There have been a few instances where I’ve been enquired regarding my “fanaticism” on BTS. The said enquiry was made by people who couldn’t understand the absolute devotion some were involved with. And honestly, it can be quite intriguing for people outside the fandom to get it. To get what it’s like to be a part of all this, to care for “people who I haven’t even met,” as some would simply say. But I can assure you the enthusiasm isn’t uncalled for.
It might seem unusual, even weird for some, but as fans, we genuinely care for the seven members more than anything. And the question people ask is, Why? Well, it doesn’t lie in a single answer; rather the reasons keep on increasing every day. During one of their concert tours in France, one of the members, Taehyung, had quoted a famous French line whose translation is, “I love you more than yesterday, but less than tomorrow,” dedicating it to fans (or ARMYs). But it can be said that the feeling goes both ways.
It doesn’t matter that we as fans care for BTS more than we care for anyone else, as it is they who made us love ourselves, accept ourselves for who we are, and speak for ourselves. It is they who made our lives liveable while we were fighting depression, anxiety, and many other mental issues. It is they who made our lives bearable while we were facing traumatic experiences at school or work. It isn’t just me saying this, but ARMYs all over the world.
BTS’s songs are so motivational and powerful that one is bound to be changed by them. The diversity in the themes of their songs is quite remarkable, ranging from themes like mental health to self-love, to societal differences, to falling into temptation and losing innocence, to name a few. And this is just scraping the surface.
The concept of self-love isn’t new — it has been talked about way before BTS did. But for me personally, the difference lies in its impact. When reading about loving oneself, it could seem preachy, and honestly, it has never worked for me. But their songs touched me on a personal level. It made me want to bring a change within me. And I know it might sound peculiar: “How can music change someone?” Well, as dubious as it sounds, it did. Probably because of how they expressed it all, or perhaps because they speak from their own experiences. This is one thing that I like about them, that the messages they want to spread are from their personal experiences. The words they share through the medium of music come straight from their heart, and perhaps because of that it does bring about a change in people.
Though these aren’t the only reasons why we love them. It’s just who they are, as individuals, so humble, down-to-earth and full of love, that it just becomes quite difficult not to love them. One might think that after getting all the fame and popularity, a person would be proud, to say the least. But these seven guys, they always give all the credit to ARMYs. Every single time they achieve something, the first thing they do is thank the fans. Every single time they address something on their social media, they speak out to fans. They constantly provide us with innumerable reasons to love and revere them.
All the members have quite a vibrant nature. Each of their personalities is different from one another and yet they fit perfectly. Usually, with bands, it is quite common to maintain distance after a few years, not staying together and such. Sometimes, due to some unfortunate reasons, some even disband or some members leave. But with BTS that’s not the case. Even after so many years they live together and stay for one another. In its perfect sense, they are a family, which even they have admitted a countless number of times. This kind of unity is hard to come by, especially in the entertainment industry, where there’s cutthroat competition everywhere. And as fans, we absolutely love and cherish the bond that they have amongst themselves.
Talking about individual members, each of them has hundreds of characteristics that I admire a lot. Kim Namjoon is so insightful, imaginative, and erudite that it shows in the lyrics he writes. Once he wrote a song after watching leaves fall from a tree. In his every single work, thoughtfulness reflects. Listening to his songs has a soothing effect that many people in their stressful lives crave. Even though Namjoon might not be the oldest in the group, as a leader, he does his role the best. Because of his compassionate nature, he guides his members selflessly whenever they’re in doubt and need help and always puts them first before himself. When given the opportunity to go solo (which was a prank), without any hesitation he chose to stay with the group.
The oldest member in the septet is Kim Seokjin. And being the oldest he cares a lot for his members like an older brother would for his younger siblings. It’s quite endearing in the way all of them interact. Even though not connected by blood, they are brothers at heart. He might appear goofy, make dad jokes, and put up with the youngers’ shenanigans, but deep down he is altruistic with a loving heart. The way Seokjin had developed his singing as well as dancing skills through the years in an exceptional manner is truly an inspiration. But above all, it’s his confidence that really gets me. He is so sure of himself and performs with such confidence that leaves everyone in awe.
The member that inspires me the most perhaps is Min Yoongi. At first impression, he might come across as being aloof or distant to some, though he is anything but. He has his own way of expressing emotions, as opposed to people who outwardly do so. This is something that resonates with me a lot as it’s the same for me. Yoongi has faced so many hurdles in life but still chooses to stand strong and guide others who are going through the same. In his first mixtape, he opens up about his past life, and the sheer rawness of it all leaves the listeners reeling. From his life story, one thing is clear — he is one to never give up and will battle the challenges he faces till the very end.
The member who gives life to the whole group, is the personification of sunshine and hope, is Jung Hoseok. The vibrancy and positivity that he carries is compelling enough that it can change anyone. No matter what the members are going through, Hoseok will make sure that they are alright. It can be said that his bright smile that beams with joy is so contagious that you’re left with no other option than to smile. Apart from the extreme levels of optimism and terrific dancing being his strengths, his remarkable singing skill even though being a rapper makes it quite mystical.
In a circle of friends, there’s always that one person who takes care of you and is there for you. In your highs, your lows, in any circumstance that one friend will always support you and be there for you no matter what. That friend here is Park Jimin. There’s this admirable ability he possesses to make others around him feel loved. He is simply selfless and cares for the other members with all his heart, radiating nothing but love and kindness. Jimin is compassionate but also dedicated. His ardent desire to perfect himself can be quite exhausting for him, but he persists on improving. The little things that he appreciates in life bring out the perceptive nature in him. There are so many aspects that make him such a beautiful human being.
The member that I resonate with the most apart from Yoongi is Kim Taehyung. He isn’t the youngest in the group, but there’s this childlike simplicity he possesses that is hard to come by as an adult. His quirky nature is a delight to watch. Adding to that, his unconditional love for animals and the minimalistic things in life highlights his tender soul. But Taehyung isn’t just a gentle being; his intuitiveness and perception of things in an uncanny way never ceases to amaze me. Not only are his words calming, but it’s his mellow voice too that exudes tranquillity. When it comes to his voice, he’s all about versatility, going from his naturally deep bass to high falsettos in a smooth manner.
The title “Golden Maknae” (maknae meaning “the youngest”) is aptly given to the youngest in the group, Jeon Jungkook, as there probably isn’t anything he can’t do. At this point, it’s easy to lose count of the things he excels at. Whenever he begins any activity, he’s determined to give his all. But being a perfectionist, he sometimes can be a bit self-critical in acknowledging his abilities. The bond that he shares with the other members is so much more than mere camaraderie. His love for them is quite evident in his solo song “Begin,” where he admits that his greatest pain is to see his “brothers” in pain. It can be said that the other members practically raised him to be who he is today, as Jungkook had joined the label at the mere age of 14 and since then has been living with his brothers. Admittedly, they’ve seen him grow up quite literally.
It’s not just the members that are special to me. Even ARMYs as a whole feel part of the family. It’s one big family; even though we’re all strangers, we feel connected, we understand one another. It’s quite a special bond that BTS shares with ARMYs. These guys make me believe that there’s still goodness out there in this cruel dark world.
In the beginning, I started to like BTS purely because of their songs, considering I was just a casual listener who’d like artists for their music. I came for their music but stayed for who they are as individuals. They aren’t just music artists to me, but people who I look up to, people who guide me, and are there for me just like they know we are there for them.
We are not complete without the seven of you.
We are together bulletproof. (BTS, 2020).
BTS (2020). We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal. On Map of the Soul: 7 [CD]. Seoul: Audien.
Gupta, S. (2020). Innumerable reasons to love and revere BTS. The Rhizomatic Revolution Review , (1). https://ther3journal.com/.
Gupta, Shreya. “Innumerable Reasons to Love and Revere BTS.” The Rhizomatic Revolution Review , no.1, 2020. https://ther3journal.com/.
Innumerable Reasons to Love and Revere BTS by Shreya Gupta is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Illustration credit: Zuza Resides @ResidesIn