Being a fan has always been part of my identity, but I was 19 years old when I found BTS. Although I entered their “Magic Shop” in the “Love Yourself” era, I’ve never really understood the major meaning of this trilogy.
Yet my lack of understanding the full concept of loving myself never stopped me from feeling their effects on my and so many others’ lives. Because even though to love myself seemed a far away island, loving others and being part of something huge as ARMY should be enough. This way, I became very active in the ARMY community, administrating a fanbase, always online on Twitter etc. However, the pandemic came and I couldn’t see my friends.
In a recent interview for the “ARMY.zip,” J-Hope said that if BTS was a character from a fairytale, it would be a “little fairy that brings joy,” which it’s true. The pandemic started in Brazil with the hope of only lasting a couple months. So I kept listening to BTS, talking to my friends about future meetings that would happen really soon. Well, it didn’t last a couple of months. And as time passed by, I fell more and more in the rabbit hole of sadness. But BTS was right there, just waiting for me to trust them, so they would give me wings to get out of that hole.
With this last sentence I intend to say that BTS isn’t a magical cure for all of the pain, it can’t solve all of our problems. What BTS does is hold our hands when we are in pain, giving us support when we have problems. And when I was in the hole for almost too long, they reminded me of my wings: ARMY. I joined the B-Armys Acadêmicas, on the Seasons panel. It was like everything made sense again: virtually, I was still close with my friends, making new friends and bringing together two things I am very good at: being a psychologist and being an ARMY.
But still, like I said, loving the others wasn’t enough if I wasn’t loving myself. In the middle of all of this, they made their speech at the UN conference and BE was released. These two together made me realize: why do I have to change to love myself? There is a psychological theory that says the acceptance of your situation is realizing that who you are and what you do are not a problem, I recognize who I am, who I want to be and what I have to do.
I thank BTS everyday for that. I think “thank you” is not enough, but it’s the best expression right now. It helps me find a meaning. That is priceless, yet very valuable. This is indeed the most beautiful moment of my life.
The first thanks is for those who gave me wings, a voice and a mikrokosmos: BTS. Then to ARMY, for impelling me, inspiring me and being a family. Third, to B-Armys Academics, for allowing me to unite Psychology and BTS. Finally, to Rhizome, for this opportunity to express the fandom.
— Alicia Mesquita
Psychologist, fanbase manager, pet mom, ARMY. (Brazil)
Illustration By: Mala Yumi Aleluh Ramos, @lemonpopppp
Mesquita, A. (2021). I Live, So I Love Myself. The Rhizomatic Revolution Review , (2). https://ther3journal.com/issue-2/spring-day-life-goes-on
Mesquita, Alicia. “I Live, So I Love Myself.” The Rhizomatic Revolution Review , no. 2, 2021, https://ther3journal.com/issue-2/spring-day-life-goes-on.
I Live, So I Love Myself by Alicia Mesquita is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
© Alicia Mesquita 2021