For me there is something primitively soothing about this music, and it went straight to my nervous system, making me feel ten feet tall.
⁃ Eric Clapton
7 Hearts, 7 Billion People, 1 Message – Love Yourself
Year 2013. A significant year for a nervous group of 7 boys who were about to debut in Korea not realising that they were going to impact many lives, all around the world, in the future. June 12, 2013, with the release of their song ‘No More Dream,’ BTS set foot into the spotlight and marked their debut.
They’ve stood out ever since their ‘2 Cool 4 Skool’ days with their music, proactively promoting a societal change through youth and what has been very consistent is that each song and album holds some meaning and is not only just a song that wants to be the next bop (although they absolutely are!)
Coincidentally enough, I too, stumbled upon them around the same time they debuted and I was in a dark space mentally, and it was during this time I came across their song titled ‘N.O.’ and that moment changed my life. Believe me, I don’t just say that to exaggerate, I mean every word when I say that BTS opened a whole new world, a world where I could express myself, where I could be me and appreciate myself for it and they definitely initiated my interest in k-pop in general.
As I grew out of my teenage years, I also watched them grow and watched their music grow as well. But this wasn’t the only growth that was happening. My perspectives were changing, my thinking was growing, which was shaping my personality and for the better and it was majorly because of them.
Today, even though I stan multiple k-pop groups, BTS will forever have a special place in my heart. Sure. I did have my “omygosh Oppa you kill me with your looks” moments, but aside from that, it wasn’t just a passing phase for me where I was desiderating one handsome boy group after the other.
BTS is a group that has inspired me all along the way to follow my passion, do what makes me happy, to give importance to my mental health and to accept and more importantly, love myself. These aren’t just quintessential concepts, they can actually impact people as myself and help them through some tenebrous times.
They have definitely influenced me to be my own person which has elevated my confidence level that has further encouraged me to believe in myself, take chances, put myself out there and build myself into the boss woman that I am! And for that I will perpetually be grateful to BTS.
Their music is sheer poetry to the ears and moreover, is comparatively evolved in a sense that they try to tell a story with strong messages through their songs/albums – “Tomorrow” from “Skool Luv Affair” talks about finding hope through despair, “Epilogue: Young Forever” from “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever” focuses on not the literal youth, but anyone with a dream, “Baepsae/Silver Spoon” from “The Most Beautiful Moment in Life, Pt. 2” is a song that inspires awareness of the worsening social division and hierarchical conflicts especially in Korea and these are just some of the examples at the back of my head.
They have a beautiful relationship with their fans, called ARMY, and they have dedicated multiple songs for just them throughout their career specifically to show their care and concerns for their fans. The song “Pied Piper” from “Love Yourself: Her” is a tough love like message for all their fans to urge them to focus on their studies/work/dreams rather than spending all their time interpreting their videos and watching their v-lives; whereas, “Magic Shop” from “Love Yourself: Tear” is a song made to comfort and support their fans during their tough times by trying to turn their negatives into positives.
Even their latest album “Map of the Soul: Persona,” explores various facets of Jungian concepts, especially the idea of that of a persona as described by Jung in his “The Relations Between the Ego and the Unconscious” as “a kind of mask, designed on the one hand to make a definite impression upon others, and on the other to conceal the true nature of the individual.” And this idea is furthered in the album’s title track “Intro: Persona” where RM canvasses the disconnect between his onstage persona and his true self. This album is a message to their ARMY around the world to realise that it’s okay to not be perfect and to question yourself and dig deep to know who you are – Speak Yourself, Face Yourself.
They have also initiated an anti-violence “Love Myself” campaign with UNICEF against violence toward children and teens around the world, with the hope of making the world a better place through music as well.
BTS is definitely setting an example for the youth around the world. In 2018, at the United Nations General Assembly, RM delivered a heartfelt speech about self-acceptance where he stated, “Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me. Today I am who I am with all of my faults and my mistakes. I have come to love myself for who I am, who I was and for who I hope to become.No matter who you are or where you’re from, your skin color, your gender identity, speak yourself.”
BTS has proved to be exceptional role models for the youth and have inspired so many people all around the world and have helped them overcome many situations in their lives. The world needs examples like these to motivate people to take action, to encourage people through their art and mainly to remind people to love themselves and finding happiness in being who they are.