeconomic status. Personally, mental health issues control my life daily. I deal with tremendous depression, social anxiety, paranoia, and am very self-conscious. Listening to and reading their lyrics comforts me and lets me know I am not alone in this world and that there are dozens who understand all that I go through.
Their music gives me strength.
While you can find powerful lyrics in most of their songs, there are some that just hit harder, especially if you think of how genuine their words are. Perhaps their greatest song, "Spring Day," really talks about what it feels like to miss someone you care about, even if they are no longer in your life. I listen to this song a lot when I am having days where I'm feeling down, especially when away at college. My favorite line from this song is "It's only winter here/Even in August, winter is here/My heart makes time run/Like a Snowpiercer left alone." Every time I listen, I reflect on my relationships with others. In the song "Silver Spoon," they sing/rap about the hardships of this upcoming generation and how much harder we have it, especially when being mistreated by older generations. They use the line "you really don't have a chance" in reference to what the older generation says to the younger, thinking that they do not put in any effort into their lives and should work harder. They have a great way of taking the world's collective feelings and putting them to music all will love.
BTS are huge advocates when it comes to loving yourself and finding yourself.
In the song "Epiphany," sung by vocalist Jin, he sings the sweet words about learning to love himself, even if not easy. "I'm the one I should love in this world/Shining me, precious soul of mine/I finally realized so I love me/Not so perfect, but so beautiful." These words resonate hard with so many people because they teach us that self-love is a process and most people have to learn it.
No matter if you're white, black, purple, green, young, or old, these seven boys from South Korea have a song for you. That's a promise. "You've shown me I have reasons I should love myself." They've shown me I have reasons I should love myself.