BTS’ impact is spreading worldwide

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BTS’ impact is spreading worldwide

Aneesa Anderson, Staff Writer

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As the time passes, BTS’ impact on the world is steadily expanding. Their fanbase is unmatched, their loyal supporters residing all over the planet.

BTS’ songs hold powerful messages and the group addresses important topics such as mental health, societal pressures, self-expression, and loneliness in their lyrics. Their socially conscious lyrics and authentic and humble personalities are what draws most of their fans to them.

The group is very passionate about self-love, their recent album series, Love Yourself projecting a message of self-advocacy. The series ends on a hopeful note, highlighting the importance of loving yourself.

In September, BTS spoke at the United Nations for UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited launch, with RM giving a powerful speech on the significance of having your own voice and speaking for yourself instead of letting others speak for you.

“No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin color, gender identity: speak yourself,” said RM. “Find your name, find your voice by speaking yourself.”

In November of 2017, BTS entered into a partnership with UNICEF Korea and began the Love Myself campaign. The campaign is focused toward ending violence and spreading love in the world. All funds raised during the two-year collaboration will go toward protecting adolescent victims of domestic and sexual assault and providing educational opportunities in local communities.

It has been brought up multiple times that BTS is playing a role in redefining masculinity and erasing barriers that limit what an individual can and cannot do or be based on their gender. During a Billboard interview, the interviewer brought up the fact that the songs on the Love Yourself: Her album seemed to be gender neutral.

“I was reading the lyrics are gender neutral, which I think is really powerful,” said the interviewer. “Was that a conscious decision?”

RM replied, “The lyrics were based on rare and special things in life. So, I thought, those feelings transcend genders, cultures and barriers between people.”

Western audiences have a preconceived notion of what men should look and act like. Self-care and precise attention to appearance are considered feminine by Western standards, but BTS defies all of these ideas, sporting full-face makeup and impeccable fashions.

In 2016, BTS did a photo shoot for Singles Magazine in which they dressed in skirts and fishnets in open protest of gender norms.

There is a long-standing toxic belief that men should not cry or show emotion. BTS’ emotional vulnerability and authenticity in their lyrics goes against this belief and encourages others to disregard predetermined gender roles and live their lives the way that they desire.

In Suga’s song, ‘The Last’, recorded under his solo stage name, Agust D, he opens up about his struggles with depression, OCD, and social anxiety, including lyrics such as, “On the other side of the famous idol rapper stands my weak self, it’s a bit dangerous. Depression, OCD, they keep coming back from time to time.”

This degree of honesty and openness is uncommon for Korean hip-hop artists, who typically practice censorship when it comes to personal feelings such as these.

Even out of the studio, BTS is very vocal about their views on the importance of mental health. There is a long-standing stigma in Korea around mental health that prevents many people from seeking help and BTS’ outspokenness about sensitive subjects such as this defies all notions that individuals should keep their feelings hidden.

In a Billboard interview, BTS spoke up about mental health after the suicide of Jonghyun, a member of the K-Pop group, SHINee.

“I really want to say that everyone in the world is lonely and everyone is sad,” said Suga, “and if we know that everyone is suffering and lonely, I hope we can create an environment where we can ask for help, and say things are hard when they’re hard, and say that we miss someone when we miss them.”

The new wave of musicians and innovators like BTS bring new hope to the world and have the potential to change the music industry forever.