Shout Out to Media from BTS ARMY: “We’re not all teens or 12-year olds” (Part 1)

Shout Out to Media from BTS ARMY: “We’re not all teens or 12-year olds” (Part 1)

Do you know BTS?

Yes, undoubtedly, the Most Popular Band in the Planet right now, the Top Group in the World, and so many more legendary titles.

And do you know its fandom, ARMY?

Most probably, you would have an affirmative answer to this simple query.

Your answer might be:

“The “screaming teen fans”?

Or

“the crazy teenage fans”?

Well, you may be right about the screaming; however, the thought that all BTS fans are teens is a misconception. This wrong perception still exists, with a number of news reporters not extensively researching their BTS material before spouting what comes from their news prompters.

Numerous articles have been written about BTS and its ARMY, BUT – majority of these articles were written with the notion that the BTS fandom is only composed of young people in their teens, and reportedly, “9 to 12-year-old girls”.

Of course, we do have our adorable younger ARMYs too – from toddlers to older children; however, we have also thousands of OLDER ARMY, who are often ignored and labeled as ‘befuddled” baby sitters for their kids.

The truth is, the fandom is so diverse in ethnicity, creed, gender and age that media should stop generalizing and stereotyping that the ARMY fandom is all made up of teenage girls, or of a certain specific group.

Nevertheless, there are some ‘enlightened’ people who recognize the diversity of the ARMY, like @RafranzDavis, she tweeted:

A few TV reporters even concluded – without interviewing the parents – that the parents must be escorting their kids to the concerts, and are merely performing their parental duties religiously. While this may apply in some cases, majority of these parents are, actually, BTS fans themselves.

And sometimes, the parents are the genuine ARMYs – even more passionate than their kids – and they’re bringing their kids to the concert to introduce them to the legendary septet’s incredible music.

With this in mind, I decided to conduct a project that would prove the power of the ajummas, noonas, hyungs, and the oppas (older ARMY). I requested the cooperation of older ARMYs to let the world know that they, indeed, exist. I have collated prima facie evidence of their experiences. There were hundreds of older ARMY all over the globe who responded to the project, but I was able to collate just a miniscule of the data because of time constraint and my availability. But I plan to post a Part 2.

The older ARMY should be ‘recognized’ outside of the BTS family. Let’s put an end to the wrong notion about the fandom. It’s time someone put up a humongous banner saying:

“There are thousands of older ARMYs in the BTS fandom!”

For how else would Hyundai cars, albums and BTS merchandizes be sold out – unless there are financially capable fan-consumer base, who can spend their own money on these precious commodities.? Surely, the teen fans couldn’t have that much buying power?

One can always rely on ARMY when it concerns BTS. They are the most organized, loyal, passionate, and dedicated fans in the world – all because of their love for BTS. And they are the most welcoming people for new ARMY ‘recruits’, as well, making you feel that you’re part of one big family.

The humble and admirable Bangtan Boys reciprocate this love by bringing their impeccably best selves on the stage, and giving back sincerity and love to their fans.

These stories brought a lump to my throat, made me tear up, and left a growing ember of warmth in my heart. Hence, I posted their thoughts as is, barely touched by my editing pen. I’m sure this is necessary, so you can feel each contributor’s raw emotions. They’re good as they are, anyway.

The questions I asked were:

“How did you come to know about BTS?”

“What made you decide to join the BTS ARMY?”

Let’s hear it straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

Continue reading and enjoy the incredible and heartwarming experiences of our older ARMYs.

Hey Mama @mommagicdragon

“Hi, I’m Maureen, I’m 51 years old, and a grandmother. My youngest daughter (now 15) introduced me to BTS 3 years ago by showing me the “Dope” mv. She knows I love music and that I’m always open to new sounds.
Shortly after that, we started to watch other mvs and YT fan videos together, and so we both fell down the rabbit hole. There are many reasons I became an ARMY, my love for good music and meaningful lyrics, the personalities and humbleness of BTS, seeing how the fandom always looked out for one another ( in most cases) and supported each other, as well as BTS.

The main reason I will always support them though, is that they gave me and my daughter our relationship back – after a very troubling time – and for that I would give them the Earth if I could.”

Oh My Heart @beats4bangtan

“There are actually several reasons why I love them so much. Their lyrics and messages would have to be first. Next, their beautiful vocals and flawless raps consume me, and their laughter and genuine happiness is so contagious. It all started when my teenage daughter came to me and begged me to listen.

She is 15 years old and is a very smart girl. She has taught herself Korean and is now fluent. She wants to be an interpreter someday. So, I gave it a listen. The lyrics spoke to me so loudly I couldn’t turn from it. At the time, I was in a very abusive marriage to her dad, and I tried so hard for so long to escape and I just couldn’t.

The more I listened to their messages the more I realized that I am worthy of good love…not a fake love or a hurtful love. I got the strength, I believe from God, AND from BTS to finally stand up to him and make him leave. I’ve never been happier.

I’ve struggled my entire life with self-esteem issues and with not loving myself at all. He broke me down even more. With lyrics such as “you’re perfect, you’re worth it” and “you’re the best to me just the way you are” from 21st CENTURY GIRL, I felt like I was on top of the world. It just made me realize that “YES!! I am worth it!”
BTS made me realize that I truly am worth loving!!! I don’t have to be perfect or all put together all the time, but I do deserve to be happy in life.

The first song I heard was DOPE and I loved it so much I was hooked. The song that speaks to me most though is FAKE LOVE. It says “for you I could pretend I was happy when I was sad, for you I could pretend like I was strong when I was hurt”. These lyrics tore me up!!!! i seriously felt like that song was written just for me.

It was so personal and hit me so hard that I could literally feel it in my bones. I remember when I first heard the song how I fell to the floor in tears. That was my turning point. I knew then I had to get out, and so as hard as it was, I did it!! I’m so grateful to our boys for their messages.

I really hope and pray that they realize what an impact they have on all ages of people. Everything they sing about I totally “get”. It’s almost as if they are singing just to me about my life story. It gives me chills to think that of all the music out there none of it moves me like their music does. It’s so good to have artists who speak of real life and issues when no one else would dare.

I’ve never followed a group in my life that makes me feel so completely loved and genuinely happy as BTS does. In my opinion, they are a God send!!! I will purple them till the day I die!!! I’m so honored to know I walk this path with you. Age is no barrier for amazing music!!!”

Madre#1@Ompeng

Hello! My name is Maria, from Orlando, Florida. I’m 55, and a proud Noona ARMY.”

Q1: I was visiting my family in the Philippines in December 2018. My niece is an ARMY. I have been hearing about BTS from her, incessantly. She’s a huge fan. She mentioned about her biases were Jungkook, Taehyung, and Jimin. She showed me some pictures and videos. I’ve never seen her, this dedicated to a boy band before so I started to get curious.

Then the holidays got in the way and the excitement came to a halt. So, that was my crash course on BTS. short and Very brief.

Q2: After the holidays, my niece went on vacation. One day, I decided to see what’s the real hype about BTS, and went to find them on YT. I searched “BTS Music Video” and jeez, there were many! I clicked on ‘Idol’. That was a mistake! Even though I didn’t understand a word except for a bit of English lyrics, the rhythm, melody, and beat was enough for me to try and imitate the moves. One MV led to another. I also learned about the underlying messages in their lyrics. They were reflective and poignant; the desire to fight for self-value and to be soul searchingly and achingly brave. And most of all, the words have a true sense of HOPE, UNDERSTANDING and LOVE.

A few hours later… I found Namjoon’s U.N. Speech and I listened intently. I was very moved that a young band from Korea, a country with its own political issues, would speak at the U.N. on behalf of the youth of the world. That’s unprecedented! No other artist from the music industry has done anything like it. That solidified my desire to be an ARMY. I felt a little silly at first because I’m 55, and didn’t know the demographics of the fandom. But, shoot! They brought back my love for music and bands!!

And if I have to be the only geriatric fan, so be it! Boy, was I wrong!! I was so excited to find out the great diversity in the BTS fandom. Today, through social media, I have met a lot of wonderful noonas from all walks of life and different countries. I have never met so many great people. Strangers we might be, but we share the sisterhood of being ARMY for the only band in the world, BTS.

Sierra_Yan_Jung_Hoseok @Sierra_Hoseok

“I came to know BTS, thanks to my husband and my 4 year old daughter. When i first heard “Fake Love”, “DNA”, “Save Me”, and “BST”; I decided to become ARMY. The more i did my research, listen to their songs, and watched their MVs, the more I become immersed in BTS’ music. This all happened summer of 2018. I’ve been hooked since then. Especially, since I always listened to Kpop or Jpop from anime and video game soundtracks.

I’m 30 by the way. My bias is J-Hope and my wrecker is Suga. I attended my first concert last week at the Rose Bowl Stadium, and it blew me away.”

@Neka_63

Hi. First I must apologize because I barely speak English. So, I will use an online translator to try to explain myself. I am 56 years old Spanish, and the mother of a teenage girl.

In the summer of 2017 my daughter started showing me BTS videos because she liked them a lot. I did not pay much attention to the principle. As a Christmas gift, I wanted to surprise my daughter with some cushions with the faces of the members of the group that she liked the most. For that reason I had to learn the name of the boys, to look for merchandising online.

I started to pay more attention to their music, and I liked it more every day. I started reading the lyrics of their songs and they surprised me very pleasantly. But when I started watching interviews and programs like BTS RUN or AMERICAN HUSTLE LIFE and saw how they behaved … I could not help falling in love with them as human beings.
I do not know if I have joined BTS ARMY or not. I do not have that in mind. I only know that I feel a lot of love and admiration for these 7 guys who are so bright, humble, intelligent, hard-working, kind and full of charm. And that I feel happy for them and hopeful that their message of love, tolerance and improvement will reach many young people.”

Sugakookie@mi3kiddos

I’m a 47 yr old Army mom; daughter is 17, and she introduced me to the group. 2 yrs ago, my daughter was raving about a group that I had never heard of. I bought her t-shirts, CDs, DVDs and just a bunch of merch having no idea who they were.

Fast forward, a year later, we’re on vacation and during our drive, she plugs her phone in the car and just starts playing music. I pretty much fell in love, still knowing basically nothing of them. I binge watched videos, and after a week, I was able to put names to their faces and voices. I now am the one with more stuff of theirs than my daughter.

I decided to join the BTS Army not just because of their music but because of what they stand for; the meaning behind their songs are everyday issues we, of all ages, go through or have gone through at some point in our life. Plus, they make me feel young again.”

Neng Asti@AstiNovanda

“Hi, my name is Asti. I’m a 35 y.o. ARMY from Indonesia. I work as an Interpreter and writer. I came to know BTS in 2017 on the American Music Awards.

There was something about their performance that caught my attention. Next thing i knew, I was digging through their old MVs, live stages, dance practices, reading their song’s translations, watching and vlives. Because of this fervent interest, I re-visited my twitter account after abandoning it for years.

At first, i decided to join the BTS ARMY because i didn’t want to miss any BTS related news. But then I realized that I fell in love with the fandom just as I fell in love with BTS.

We’re such a really huge family. We have doctors, students, teachers, lawyers, marketers, artists, and many more professionals in the fandom. ARMY is very diverse. We have all different kinds of backgrounds, ages, races, religions, languages, and cultures. But we all have one thing in common: Our love for BTS. Well, of course sometimes we had ups and downs, but that’s what makes a family right?”

Eunoia_WithLuv @eunoiakookie

First of all, my English isn’t perfect since I’m a native of Bahasa Indonesia. I first found out about BTS at the end of 2015. i was searching for a dance routine for me teach because I used to be a veteran hip hop dancer. Through Matt Stefanina’s YouTube recommendation, Bangtan’s “I Need U” dance practice appeared.

I instantly fell in love with their precise, complex and versatile dance moves. From there, I continued watching their contents including fanfics.

Omg! Guilty as charged. LOL. I was a YouTube stan back then before I joined twitter in 2017 during the voting season for iheartradio awards. Now, i spend almost 12 hours consuming all BTS contents.

What made me decide to become a BTS ARMY is none other because of their organic talent, their endorphins releaser music, their moving lyrics and their genuine behavior towards army. Never have I ever stan an artist like this. They made me happy even when I’m sad.

I am a rock, if not metalhead, who grew up with Metallica, Eminem, Rage Against the Machine, just name it all. Never in my wildest dream did I think I would fall for 7 Korean boys who build up their dreams into reality. Being a part of this family is one of the best decisions in my life.

The fact that I’m a Mum of two teenagers, an entrepreneur and ex preschool teacher doesn’t stop me for stanning BTS. Thank you for doing this. I really need me as an adult ARMY to speak up more about the benefits of stanning BTS!

Our ARMY fandom surely is an organic movement consist of game changers, supportive souls and barrier breakers. Saying proud to be a #BTSArmy feels like an understatement

Liz with love @eawritesbooks

My name is Elizabeth Gardiner and I am 25 going on 26 in December. I am a stay-at-home Navy wife and mother to a sweet four year old boy.

I found BTS through a Yuri on Ice Crack Video on YouTube. RM’s song Joke from his Mixtape was put into the video and I liked the song so I searched him up. After that, I then fell into the rabbit hole that is BTS.

What made me decide to join the BTS Army wasn’t some profound moment. It honestly, just happened gradually. But, if I had to choose a reason; it would be because of how genuine BTS is. They are humble, kind, generous and each of them act like everyday people.

It’s amazing how they haven’t allowed fame to take over when so many other celebs have. They stayed themselves and they spread a message that everyone, no matter the generation, needs to hear. The ARMY itself also helped me start to come out of my shell.

I have PTSD, anxiety, and depression. It’s not easy for me to open up and make friends due to past abuse. AMRY has been helping me feel less alone, and that I actually am a part of something. I think that’s why it was so easy to join and fall in love with them all.

BlueKoya752@SerendipityKoya

“I’m Yudi and I came to know BTS by pure accident. It was a time of my life where each day I was living like a zoombie, just going through the motions, but not truly there. It was a really rough year for me in my personal life. I was flipping channels because I was bored.

One day, at the time, I had a different cable company, and came across this channel MNet, and they had a Kdrama (I didn’t know that’s what it was back then). I kept coming back to that channel all week to watch their different shows.

And then one day, they had this music show called MCCountdown and BTS was performing “I Need U”. Their performance impressed me so much and the song really hit me that I downloaded their song from iTunes (even though I didn’t understand what they were saying; but I’ve been a fan of a Turkish singer so it was easy for me to be open minded about foreign singers.

At that time, I didn’t know what Kdrama was, or what Kpop was. The channel had other shows like GO BTS! other Kpop related stuff, and other funny dramas and whatnots. The GO BTS! show was fun and you got see a bit of the group. I liked it and thought they were funny, cute guys.

Anyways, I didn’t really pay much attention at first, but then later decided to look up Kpop stuff on YouTube, specifically BTS, and other groups I started to like. I kept waiting for the music show every Friday. At the time, other really big Kpop groups were also promoting, so BTS wasn’t big or well known yet.

By the time BTS was ending their promotions I was humming their “I Need U” chorus. I watched Kpop reaction channels and that’s when I found out more about BTS. They had a bunch of content on YouTube so I looked them up on my own as best as I could.

One thing led to another I started to explore other groups and I liked them at first but they never really clicked with me like BTS did. I didn’t consider myself and nor have I ever considered myself into any other fandom other than ARMY.

That year was 2015 and I spent months looking up BTS videos with translations (at the time it wasn’t as easy as it is now to find them translated). By the time they had another comeback, I was full blown BTS ARMY. I found a channel that the woman is a Kpop album collector. I found her BTS collection so marvelous that I decided to start my own collection as well. I didn’t know they had physical albums out; so in a way she inspired me to be even more dedicated as a fan; something I had never done before with any artist.

“Run” was my first comeback with them and it was so much fun! Truly an experience! I wish I had known how to celebrate properly but at the time I didn’t have social media and didn’t know anybody so I was on my own. I decided to open an FB account to mainly use it to vote for BTS for MAMAs that year and that led me to get to meet people from around the world that are also BTS fans.

I had avoided twitter until October of 2018 because I heard it was toxic, but I caved because I wanted better and faster updates and I meet more nice people from our big family. What made me decide to be full hardcore loyal ARMY was a package of everything. The more I got to know BTS as individuals and artists, the more I fell in love with them as people, their music, their messages, their performances, and how genuine they are.

You can tell when an artist truly loves what he/she does because it shows in the dedication they input in their craft. Each time they made a comeback they outdid themselves and raised the bar higher. We’ve been through a lot from being hated, accused of many things, etc, but that doesn’t deter me from loving those 7 men that give me strength each day. On the contrary, it makes me want to keep supporting them even more. They’re true artists and musicians and I wish that one day they can TRULY get the respect they deserve.”

BTS Follower@EnglishBirchOT7

“I came to know BTS through my 24-year-old who has been a fan for over 4 years. Over the years she’d tried to share their music with me (in the car while I was driving) but I was not receptive (too much rap, too much energy to hear in traffic). But when she flew to a concert & told me about it after, I could hear the glow in her voice and I was interested in learning more. Plus NPR (National Public Radio) did a piece about them that same day that I had heard. I began asking her questions.

She lives in another U.S. state, but she began sharing YT videos and answering my questions via Skype, and the more I learned the more interested I became.

I am 58. The things that drew me to them the most was: their “softer” songs, the vocal-line pieces. (Now I love them all). But I also loved seeing their bonds with each other. Such a refreshing counterpoint to the toxic masculinity which is what is usually modeled. I loved that they seemed comfortable with themselves enough to cry or hug/touch or be playful in public. (I still love that about them.)

I have since come to love and deeply appreciate their whole message, especially love yourself, affirm yourself, speak your truth, but also messages from the past and from their solo works. And I deeply appreciate that it is important to them to be ethical, kind people in this world, as I have heard Jin articulate, but see all of them prioritize as a value (through their actions).

One other thing to add is that I also read Into the Magic Shop (their recommendation) and found it to be a life-changing book. [My husband and daughter, who read it upon my recommendation, also LOVED it]. I have seen myself as a pretty content person, but my happiness has increased exponentially since following BTS, and prioritizing kindness has become an inspiration to me that I think about every day.”

I actually listened to the “recorded book” and the reader was amazing! (Available on Audible, but I checked it out from my library.) The book begins with a 1/2 page surgery scene (not great for the squeamish) but it is brief and not repeated, and the rest of the book is riveting IMO. I do wish every ARMY could read it.”

Inna ARSD@Jiminbarks

Hi! I’m Inna, 25 years old. I’ve been an ARMY since I was 20. I knew about BTS years ago through my sister who was a Kpop fan before. She showed me one of the boys’ MV because the choreography was insane! I loved them at first sight. I looked at their other videos after that then immediately decided to join the BTS ARMY. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life. They are amazingly talented but on top of that, they are good people. They make me so happy. Plus I love that I’ve found a family in BTSxARMY.

@Minimini939395

I’m Alia, 26 years old, a doctor. I was already a fan when I watched them since day 1. I used to always put notification on this 1 YT channel where many idols and Korean singers put their MVs there and BH used to put BTS’s MV there too.

I watched No More Dreams MV a few minutes after they released the mv. I already love the music and the visual, searching for the English subs and I already like them a lot, and listening to the whole album and I truly became their fan. But then, I started to watch Bangtan Bombs and other variety shows the boys went to, and I fell deeper, so I decided to become an ARMY (Even though we don’t have the fandom name at first).

The wonderful thing was that the day I ended up watching their debut, was the day I got into a very bad mental breakdown and depression. I was in the 3rd semester of medical school and I have to sacrifice and let go of a lot of things. And self-doubt killed me too. I was thinking to quit my medical school but then, after listening and reading their songs’ lyrics, I eventually found some strength.

I survived my mental and emotional breakdowns, my depression and all struggles throughout my medical school that was located far away from my own country by having BTS throughout the 5 and a half years. I found my bestfriend there too because of BTS. We never talked before but then she saw me promoting and telling people to help us stream “I Need U” mv on my sns. And the next day, while i was streaming “I Need U” mv, while waiting for our hematology class to start, she came to me and asked me whether I’m still streaming the MV or not, and i looked at her phone, and she was streaming as well. We practically tried to stop ourselves from screaming in the hospital. But again, BTS is very special to me. They always have this huge, big spot inside my heart. I really feel like I grew up with BTS.

I watched them since day 1 and that day, I too was searching for something to hold, so that i could fight my own depression and self-loathing. BTS is my inspiration, my motivation and my strength. I gave up a lot of dreams I used to dream when I was a teenage girl, since I started to get severe depression from time to time.
But now, I smile whenever I see their picture, and quietly tell them “Let’s meet one day.” They even make me want to be a part of the UNICEF and the UN again now. That was a dream I had when I was a younger teenage girl.

Brittany@LilBitofTae

“Hi! My name is Brittany Jones and I came to know BTS through a friend. She posted some videos from their concert last year in New York and I ignored them for about a week until I finally gave in and watched. One of the vids was Jimin during his solo, and I was like; ‘oh man I have to know more.’ I looked them up on YouTube and watched a ton of their MVs.

I started asking my friend questions about them and she sent me all their old stuff about how they came from nothing and worked to get where they are. I became an ARMY officially after learning about the message behind their love yourself campaign and hearing their UN speech.

Oh, by the way, I’m 29; a stay at home mom of two young children and a wife.

Joyce@sumingalaxy

“I’m Joyce 33. I’m an English teacher to foreigners; mostly Koreans, Japanese, Chinese and other South American nationalities. I know about Kpop since 2008 since I was teaching Koreans, so I checked them out, but I wasn’t really interested. It wasn’t my taste in music.

“How did you come to know about BTS?” Philippines is not immune to Kpop. So, I have heard about BTS because my friend likes Kpop. I heard about them going to the BBMAS and all. I thought, ‘oh good for them then’.

Since I’ve been introduced to Korean culture because of my students, I learned a lot about the culture and the entertainment industry. I love their variety show so much because I love comedy. Their variety shows are hilarious. Jackson, who I didn’t know that he was a Kpop idol, was in a lot of variety shows. I saw one of his clips on YouTube and I’ve watched videos of him appearing on them including the one with Namjoon. So, I think it was the reason why I got a recommendation from YouTube of an interview where BTS was being hilarious. I can’t stop laughing at this one guy who was so extra. I later found out he was J-hope. I then started watching a lot of BTS contents. I binged watch all their videos. And the rest is history.

“What made you decide to join the BTS ARMy?” It took me months to check Twitter. I mainly got my BTS content on YT and FB. As I’m seeing everything or almost all the content came from Twitter, I decided to check twitter. This was the time when everything was still difficult for BTS to be played on the radio even if they had top 7 on BB200.

I saw how ARMYs work. They work their asses off to make BTS succeed. The way they organize things and think of ways to make it work. ARMYs believed in BTS’s movement. They want BTS to be known because they want people to know the message of BTS more than anything. This is a movement and I want to be a part of it.”

STIXVIX@stix_vix

“How did you come to know about BTS?” I am a 49 year old wife and mother of two teens, working full time. I’ve been watching Asian dramas for a few years and listening to OST music. I heard about a K-pop group (BTS) performing at the 2017 AMAs, so I and watched. The performance was amazing.

I saw them perform at the New Year’s show, looked them up a bit, then saw them again at the 2018 BBMAs, and I’ve been hooked since. I showed my daughter the “Fake Love” video, I downloaded songs and she followed me into the world of BTS.

I got tickets to the Hamilton, Ontario concert last September. It was an amazing night. And now we’re going to MetLife on May 18. Listening to BTS music helped me get through a difficult Fall 2018. I appreciate them.
“What made you decide to join the BTS ARMY?” BTS performances got me Interested; then I looked up their history, saw their interaction with each other, listened to their music with translated lyrics. I hadn’t listened to music regularly in a while because I found the content and messages of the songs on the radio were not making me happy.
It was full of violence, negative sexual references, unhealthy relationships. BTS was encouraging, had positive messages, topics were real and relatable. I found out about ARMY and started interacting on twitter (first time on social media). They were diverse, inclusive welcoming, fun, and even participated in fundraisers in the name of BTS. ARMY is a community, not just a fan base. I didn’t decide to join the BTS ARMY, I just realized one day that I was ARMY.”

Glass Masked Maya @GlassMasked

Hi! I’m Victoria, Bonnie for short, 32, and working as a German teacher 1. I got to know BTS through my students. They were already ARMY since a long time ago, and did some projects in German about the members and their music.
So, at first I was reluctant and really fought back the idea of joining them, but I got curious and started listening to their music more and more. And I liked the message, the lyrics, the videos, I admired their dance moves. I started reading about them and admired their bond, their friendship, their brotherhood.

What really made me get over my hesitation was how much their lyrics spoke to me and the connection I felt especially after listening to RM’s playlist “Mono”. It helped me through some difficult times when everything seemed to go wrong and nothing right… All their lyrics are meaningful and well thought and I especially love the German references, that’s a nice touch for me as a German teacher. I really enjoyed the Greek mythology reference too. It has always been my favorite. I hope all seven stay healthy and continue making good music with the same passion as until now. Thank you!”

Loves Seokjin 3000 @Kay23Miss

My nickname is Karen, I am a 39-year old CPA with a Master’s Degree, who works for the government. “How did I come to know about BTS?”: through the UN speech that I randomly came across as I was browsing through Facebook. So yeah, I am a Baby Army but I’m making up for lost time.

What made me decide to become an Army?” After watching that UN speech I started watching their videos and other content and I got drawn in. They became my happy pill. The deciding factor for me was when I saw them sing “Miss Right” and “A Song for You.” After watching numerous videos of their razor sharp choreography, I saw their versatility in that song that made me go, “Yup, this Group is talented.”

They don’t use their choreography to distract the audience from mediocre singing because even if you take away all the production effects and it’s just them and the mic, they can still deliver. Hope my answer helps. Thank you for loving the boys. It’s good to hear from other ARMYs.

Buzz

“Hi. I’m Buzz, a 29-year old woman. I first heard of BTS a year ago and put DNA and BST on my playlist but I didn’t bother to research more. Then in November they were everywhere and I wanted to understand why they are so popular. And voila! here I am. I support them ‘cuz they helped me a lot and they still do and I want to give back at least something.”

Carmilina @carmilina0427

Age: 34, Nickname: Carmilina/Carmie. I’ve known BTS since they started way back 2013. I was not able to “stan” them way back then because of work. I resume liking them in 2015, but eventually, it stopped because I’ve become busy with my boyfriend then and work as well.

My relationship with my boyfriend become so messy and we’ve encountered a lot of issues, at the end we broke up. There were lots of things going in my mind then. I suddenly just check some videos on YouTube for Self-love and I stumble again on Bangtan. I remember loving them, and “Love Yourself: Her” songs really hit me and it brings me comfort whenever I listen to the songs.

Every song helped me to survive my depression through my past relationship, which I am still recovering until now. And I am so thankful to Bangtan Boys. I joined ARMY since 2015.”

BTS-Jimin’s Manager@btsot7only1

Call me Samina. I’m 31 years old, and working professional working in the healthcare industry. I had known about them, and occasionally watched “Dope” and “Save Me”. Then one day in February 18, I discovered that they had won a Billboard award – a KPop group making waves in the American music scene?

I started watching YouTube videos of their interviews, was curious about their names, and the rest is history. I was going through a difficult point in life then, and they were a breath of fresh air. Their message, their music, their chemistry and primarily their sincerity really spoke to me. Whenever I stepped into the BTS-Army world, I forgot about my troubles and laughed and squealed with them.

I live in England and will attend my first BTS concert, in fact my first concert ever, at Wembley. I love escaping into BTS. They comfort me whenever I feel down. I get judged by people around me saying why am I so obsessed with a Boy band or they are so girly or they are so young. Should you be following them? It’s hard but now…..I don’t care.”

Daniela @LebyAlvial

“Hi, my name is Daniela. I’m from Chile and I’m 32 years old, and a proud Army. First, I want you to know that my first language is Spanish. The English I have learned is from social media and the movies. So, If I have written something wrong – just correct me.

It was May 2018, after the BBMA, I read on social media about this group that won the TSA for second year. I didn’t know about Kpop then. Just that Kpop existed but that was all. They won against Bieber and Selena Gómez… And i knew they are really popular so i get curious.

So, one night I searched BTS on YouTube. And I watched “Fake Love”. And I loved it. I had that song on repeat for a few days. I didn’t listen to anything else for a couple of days. I wanted to watch it again and YouTube recommended “Mic Drop”. And that was the moment when I got REALLY curious. ‘Cause i just knew two songs and both were amazing.
But I think that I became ARMY after watching a video on YouTube: ‘Introduction to BTS’. That was the moment when I knew about them as artists and people – not just the performances and music videos. And the more I knew about them, the more I understand the lyrics and the message they send. Soon, it’s gonna be a year being ARMY.

TaeCookies@captiveshadows7

“My name is Hanna, I’m 32 years old and I’m from Poland. I used to be a fan of manga & anime before. I first heard BTS “Blood Sweat & Tears” at anime convention. When I came back home I started searching for that song. From that moment I started learning more of them, especially after reading their deep lyrics and story line in music videos.
ARMY fandom was really helpful, nice and welcoming.

I learned more after they helped me with becoming a better and more positive person. I think that such a sincere and hopeful influence that BTS give us through their work can reach anyone – no matter gender, age, nationality and religion. Hope I helped a little. English is not my 1st language so please forgive my mistakes. Purple U.

Silverink@Silverink4

Hi! Call me Silver. I am a 25-year old woman from California. I stumbled on BTS by accident on YouTube. Their “Dope” MV popped up on the auto play, and it was good, but didn’t catch my attention too much. However, “Blood Sweat and Tears” is where I fell down the rabbit hole.

Then I just wanted to recognize/their names, who was who, using interviews, and fell in love with their personalities. I joined the BTS Army because I wanted to meet other fans that would get as excited as I did about their music and message. Not to mention the art, articles and fan projects are always a joy to read about.
Everyone is so loving and positive; it really makes my day even on tougher ones. I am forever OT7 but Jin has stood out to me this comeback and his ballads bring me to tears. Long live Rock Jin. Oh, and I am a baby year Old Army.”

Jessica @09jessie88

“I’m 30 years old, name is Jessica, and nickname is Jessicafairy88. How did I come to know them? Well I found them on YouTube listening to songs from Kdramas. I had heard of them before but never listened. As far as what made me decide to become an army, I absolutely fell in love with their lyrics from first listen. I found them when I really needed them, they have taught me to love myself and to fight for myself; to understand who I am and become my own light.

When I’m sad I can turn on magic shop and know that they love us as fans just as much as we love them. I can watch a video of them acting crazy and actually smile and laugh. I mean truly laugh not just the fake smile I’m used to wearing. They are beautiful people with beautiful souls. They are kind and giving. I love everything about them!
I have a condition known as TM ( TransVerse Myelitis) https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/transverse-myelitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354726. It causes pain and depression, it’s a vicious cycle, where the pain makes the depression worse and the depression makes the pain worse. They help me cope – that’s why I love them.

butterfly 78@ARMY_admirer_JK

I am 40 yrs old, happily married, with two kids – 7 and 16 yrs old. I’m from Germany, and I’m really happy that my English is good enough for Twitter after 20 yrs of being out of school.

For question two it’s simple: I didn’t exactly decide to become an ARMY. It was rather a slow transformation. Everybody was so nice answering my questions even if I’m an older fan, and I was really impressed how diverse and educated even younger ARMYs were.

My daughter introduced me to BTS after I accompanied her and her best friend to a _ _T7 concert. I never listened to Kpop before and was so thrilled of the performance and behavior of the boys! For two weeks I only listened to their music until my daughter said: well mum, if you like _ _T7 would you please listen to BTS. They are even better.
I still like _ _ T7, but 99% of my time I listen to BTS.

Jin’s Forehead @taehmari1

Hi! My then 14-year old daughter introduced me to BTS before their AMAs performance of DNA. I started researching them after. I heard their amazing music and the positivity in their lyrics. You never walk alone, love yourself, and I was hooked!

I became ARMY in November of 2017. I just turned 59 and my name is Mari. My beautiful 16 year old daughter is Kayla. BTS has brought us so much closer. A bond I thought I’d never experience with my daughter. They keep me young! They have helped me lose 65 lbs by lifting my self-esteem (yes, even people my age have self-esteem issues).

Their music gets me through difficult times. I have a chronic autoimmune illness and when I’m down they lift me up. I take care of my elderly parents, and when I think I can’t deal with more stress, I just listen to a particular song and it gives me solace. My daughter and I are going to Metlife next Saturday and my hubby and I (who’s not ARMY) is bringing me on Sunday as a birthday/Mother’s Day gift!

The photo above is of my daughter and I at the LY concert in Newark on 9/29/18. I will never forget that experience with her and seeing BTS for the first time! P.S. not to mention the friendships I’ve made with other ARMY moms which have enriched my life!

ARMYNANA @ARMY_nana_1963

My 30-year old daughter introduced me! They are funny and talented and kind. They helped me through some anxiety during a difficult time. They make me happy and it can’t be explained with words. You only understand if you know them! And they have made me enjoy music again.”

Brittani with Luv @BrittaniLang91

I’m 27 years old and the only nickname I have is Kara. I learned about BTS years ago through a reaction channel. I remember noticing their lyrics getting deeper/having more meaning than other k-pop groups or other musicians in general. That got me curious about them. I decided to join the BTS ARMY in part because I came to love BTS and what they were doing so much, but I was also really surprised at the ARMY itself.

While there were bad parts, there were a lot more ARMYs doing a lot of good and who were actually very supportive of – not only BTS – but of each other and I really appreciated that. I’ve been into BTS and their music since about 2015-2016, but I didn’t actually join ‘ARMY’ until sometime last year.

I don’t know if this would be too much but I struggled with severe depression. I have since I was 13 years old as well as severe self-hatred. Somehow BTS and their music made me see that self-hatred was not how to live, as well as, giving me strength to continue fighting each day. I am very grateful to them.”

sandyhazzard@sandyhazzard

Hi, my name is Sandy Hazzard, I am a military wife, a mom, and a BTS ARMY. I am 38 years old with 4 kids. I have kind of a long story, but it’s a good one. My oldest daughter, who is almost 15 now, had a very hard time with school after we moved to our Hawaii duty station.

She was about 12-13 at that time. She wouldn’t get out of bed to go to school, and sat in her room all day. We had her trying meds, seeing a psychiatrist and none of it helped. She passed me a note one day that said she wanted to harm herself. She showed me her arms and she had been scratching herself so hard she would bleed. My heart literally broke. It is the scariest thing as a parent to have your child in that state of mind.

I wondered what I had done wrong and what should I do. The fear of doing or saying the wrong things to her caused me to have severe anxiety and panic attacks. She barely passed 7th grade, and was slightly better after the school year ended. Over the summer I started noticing her coming out of her room more, and being happy more often. I was noticing the music she was listening to was more happy and upbeat and it was affecting her mood.

Then she started telling me about BTS, and showing me music videos and talked about them all the time. After I put the connection together I realized BTS had pulled her out of the shadows, and I was amazed that these Korean boys and their music had so much power. By this time my second daughter had also started listening to Kpop, especially BTS, and they were getting along and having fun together like I had never seen them before.

I was so amazed that I wanted to learn more about this group my kids were obsessed with. I started watching music videos, LOVED the music and the messages they were putting out there. I started watching more on YouTube of them being their funny, crazy goofy selves, and I loved them even more. When I watched RM’s speech to the UN, that’s when I decided to become full blown ARMY. I think my girls thought it was kinda weird at first, but now they love it and we have something we have all bonded over and it is amazing. I also am happy all the time now and have been able to get off of my anxiety meds. I am convinced that BTS saved my family, and I will be forever grateful to them.”

The Other Rachel @shadowdreamRS

“My name is Rachel Denise. The only nickname I still use is Rachel 2 or The Other Rachel. I am 34, and currently working on a degree in English Language Learner Studies.

“How did you come to know about BTS?” I am planning on teaching English in Korea, and I thought I better learn the language if I want to eat while I’m over there. Shopping when you don’t know the language or the currency is hard! So I started with K-dramas and K-pop.

Pretty soon, I stumbled onto BTS. I knew of the ARMY due to an unpleasant experience with some ARMY imposters at a concert. So I was a bit wary, but their music was amazing and the group themselves promoted a sense of compassion and humanity that drew me in. I fell in love with the music and their messages of hope.

I also loved how truly humble they were, grateful for every purchased album and willing to open up to fans in ways that celebrities rarely do. They *weren’t* celebrities. They acted more like long distance friends who just happened to be famous, unashamed to show their true selves, chaotic mess and all.

Kay@ItsKayDXB

Hi! I’m Kay from Dubai, a 35-year old working mum. By the end of 2018, I was going through a very stressful period; my husband had been based in another country for 3 years, so I was trying to be a mother & father to our two daughters during his absence. I got promoted at work, which meant my responsibilities doubled. And I felt like I was carrying the world’s responsibilities on my shoulders!

One day, I decided to forget “responsibilities” and just went on one of my craziest shopping sprees – ever. I came home and told my friend about it. She had been into kpop for a while, and I always teased her about it. She sent me “Go Go” by BTS and said that was my theme song for the day.

At first I didn’t want to listen, yet she insisted. It was a YT link with translation. The 1st thing that caught my attention was their choreography. Dance was my teen year’s passion. After that, a live performance of “Fire” automatically played, and I was like Wow!

I Googled BTS, started reading about their achievements, binge-watched their interviews and was immediately in love. I then read about how Twitter was the place to be, if you wanted their updates.

Shortly after creating my account, BTS were on an award show, and I was left in awe at how quickly ARMY translators were translating their speeches for the rest of the fans! The passion and love of ARMY towards each other and towards the boys was what made me say “I want this. I want to be part of this family”

And here I am, 7 months later, with tickets for Wembley, with a 7-year old mini army who enjoys their songs and performances as much as I do, as well as the “love yourself” message that the boys have been spreading. The boys have reminded me of my passion for dancing, of my need to love myself as well as others, and that I matter as much as anyone else “

@YOLOJxxH

Hello, I am Jessie (@YOLOJxxH), 34. I have been a huge kpop fan for years (a long time) and surrounded by some great Korean friends who share their favorite music, drama, culture with me. My very first kpop idol was HOT. I learned about BTS through all the Korean variety shows and performances.

However, it was until ‘I Need U’ and ‘Blood Sweat & Tears’ that I really started loving them. Their lyrics are different from other kpop idol songs and their performances are incomparable. It’s also incredible to see how much they have grown along with an entertainment company that cares and strategically market the boys to the world.

While being busy with work and daily life, Twitter really helped me getting to know the boys, fan loves, and keeping me updated. I love our fan power and connections we have; no matter the age, country, and languages. Friends around me don’t really know about BTS or think I am too old to follow kpop idol, but I am proud to be one, as they gave me inspiration and drive to work towards my dreams. And I shall continue. I must say all my Korean friends may not be BTS ARMY, but they are proud to have BTS in Korea, and they all praised about RM’s English! Thank you”

Lulu Map_of_the_Soul@Isgrir

“I found BTS pre-debut accidentally while scrolling through YT. I happened upon a vlog by Joon. He was so sincere and funny, I started a search for anything I could find on them, and from that moment on – I was hooked.

I got into Korean music through k-dramas a couple years before finding the boys. I was home for a while because of surgery and watched a drama that starred a kpop idol. I listened to the group and discovered kpop, but honestly, I didn’t like the culture.

I was on my way out of kpop when I happened upon Joon’s vlog. I will be 28 this year, and as an older ARMY, I can honestly say the message that BTS delivers is for anyone willing to listen; anyone that needs to know they matter; anyone that needs to be reminded that life can be hard, but you can still dream your dreams.”

From Lulu_Map_of_the_Soul @Isgrir

MarianaQ7FB@MarianaQ7FB

“I’m 28 years old and I wanna use ‘live and love’ as nickname.” The answer to the first question is: I started watching K-Dramas, this was my first contact with the Korean entertainment content and KPop. When I was watching KPop MVs I saw ‘I Need You’ by BTS, it was pretty different of all music content that I saw before. So, I continued to watching other BTS videos and I got hooked with them.

Actually, I enjoyed their MVs and the catchy songs, but when I saw the MV for ‘Spring Day’ I saw the lyrics of the song, that really hits me a lot because it was the same feelings that I felt in that moment (I lost a friend, he left the city and never said goodbye). So, I was so touched and I decide to search the lyrics of all their songs because I was convinced that, if they wrote that kind of lyrics, probably they would have more good ones.”

Dionysus is Going to Metlife @Cypher_II

“It was through YouTube, the music video Dope was on my recommended feed (that was 4 years ago). I decided to be an ARMY because their music spoke to me. It was an instant connection and when I looked further into their work I decided to become a fan.

When I was going through cancer their music relaxed me and gave me hope (I’m a year and half cancer free now). I’m going through other health issues due to my cancer surgery but with my family and BTS I continue to have hope. I’m 48 years old and my nickname is Mima. My 26 year old daughter became an ARMY at the same time I did, she was going through some hard times and BTS has helped her as well (and that made me love BTS a lot more).

Here I am with my daughter.

She had just picked me up from the hospital (peep the bruises from the IV), it was a rough time but through it all I’m still smiling.”

Ashley Cruz@AlyssaAshleyC

I’m Ashley, 27, from the Philippines, working as a Brand Manager. Before BTS, I was uninterested with anything K-Pop despite having friends and cousins who are into it. It’s not something new to me but it’s just not my cup of tea, I don’t understand the lyrics and I had this preconceived notion that they all sound the same.

I already have BTS under my radar because they were always trending. But I didn’t really check them out immediately even after their UN Speech. I didn’t bother because I was really uninterested. Until one morning in October 2018, I woke up to a clip uploaded by The Graham Norton Show, which is one of my favorite TV shows. I watched the interview first, then their IDOL live performance. I thought that they were good ‘live’ so I went to YouTube and watched more videos, until I found myself consuming every content I happen to find.

It wasn’t their message that got me into them first, but the way they put up a great show; their intense choreography and stable voices. Then I made an effort to know more about them, who they are, how they started, the people behind them, their creative process, their message. Everything.

As I go through that journey, I learned to love them, and loving them means getting out of my comfort zone. I wasn’t that active on Twitter as much as I do now. I tweet random stuff, but mostly short movie and TV reviews, and rant here and there. But when I became a fan, my personal Twitter account has become an outlet of support for them. As an ARMY who consumes a lot of what BTS put out there helps me cope with a lot of mental struggles that I experience as an adult. And I have no regrets. I have no regrets that I went deep into this rabbit hole.”

@neonchika

“Hi! My name is Krystal, age :27 Nickname : @neonchika/ I’ve been a casual kpop fan since about 2014, but I never found out anyone’s name or anything about the groups until Nov 2017. I found out that I had been listening to them for over a year and decided to learn more about this group. I was then (happily) thrown down the BTS rabbit hole.

The sense of community was a huge draw. I’m not really a part of any other fandom in this way and I loved to share my passion with other like-minded individuals. I also never really went through a stage as a teenager when I was REALLY into a musician or band, so this was something new. I stuck with them because they got me through a few difficult times in my life and allowed me to make new friends and reconnect with old friends. As some probably know, it can be hard to make new friends as an adult if you don’t go back to school. I also really appreciate their artistry and their love for their fans. They are probably the most genuine celebrities I’ve ever seen.”

khandiee@khandiee82

I’m Khandiee, 36, a mother of 3. I don’t usually watch TV or listen to much music. I’m an avid reader, but the day I found BTS I just happened to be browsing YouTube. This was very unusual for me because I never watched YouTube before. Their DNA video was on my recommendation list and I was curious what YouTube could be recommending. since I didn’t really use the service.

I was first amazed by all the colors, then the dancing, and I must admit how handsome they are. But what I was really amazed at was how much I loved it. I didn’t realize that it wasn’t English until the second time I watched the video. I was so amazed that I just wanted more. So I began watching more and more. Before I knew it I stumbled upon a Bangtan Bomb video with English subs and I fell in love.

I decided to join the BTS Army family when I realized that I really cared and appreciated their message. I found myself taking to anyone who would listen about these seven young men from Korea whose music had touched my heart so deeply. My children thought I was crazy. My 10 yr old was more open about it, but my 12 yr old was skeptical because she couldn’t believe that anything I was into could be cool.

I think I wore her down with sheer persistence or annoyance from me constantly playing their music. I eventually found VLive and I think that may have convinced her they were cool. ‘BTS Run’ is one of my favorite shows. I took a few psychology classes in college so the message and the BTS universe really interest me intellectually.

The layers to BTS have constantly kept me engaged. When I finally decided to join BTS Army it just felt right. Like finding a family I didn’t know was missing from my life. It was a pleasant surprise. I’m sorry this is so long. But I have never felt a connection to any musical artist or celebrity the way I feel connected to BTS. It really amazes me that I can honestly say that I love them from the bottom of my heart. They often make me laugh and smile and occasionally cry. I don’t think I will ever have this kind of connection with another celebrity ever again. It’s truly something special. Thank you for reading, I Purple You.

June@june_134340

I’m June, age 29, married. I have degree in science but choose to build my little company (indie book publishing) because my deepest passion is writing. “How did I come to know BTS?”: My husband and I are a loyal audience of Running Man (one of the most popular reality show in SK) since their very first episode in 2010. It happened that BTS appeared as guests on their 300th episode (2016). So, I can’t say I’m unaware of their existence.

Regrettably, I was just a regular person who likes music casually (read: mainstream) back then. I don’t have energy or interest to be a fan of particular artist or musician – until May 2018. I saw a post on my Instagram feed by Kurt Hugo Schneider who asked his thousand followers which of BTS’s song he should cover next. “The Truth Untold” was the only phrase I read as I scrolled around the comment section.

So, the curiosity finally got me. I went to YouTube and search for that song. Like most of ARMYs, I couldn’t help to not cry when the first time I heard it, and I gave all my respect when I read the lyric translation.

“What made me decide to join BTS ARMY?” It took me almost 3 months to accept the reality that I stuck with this hole. I didn’t know BTS were THAT big at first. I assume they’re just common Kpop group who only have 2-3 good songs. Frankly, at that time I’m a bit scared to admit to myself that I’m a big fan of them. I mean, in the beginning of my journey knowing them, so many YouTube videos explained the HATE they get (their hardships, antis, etc.). It hurt so much and I hate those feeling the most. I thought being a BTS STAN is definitely not suitable for me; it’s just a waste of my time and energy.

But I can’t resist, their music (the lyric, the vibe, the beat, not to mention their messages) they are just too good to be ignored. Yet, in a split-second I understand that I’m already in love. The more I get to know about them, the more content I’ve become. Through YouTube, I learn new things, song, news, anything about them every day. Then, I download Spotify and listened to every song they’ve made. A couple of weeks before their IDOL comeback, I’m pretty sure I already become ARMY.

I’m so grateful I can do what I love and live well from it. BTS help me to lessen my guilt from not having that job my parent wants and keep me going every time I get lazy because they’re the most hard-worker ever!”

LadyRJKoyaTata@SGArmyMom79

“How did you come to know about BTS?” – I have to thank my daughter for that. She got me in deep. What made you decide to join the BTS ARMY?” – there was something different about their music. Something that just got my attention and it is hard to get me to listen to K-pop since BB and GG. But BTS is a different ballgame altogether and they’re bold enough to speak about topics that others refuse to talk about. By the way, I’m 40 years old.

Mumma with Luv@bts_mumma

Hi, I’m Monica Martin, 58 years old, from Sydney, Australia. I’d been in a very dark period of my life. I had residue feelings from a troubled childhood and my father’s recent death. The couch had become my home when not at work and Kdrama, my choice of distraction. Reading the subtitles rarely gave me an opportunity to think.

My daughter suggested that we go to the annual Korean Festival in town to try and get me out of the house. The food was great and the Kpop dancing competition was excellent. Then a song came on that opened up something within me. I’d never heard anything like it and it completely took over my attention. My daughter told me who the group was and that song was ‘DNA’. When we got home she showed me the MV and there started my journey down the rabbit hole.

These were the first two pictures I’d ever saved of BTS. These were the words that helped me to reach out and admit that something was not right and that I needed professional help. My road to recovery was initiated by seven beautiful souls from Korea who helped me understand that I was not alone and it was okay to open up, seek help and share my feelings. My decision to join ARMY was the need to connect with like-minded individuals who shared the same passion.

It gave me an outlet to communicate and make new friends. To share my passion and my new found happiness. It was a safe space that depending on my mood and schedule that I could contribute as much as I wanted to without expectations for my attendance. I have found that I am in one of the happiest, well-balanced periods of my life.

I travel with my daughter to see BTS in other countries. Our relationship that was already strong has become stronger. Even though life situations still happen in my life (recently I was made redundant at work) I find that I approach them with a calm well balanced approach. I am happy. This happiness I can attribute to seven beautiful souls who crossed my path when I needed healing the most to bring the message to reach out and share my feelings that I was not alone.”

Bea a jobless bot@juno_bangtan

“1. “How did you come to know about BTS?” About 8 months ago, I was watching a react channel on YouTube and in one of their videos they were reacting to the album ‘Love Yourself: Answer’. I was interested almost immediately, so I checked their music videos. The first video I watched was ‘Idol’ and I really liked it. After that I started researching about them, downloading their music and checking their lyrics.

2. “What made you decide to join the BTS ARMY?” I didn’t identify myself as ARMY at first, I’d say I was really hesitant about it. I hadn’t been involved in any fandom in my life, I thought that was a waste of time and had seen some bad interactions inside the ARMY, so I didn’t want to be a part of it. I opened a stan Twitter account to follow the boys and soon I changed my mind about the fandom, especially after seeing the projects ARMY organize for the members’ birthdays.

Besides, the more I knew about BTS and their artistry, the more I wanted to be a part of the ARMY. Maybe because of the connection I felt with them. I, now, consider myself a full-time ARMY. I try to stay away from drama, so that has made my experience really positive.

I’m Juno, 29 years old (turning 30 in September), and I’m from Costa Rica. I’m a mom of an 8 y.o boy, who also considers himself as ARMY. My partner (male, 31 y.o) also loves BTS and their music but he’s not active in the fandom. As a Latin American growing up listening to rock and metal, BTS has changed a lot the way I see the world, I have never felt this way before for any artist. Latin Americans are usually xenophobic and sexists, and there’s still the misconception only teenagers listen to BTS, so most of the people I know are pretty close minded about this topic and I don’t really know about ARMYs my age in this country, but I’m glad I found BTS, they have helped me in bad moments and I love that it is something I share with my family.”

NIL@nieinwonderland

Nickname: Niel (Full Name is Danielle) Age: 26 (93 liner) “How did you come to know about BTS?” It actually happened on Jimin’s birthday last year (coincidentally or by fate, he is now my bias). He was trending on Twitter but I’ve often hear about BTS because they often trended on Twitter but I never really dived into knowing more about them. But, I was watching YouTube and being a fan of Fallon’s late night show, I saw their interview.

At first, I just watched them to know what the hype is about. After the interview, I saw their ‘Idol’ performance in the show and I. WAS. BLOWN. AWAY. I’ve always been a fan of dancers so seeing them sing, rap and do choreo really shookt me (for the lack of a better term). Also, while I’m not a kpop fan, I am exposed to it since I’m from SEA. Also, my boyfriend is an idol fan so I kinda know a bit of kpop but not enough to know all the Korean and idol culture until I became an ARMY.

“What made you decide to join the BTS ARMY?” After watching the Idol performance, I watched “I’m Fine” and even though I didn’t know Korean, I felt something different listening to it. I felt broken and healed by the song at the same time. It was such a different song from what I know kpop bands produced. I didn’t know I could feel like this listening to what I thought is kpop (of course, like other I had preconceived cookie cutter notions of the k-industry). But after listening to it, I was more shocked. I started to research about them and watch their performances. And when I got to the part of their Love Yourself advocacy, I knew this was different. I knew I would love them. Everyone can make good music, but good music with a message while surpassing language barriers is different. They’re teaching me to love myself, and I think that’s beautiful.

I’m a new ARMY, so I became a fan last October, but by December I bought a ticket to LY tour HK and saw them live on March 20. Sometimes, it amazes me how quick I “fell into the rabbit hole” but when I look at them, their passion, their love for the fans and for their craft, I know I loved the right people. I was never a kpop fan and I’m still not, but I learned to appreciate other groups because of them. I’m an ARMY through and through because the connection I found with them, I know can never be duplicated and replaced.”

Proud ARMY Noona@Dodgers4life76

Name: Hester Morales Age: 42 From: Small little town in Central California named Farmersville. 1. My daughter, who is a fan of another group, had me listen to ‘House of Cards’. She thought this group was more my style and she was right. I downloaded it and then followed with ‘I Need U’, ‘Run’ and ‘Save Me’. I still didn’t know much about them.

Months passed and I decided to look them up and watch their MVs and found ‘Let Me Know’ live. Then it began. I saw a FM video about a collection of funny video clips from their shows which I had no clue existed. After hours of watching these I decided to find where the content came from. I found Bangtan Bombs, and their Vlive videos.

I found ‘Spring Day’ and then the FM video on the “story” behind it and the Sewol Tragedy. How during that time no one in the media was allowed to talk about the situation. BTS and the group they are didn’t let that stop them. I’ve seen they were nominated for TSA on BBMAs and watched it just for them. Red carpet and all. And then I came across the original ‘Nobody’s to Legends’ video (it has since been updated due to copy rights) and that was it. I was hooked.

I watched AHL and seen what they went through. And their Vlives. The reason for their Cyphers. I understand that they had some rough patches with some of their songs degrading women but they apologized and even had their work over looked before following through with it as to not offend anyone. I respect that. (I understand you already know all of this but this is what made me an ARMY) The fact that these guys make you feel as if you are speaking to them like it’s a facetime rather than a vlive broadcasted to the world is so endearing and heart felt. They seem so real and not manufactured.

They write their own music and lyrics and help out with the choreo. They are allowed to be free and I respect BigHit for that. Big Hit is another reason I became ARMY. They give the boys freedom. Period. That’s it. They are not under lock and key. They are encouraged to give input in everything and backed by their company aka family. The 7 men have become a family not only with each other but with us all. RM has a way of speaking that makes you feel like you’re bffs. No matter how old you are. My son who is not into “kpop” got into the SAVE ME webtoon by accident and then watched the Wings short films with me and not only went out and bought his own copy of MOTS Persona but also the FunkoPops.

BTS has brought my family closer and I won’t shut up about it. I wish for nothing but the best for these men who have also become a part of my family. I feel like a proud momma to them. I almost forgot the most important part of what sealed the deal. Their LY motto. The way they protect their fans. The way they stood up to society and spoke about all the hush hush issues that everyone dismissed. They spoke up and let the world know that they themselves were going through their own problems. Mental issues, depression, self-love, weight issues. They, as men, felt that their fans needed to know the truth, and that they are human and they let us know that they go through stuff as well.

I watched their UN speech and then my younger son climbed into bed with me and asked what I had been watching and I showed him the video and he understood what the message was and it brought literal tears to my eyes. The fact that these guys always decline after parties when here in America so that they can do a Vlive with us goes to show you that they really truly love their fans.”

Emily Jo@hope_hobi_11

I go by Emily. I’m 32, been doing senior care/hospice care for over 15 years; also currently working as a chiropractic assistant, and I have a degree in International Affairs (Africa/Middle East concentration) and Public Health. I will hopefully be going to grad school soon for Global Public Health and Community Development.

I discovered BTS through a friend of mine (also in her 30s). She often posted videos on her Facebook, and I saw how much they meant to her, so it piqued my curiosity. I started watching random YouTube videos and became instantly hooked. About a week later I told her I was adding words like “hyung” and “maknae” to my vocabulary, and the rest is history.

She started giving me recommendations and information and even started a Facebook chat…a “BTS Support and Supply” group…for us and 3 other friends, so we could share pics and videos, as well as support each other. That was about 9 months ago, and we still all chat pretty much daily! She’s been a fan for years, so as a fairly new Army, she’s been my guide. We’re going to the MetLife show together this weekend!! I joined the BTS Army because I INSTANTLY fell in love with the diverse music and all seven guys…their story, their backgrounds, their lyrics, their tenacity, their honesty, their positivity, their passion, their desire to address real-life issues through music, their humbleness… …and the community spirit that I felt right away when I started engaging on social media.

We’re living in divisive times, and honestly, it is so, so relieving to see so many young people (younger than me, my age…even older) from all different countries coming together to share our love for some talented, deserving guys…helping each other translate the lyrics and videos and articles, collaborating on donation projects, etc. No matter what age we are, no matter what language we speak, their messages about Loving Yourself and Speaking Yourself transcend all that. It doesn’t matter that I’m almost 33…it’s something that I still need to hear. And seriously, how cool is it that so many people are learning about Korean culture and language because of them? We need more barrier/border breaking things like this in the world.

Rachel@@dyreerawrs

I’m Rachel, age 40, US ARMY. “How did I come to find out about BTS?”: I had been watching kdramas since my son was a newborn. I had enjoyed several of the OSTs from dramas, but didn’t like kpop (idol music) when I tried listening to it.

Fast forward to 2017 and the Korean entertainment site, I used to watch dramas, ran an article about BTS’s BBMAs nomination. I decided to try kpop again and watched the ‘Blood, Sweat & Tears’ music video. It was just the right mix of art and music to draw me in and make me want to learn more.

“What made me become ARMY?”: This answer is twofold – 1) the boys themselves, and 2) ARMY. Let me explain. BTS: Two moments really stick out in my mind as important moments in my fall into the ARMY fandom. The first was seeing Namjoon’s vLive from the 2017 BBMAs. I remember being just completely floored how he was online talking with his fans about his thoughts and feelings of the experience. Celebrities here in the US are usually seen as untouchable, and here he was having conversations with fans like they were friends.

The second moment was when I watched Jimin’s log where he was talking about being disappointed with his vocal progress. He was visibly upset and just pouring all of his frustrations and insecurities out to potentially hundreds of thousands of people (now, millions). I couldn’t help but admire how brave he is to put pieces of himself out there like that. Again, coming from the US, it often feels that you have to build up this facade. To only present the perfect, flawless image, and ‘house all is the cracks’.

But here is this young man talking candidly about all of his inner fears. I found it inspiring. “House all is the cracks” should be “hide all of the cracks” Which leads me to ARMY itself. I’m generally a very shy person, but the boys have inspired me to push my own boundaries. And through BTS, I found ARMY. I have never met a group of people like ARMY. You can be complete strangers, but when you meet another ARMY, your just fall into conversation and it feels like you have known each other forever.

I have ARMY family scattered all around the globe. I may not have met these men and women in real life, but I know that they would be there in a heartbeat – if I needed support. They are some of my best friends and truly are the family of my heart.”

Arvee@aquagirl15151

Nickname: Arvee, Age: 43 (started stanning BTS at age 38), “How did I come to know BTS?” My 16 year old daughter introduced me to BTS who was 10 years old back then. She got into kpop via another group, but dropped them when she started stanning BTS. I didn’t immediately like kpop, I find it weird and corny when she introduced me to the other band. I even made my daughter cry because she really wanted me to pay attention to it but I just laughed at it.
She introduced me to BTS, and said I’ll like that group because of the lyrics. I listened to ‘No More Dream’, and didn’t immediately stan them. Listened to ‘Coffee’ & ‘Just One Day’ and I liked these songs better. I finally watched ‘War of Hormone’ and that finally caught, really caught, my attention VISUALLY.

I couldn’t resist Jungkook in that torn sweater which my daughter also had. ‘Just One Day’ will always be that song for me though, I cried when they performed it almost unplugged during Armypedia cause without even realizing it during that time, that song made me stan them. Love their harmonies and their voices. My daughter and I have a close relationship but BTS brought us closer together. As a single mom, these boys have kept me company during hard times when I don’t want my daughter to know that I’m going through something. They give me comfort when I needed comforting, they make me laugh when I feel like crying and they make me cry when I feel so proud of them.

They’re the 7 sons/nephews I never had, and like family, I will always be supporting them in good and bad times. My bias(es): Jungkook & Yoongi but will always love all 7 of them I stan them first because of their lyrics and their personalities, them looking mighty fine is just a plus.

Here’s our now and then photos. If you want to see how we grew older over the years.

Mother and Daughter before
Mother and Daughter Now

Sorry if it’s too long but I’ve never connected with any other artists the way I connected with these 7 angels. Hope it will somehow help to spread that not all ARMYs are “rabid” teenagers

Psifer with luv@Psifer1

I’m Julie and I’m 26 – I came to know BTS in 2015 when “I need U” appeared in my recommended videos on YouTube. I had been watching One Ok Rock videos. I was fascinated by the video and wanted to learn more. I stayed a casual listener for a long time until ‘Spring Day’. It was then that I decided I definitely wanted to know their names and understand more about their message.

I think I became an ARMY, if an uninformed one, back in 2015. But I didn’t know that’s what I was until I started visiting the comment sections of the videos. I had been a follower of different bands all through High School but never really stanned or really cared at all about the personal lives or even the full names of the artists. I made a twitter account in April 2018 and the rest is history “

Kris Technology is great these days@7PurpleHearts

My cousin, who was 32 at the time, with her 2 kids, kept watching BTS on their 65′ TV (it was hard to miss) I was surprised because just like me, she’s not someone who will be into something related to kpop industry. I questioned her and she told me they were different. I did not listen to her due to this common misconception about kpop. Basically, I looked at them in a very stereotypical way.

One afternoon, I went there again and for some reason my Internet wasn’t working and I was watching “The blacklist”, I tried connecting to their wifi but the series won’t play either. I ended up watching “For You” and then she showed me “Mic Drop” and “Save Me”. I didn’t tell her, but I was really impressed by their music. It took me 3 weeks before I told her that I like them, and became a casual listener.

As you know on my 1st answer, I was a casual listener, I like their music. I didn’t know about their story line, their skills in composing, their history, their story and their message. I didn’t know all those yet. Until LY: Tear came out, I was so amazed by the album, I went straight to checking TTU’s lyrics and was blown away. I fell in love with 134340 vibe so I just kept repeating it without checking the rest of all the lyrics.

I was also going through a really dark phase of my life, actually, been feeling it for so many years. One night, I was so confused and ready to try and escape it all, I said to myself maybe I need some music, I was at the corner of my room, I checked YT and “Paradise” was recommended, the lyrics is basically my life, I was in denial of what’s happening to me. I cried for 3 hours but the song helped me open up to my sister, this is when I became a full pledged ARMY, and eventually LY: Answer came out. I checked ‘Answer: Love Myself’ right away and got another reason to go on.

MOTSHalmeoni@halmeoni1956

My name is Cha. I’m turning 63 next month. I have 3 grown up children, 7 grandchildren, and I’ve added OT7 to my 7 grandchildren, for a total of 14 grandkids.

I’ve joined the fandom last year and became a full time ARMY since September. Although I have heard about BTS in 2016 due to their popularity in the Philippines, I wasn’t keen on K-Pop then, just a K-Drama enthusiast.

My love for these boys developed after seeing their performances at AGT, BBMA, and in various US TV shows last year. My turning point or let’s just say when “I fell really deep into the rabbit’s hole” was after watching them in the UN and heard RM’s speech.

Also, they have so many great performances, beautiful and meaningful messages, and their sincerity in making a difference through their music.

The first member I’ve noticed was V from some BTS pictures in my previous office (ARMYs were ex-colleagues); then I thought JK is really adorable, so my bias were TH and JK. Still JK then TH are my most faves, but then RM & Yoongi became my bias wreckers.

Oh no, my ultimate bias wreckers are JM, JH and Jin! Yay! let’s just conclude that this 63-year old woman is very confused! Don’t get me wrong, I love them all so much (my children do get jealous sometimes)!

Beyond the scene@BTS_ARMYS4VER

Mother and Daughter

I’m 48 and I came to know BTS because of my 13 year old daughter. We have been living in Asia (Taiwan) for the past 10+ years and Hallyu is quite popular in Asia as you can imagine (close proximity and a lot of shared culture and values, even some language). But I never got into KPOP while living here.

We were already living here when BTS debuted, but I never heard of them or followed KPOP, as I never thought of myself as part of the target demographic. I heard of WG when they were trending (my daughter who was 5 at the time, really like their hit song and sang it all the time! ) and of course Psy. I never even watched K drama until last summer by accident (doing my nails in a salon & they had it on and I got into it! )

Last year my daughter started listening to KPOP, and one day she told me she really liked the group BTS. I didn’t think much of it but I asked her why. She said they are very good and they have very meaningful songs. I bought her some kpop magazines so she can get the posters inside. Then one night, I was watching some YT videos and I was curious so I decided to check out their videos. I started watching their dance practice videos and I was hooked! The rest as they say, is history!

I started listening to their songs on Spotify and following them on social media and finding out more about the group. I felt they were very different from other KPOP groups; their songs are not of just one genre and just stand out for me. Not the usual bubble gum music that mostly talk about girls and love all the time and all sound the same to me. Even though I can’t understand 90% of the lyrics, the music and beats just speak to me more so than any other Korean music. I used to be into JPOP, but stopped in my 30’s.

We got so lucky because shortly after I became an ARMY, they added more tour dates in Asia for their LY tour and we were able to get tickets to see them when they came to Taiwan, and those were the last concert dates for 2018! It was quite the experience and I hope we can do it again, if they will add more dates for later this year or next!

The other thing I found myself liking BTS other than their superior musicality was how humble, genuine and sincere they are! They serve as really good role models for young people in terms of having good work ethics (they work very hard!) and never speak ill of others, especially their haters. They work in an extremely competitive (and ugly I might add) industry, but they continue to follow their dreams and hone their craft because they believed in themselves and what they have to offer and never wavered in their pursuit of their passion! And all the hard work paid off. They didn’t go into show biz because they wanted to be famous or rich, they could have done a number of other things and I think that’s what set them apart from other idols who got into this, at least that’s how I see it.

The other aspect is their loyalty to their fans! Their undying love and always putting ARMYs first and making us part of their success story is what is so endearing, and I think somewhat lacking in the western entertainment industry as it’s a much more self-centered culture and BTS exemplifies teamwork and shared success. I like that a lot! In a way I’m very proud of my daughter for recognizing the intrinsic values inherent in BTS to decide that’s the group she wants to stan and now I’m a fan as well!

IshMisc@IshMisc

I am 40-year old ARMY. My Twitter name is IshMisc, I am from Bangladesh, a country where there is no Apple Music, Spotify or Amazon so I can’t even purchase their albums legally. But I do my part when new songs come out by streaming on YouTube as much as I can.

Q1. “How did you come to know about BTS?” Although, I am 40; I am actually quite a new ARMY, just a year old. I was on Twitter and happened to catch that BTS was trending and clicked on it to see that everyone was talking about BTS’ performance on the BBMAs. So, I clicked the videos because I was curious. And I instantly loved the song ‘Fake Love’ and the dancing and performance just mesmerized me. I then kept clicking on other videos and finding out more and more and before you know it I got sucked into this massive BTS vortex and have not gotten out since!

Q2. “What made you decide to join the BTS ARMY?” As I explored BTS more, I found the English lyrics to the songs and that was the final major push that left me no other option but to become an ARMY. I was going through a massive period of change in my life, feeling overwhelmed and confused, switching jobs, gaining weight, becoming stressed. And that’s when I found BTS. And their lyrics spoke to me so clearly, they cut through all the noise and helped me see clearly what was important in my life, how I should care more about myself and love myself and less about what others think or what their expectations are of me.

BTS came into my life when I needed them most, and while I am so sad I missed out on them from 2013 till 2017 – better late than never – at least I found them eventually. So, I am grateful for that. I just wish I could share my love of BTS and experience as an ARMY in real life but no one in my family or friends even know of kpop or BTS, so that is a bit lonely for me.

Also, the stereotype is BTS fans are only teenage girls, so the few family members that know I like them, look at me strangely so I don’t share much with them. I am on Twitter to keep up to date with all the BTS updates but the fandom sometimes scares me with all the infighting so I don’t tweet much myself.

But back to BTS, for the past year, every day I start the day with BTS and I end it with BTS. I listen to their music in the car, when I go for walks, when I hang out at home and watch all their content and also fan created content on you tube as well; almost all my free time goes towards BTS. Becoming an ARMY was such a good decision for me. BTS is much younger than me but I consider them as role models for how to lead my life.

@tracykim326

Hello! My name is Tracy and I’m 44, from Los Angeles. My story is truly a godsend… My daughter Vanessa (17) has been ARMY since late 2017. In September 2018, when BTS came to LA for the LY tour, Vanessa tried to catch a sighting of the boys at LAX. She was there from 4 am until 5 pm. When someone finally told her they took a private exit. She was devastated. When I picked her up, she asked if we could drive by the staples center to help her feel better. So we did, and we saw there was ARMY camping out for GA. Since my daughter had a GA ticket for Friday, I camped out for her starting that Monday.

I met Nan Paturzo (ARMY Mom) in line while camping out. She asked me if I was going to the concert and I told her “no”, that I was only there to camp out for my daughter. Nan insisted that I watch the boys perform, so I bought a ticket. And that’s when my life changed for the greater! Nan has a Facebook group for ARMY moms and I’ve learned so much about BTS through the fellow moms. I have made many great friends from this group. We do a lot together and have fun. My daughter also showed me vids and articles about BTS and has helped me learn a lot about the boys. And so that was how I came to know BTS.

Before BTS, I was out of shape and continuing to gain weight. I’ve always been a healthy person but unknowingly I developed severe depression and anxiety over the past 10 years, and it became very difficult to be motivated to exercise and eat healthy. Since BTS, I exercise 5 to 7 days a week and watch everything I eat. Healthy foods first, sinful foods once in a while. The boys got me out of the funk and I am very thankful to them for that!

I decided to join BTS ARMY for many reasons. A couple of those reasons are because: 1). I can truly feel the love that BTS has for ARMY and ARMY for BTS. 2). BTS is a positive influence on millions of people from all over the world. Some things I’d like to add are: I haven’t listened to any other music since the concert at Staples Center in September 2018. That’s 8 months of only BTS, and I still love every single song! I had a fear of flying, but overcame it from watching the Bon Voyage episodes. ”

Here are tweets from other older ARMYs. I can assure you there still thousands, perhaps millions, out there from all over the world.

MUMMA WITH LUV @bts_mumma

From @KpopDAD1



From @JessicaKostele3

From ARMY MOM @BangtanNan

From Rowanna @rowanna_09

As another ARMY replied:

As Lorraine S. Bennett‏ @LorraineSBennet says:

“I’m 62, and just happened to come across BTS (bias Jimin)and fell in love with their dancing, then I just fell into the rabbit hole. Now I’m checking Twitter a couple times a day and listening to Kpop you tubers. I may have a problem 😂”

Here’s Juoquina @juoquina1

From @aircrewual

In a Twitter poll conducted by Army’s Ahjummas@ArmysAhjummas, it was established that there are thousands of fans older than 30 years.

Part 2 of this post will follow later.

Hurray for OLDER ARMY!

We love you all!

Hurray for all the BTS ARMY, whether young or old alike – everyone is welcome to the BTS’ magical rabbit hole.

N.B. In case you want some entries edited, or photos inserted. Kindly DM me on Twitter. Thank you.

4 thoughts on “Shout Out to Media from BTS ARMY: “We’re not all teens or 12-year olds” (Part 1)”

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