“We’re NOT Rabid Teenagers”: Shout Out to Media from Noona and Hyung BTS ARMY

“We’re NOT Rabid Teenagers”: Shout Out to Media from Noona and Hyung BTS ARMY

This is part 2 of the post: “Shout Out to Media from BTS ARMY: “We’re not all teens or 12-year olds”

As we have previously emphasized in Part 1, there are also millions of older ARMY (male & female) in the fandom. This is a continuation of their heartwarming stories of how they fell into the BTS’ magical rabbit hole.

And we’re not “rabid” teenagers as some media describe the ARMY. The word, somehow, depicts a negative connotation because the word is often used to describe animals suffering from rabies. We don’t typically describe die-hard football aficionados as ‘rabid’; thus, why describe the BTS fandom as “rabid”?

One of the definitions of the Cambridge English dictionary of the word “rabid” is:

“ …having and expressing extreme and unreasonable feelings..”

I’m sure many ARMY (young and old alike) will agree with me that the ‘feelings’ we have for BTS are not ‘UNREASONABLE”. We love them because we have “sane” reasons to do so. You can glean these significant reasons in the awesome stories below.

A number of readers asked me about my own story. Suffice to say that I was first introduced to BTS by my granddaughter. Seeing their popularity, I decided to write about them for this news site and, perhaps, gain some readers.

So, I donned my research hat and went scavenging online. During the course of my undertaking, I learned about their endearing personalities, their humility and their exceptional talents. Perhaps, it was when I heard RM speak at the UN (several months after) that I decided to become an ARMY. However, I’m not absolutely sure of when I started truly liking them.

Let, me expound a little bit more as to why I admire them. You may want to check your list against mine, as well. If you have something to add, feel free to do so in the comment section below.

• First, they have incredible talents as artists. They can dance, sing, rap and compose their own songs.

• They’re great human beings with sterling characters and endearing traits – in and off stage.

• They remain humble and grounded despite their fame and fortune.

• I can relate to them and witness how ‘human’ and reachable they are. Artists are usually unreachable “stars” wrapped up in a glamorous world of their own.

• I always support and fight for underdogs, who have talent, and the Bangtan Boys have tons of these. They have been belittled when they were just starting in their careers.

• They serve as good role models for everyone, by starting from the bottom and patiently working their way up with sheer diligence and grit.

• Their story inspires me and my grandkids, and I’m sure lots of people are inspired too.

• They have a discography of awesome music for every genre. Every music fan has something in store for him/her.

• They’re sincere to their fans and truly love them.

• They live up to their slogan “Love Yourself”. They have awesome team work and genuine love for each member.

BTS MAY 20 METLIFE

What started as a desire to write about them, ended up with me becoming an ARMY instead. And I’m even more passionate now than my granddaughter, whom I used to tease about BTS.

If you notice, this website was supposed to be a news site, but now it has become a BTS blog. Now, I only write for the legendary septet. I have given up writing about other news/topics.

I don’t have any regrets though.

I love writing about our boys than any other topic in the world because they are always newsworthy. Remember, they reign supreme on whatever platform they are in. In fact, they rule the bird app, Twitter.

I will continue to help spread the good news about the campaign of the Bangtan Boys – especially their “Love Yourself” slogan. I want the world to know how loving yourself can change people for the better.

So, without further ado, here are the stories that had made me teary-eyed and inspired. (I only used their Twitter handles for uniformity’s sake).

@KLUVMJB

I’m a 52-year old single mom, registered nurse, and an obsessed BTS “fangirl”!

My 13 year old daughter had never said a word about discovering and loving BTS, until they were on the AMA’s a few years back. She called me at work panicking and telling me she had to get a ride to her grandma’s- because she NEEDED to see her Korean princes on this awards show.

At 12, I had never heard her say a thing about this band- never even about boys. That was how it all began. Both myself and her 22-year old brother were introduced to everything the boys were involved in- and we went far down the rabbit hole! The band has brought the 3 of us closer together and gave us endless hours of enjoyment: following on all social media, watching music videos, all of their shows and appearances, joining in discussions, enjoying fan art and fan fictions- I love it all!

My daughter’s bias is Jin, my son’s is Jimin and mine is Jungkook! I could talk about the boys and our love of them for hours. My daughter and I have always loved music and BTS inspires and entertains me. We spend endless hours of amusement over the boys’ unique and wonderful personalities. There is depression in our family and I could never express how grateful we are for how BTS has helped our family with this.

@IneedyouSea

I’m 53 and Misha Taehyungie introduced BTS to me. I was watching Hwarang warriors, fell in love with the adorable Tae and wanted to find out more about him. Lo and behold! BTS showed up.

The very first song I listened to was “Stigma”, then “Hug Me”, and then “Blood Sweat and Tears”. I love the songs so much, so I researched on YouTube. As I went deeper in, I fell in love with Bangtan boys. There are no songs of theirs that I don’t like. For the first time – ever – I found a group that I love so much. This was 2 years ago.

I’ve been listening to their music every single day since. Can’t live without them. My family members think I’m going thru midlife crisis. I’m not! Bangtan speaks to me. Not a day goes by that I don’t get on line to find out what goes on with the boys. I thought Taehyungie is my bias but as I fell deeper into the rabbit hole, I can’t choose a bias cause all 7 of them wreck me with their own unique personalities.

Taehyungie will and always have a special place in my heart, but I choose all 7 as my precious boys. Like you said in your article, I feel what they feel. When they’re sad I’m sad; when they cried I cried; when they’re happy, I’m happy. I want the best for these boys. They deserve the best the world has to offer.

I was there in Chicago for both days and just look at how they gave us 300 percent of their ability knowing that we were waiting out all day in the cold, rainy day for them. There is nothing special like the relationship between army and BTS. As I witness in all of the 6 concerts I’ve been to these 2 years, and the 5 are from this year alone. I was there to watch them live and be a part of it.

I can truly understand our relationship with the boys. We do feed energy off each other – ARMY and BTS, as we all can see an example of it yesterday’s concert in Chicago with the rain. We are literally feeding energy from each other. ARMYs were so cold, wet and tired, but as soon as our babies came out we were all energized, the same for Bangtan babies.

If you’re not ARMY you would not understand our special relationship. I took my brother in law and sister to the concert last night. They have been relentlessly teasing me about my love for BTS. They don’t understand why I spent so much money traveling all over the world to see them. I’m one of those lucky one who has a job as a flight attendant so I can just hop on a plane and go. As I just did when they were in Hong Kong, or when they were in LA, and yes I will be in NJ this Sunday too.

I would have loved to be at Wembley stadium when they are there in June, but with all these traveling, hotels, tickets and merchandises – I’m broke. I need to work now for when they next announce more dates. Ok I’m off track!
As you can see, I would do anything to be there for our boys. My bucket list is to get VIP ticket for one of their shows.

Oh, I was mentioning my brother in law and sister; now, after they were there for the concert, they now understand my love for the boys. They said that was the best concert they have ever been to. On our 5-hour drive home, they were asking me about BTS’s music, and who they are. I was so excited that they finally showed interest. So, like ARMY when locals are showing interest, I went in a whole dissertation on who BTS is, and what are all the meanings behind their music. I’m sure they have become fans of BTS. At least now, they respect our boys.

@RockinCheri99

I’m Momma Tae, 51, from MI US. I was introduced to BTS by my best friend & her daughter. I was in a dark place in my life at the time and didn’t get it at first. But then I heard “Tomorrow” & “Just One Day”; they both made me think about the fact that I just had to make it one day at a time.

Also, that there was something special about these boy’s. They spoke about real life issues. It seems like every time I need to be lifted BTS was there. Twice BTS has saved my life, first with “Save Me” and then again with “Not Today”.
I was in a dangerously dark place in both of those times and with their lyrics they inspired me to live. I became a true ARMY when I heard “Not Today” because it became my theme song! Honestly I immersed myself in everything BTS.

I worked hard to vote, stream, buy, to help get them the success they deserve and still do today. I feel like a proud Mom when they’ve gotten all the awards this year, especially with the mainstream success. There is no stopping BTS & ARMY!

@bangwool89

Hello, my name is Risa Kang. I am 29 years old, born in Massachusetts and raised in Texas. I am a US veteran who signed up to defend my country as soon as I turned 18, and served honorably for 7 years. I currently work as an Underwriter in a Fortune 500 company.

“How did you come to know about BTS?” It was pretty tame. I stopped listening to American music because it was always the same thing but in a different tune, so I decided to listen to K-pop. Back when I discovered them, they were just another band I listened to and it was great because I didn’t know what they were saying.

“What made you decide to join the BTS ARMY?” I can’t say I lived a rough life, but I can say I didn’t live an easy one. Growing up in an Asian household, there was much to be expected of me. My mother controlled every part of my life, including which type of Asians I hung out with, and how far I can be away from the house. I lived a sheltered and controlled life.

When I became 16, my mother vacated our house and left without notice. I only heard from the leasing office, after I walked home from school. But I was truly an optimistic child, so I didn’t fault her. One of my schoolmates took me in for another 2 years until I finished High School, and signed up for the military a week after.

Going straight into the military, we have a controlled mindset as well. Don’t show your weakness. As a female, I was targeted very often because I was in a “man’s role” back in 2007 and wasn’t “equipped” for it. This was quite challenging as 2007 was what we considered wartime and our comrades dropped like flies. I had to prove myself until the day I was honorably discharged.

In the end of it all, I never learned who I really was. Even after leaving the military going into a warehouse job into an office job, I was always a hard ass. But rediscovering BTS last year has steadily opened me up into who I am today. Being able to read their lyrics, and understand their message to be yourself, love yourself, and speak yourself, I felt I was finally in control of my own life.

Self-love is not an easy thing for someone who doesn’t know themselves, but I feel BTS truly helped me learn these things and what I am truly capable of. Because of BTS, I started to travel around the world and also decided to go back to school. I never thought I would be able to follow my dreams until they came into my life to let me know that anything is possible if you work hard enough, no matter the obstacle. If you listen to their music without prejudice, I truly believe it can help you find yourself.”

@ mics346

My name is Michael and I’m 41. Three years ago my, now 14-year old daughter, told me to listen to BTS. I had no choice, since she would watch their mv’s all day. “Mic Drop” was the song that caught my attention. Being that my culture is Hip Hop, I gravitated to the beat! The more I listened to their songs and lyrics, I thought to myself: “BTS are genius”. Flawless choreography.

They show such sincerity to their fans and the world. Their music took me through different emotions at different times. All these ingredients mixed in a bowl is what made me a devoted ARMY. Now my 3 daughters (ages: 5, 14 & 19), wife (39 yrs) and I (41 yrs) are ARMY for life! I love and respect the diversity that exists in our ARMY.

The thought of different backgrounds, ethnicity, age, sex, religious beliefs and political preferences coming together for one common cause is Supreme; especially if some of those common causes are Love, Respect, Self-Empowerment and Support for each other. BTS has reminded me of my Culture. Hip Hop is the only Culture that sees no ethnicity, age, sex, religious beliefs and/or political views.

Nowadays, you see people from all kinds of backgrounds in the Rap genre. That is exactly what the Hip Hop culture was founded on. The Hip Hop culture had one vision in mind, when it was formed: to unite everyone, from all over the world, so that we can get along despite our differences. The Hip Hop culture achieved it. BTS has done the same!

So, is BTS Hip Hop? They are, through my eyes! Hip Hop is not a music genre, it’s a culture. BTS has united us all. I don’t know the little 5-year old ARMY girl that lives in Egypt, but I can relate to her, and that is amazing! That is why I’m a proud ARMY. Thank you BTS! Love you for that.”

@marcelalandia9

I’m Marcela, a 28-year old doctor from Colombia. I already knew kpop since 2008, but I only listen to it as any other music, every once in a while. I met BTS since 2015 with “Fire”, and I really liked them. But I didn’t research enough about them. I was isolated too because of my career. I was in hard practice, and heard too many music from different genres. At that time, I only saw them as a cool band.

Last year, 2018 I was listening to some music and saw J-Hope’s “Boy Meets Evil”. I read the lyrics and it got my full attention. I looked up the whole album of “Wings”, and I fell quickly as an ARMY. I have read the lyrics of AgustD, MONO by RM, Hope world, and fell so much deeper with “Dark and Wild”. I love their lyrics and their dynamic style. I’m still studying and working, but with Bangtan as background music, it’s so inspirational. I like reading about philosophy and psychology as a hobby. So, it turns on my attention so good!

@BTS_Noona4JK

My nickname is “BTS Noona”, and I am 40 years old. I first heard of BTS with the news that a KPop group won Top Social Artist at the Billboard awards in 2017. I haven’t followed Kpop for over 15 years, but I felt a sense obligation to look them up as a Korean American.

At first, I couldn’t figure out what made them special or stand out against other KPop boy bands. But I was intrigued and fascinated by US fan’s reaction to them. – especially the ones who first encountered BTS. So, I kept watching reaction videos and fell down the rabbit hole, alongside the reactors.

As they fell in love with the boys, so did I. What made this experience so powerful was the fact that great music truly does transcend language barriers. It didn’t matter that they were singing and rapping in Korean. The art and meaning behind the music was what mattered. I was hooked and became an Army through and through.

As an immigrant this was such a novel experience. To see so many embrace and try to learn Korean was a phenomenon I never thought I’d see. I came to the US as a child but still remember the bullying I experienced before I became fluent in English. Even though I live in metropolitan LA where diversity thrives, I never felt comfortable speaking Korean with family or friends out in public. I was ashamed, if you will.

As if to overcompensate, I became an English major and I let my Korean skills lapse. (I now need English captions to understand Korean movies. ) There are so many reasons I love the boys, their talent, their humbleness, their lovable personalities, etc. For me though, there’s an added personal gratitude – they helped me love my mother tongue again. I have never ever spoken only in Korean when I’m out in public. Even while speaking to monolingual Korean speakers, I always make the effort to mix in English because I was so self-conscious.

The very first time I felt completely comfortable and freely spoke in Korean was at the 2018 Billboard Awards. My friend and I were surrounded by other ARMY and I knew not one of them would judge me. That moment at the BBMAs meant a lot to me. Not just because BTS helped me finally shed my self-consciousness about being an immigrant in the US. But because their rise and popularity in the US make me proud as an American.

We are open minded, accepting of diversity, judging people by their merits and talents. Yes, the boys are incredibly talented and the general population is finally coming around to recognize that. But if we weren’t ready for them, ready to see and hear beyond the language barrier, BTS would not be as successful as they are today.

I’d also like share a little bit of my friend’s story. She immigrated to the US a few years ago. She still struggles with English. Fear of not getting it right or “sounding” dumb is something that always plagued her. However, being a BTS ARMY has changed that for her. At least with other ARMY, she knows that there is an instant connection between them that can help overcome the language barrier. She was always shy about making friends who weren’t Korean, but now there is a new sense of confidence and ease about her.

I never ever thought I’d fall this hard into a fandom. Certainly not for a boy band! But by some miracle, they are in my life, and I am truly grateful because they have helped me love and accept ALL of me: the Korean me and the American me.

@Neddyxxiii

Hi. I’m Neddy, 25 y/o. I came to know BTS during the “Wings” era. At that time, I was having depression and panic attacks. I didn’t go anywhere. I always wear a face mask whenever I need to go out.

So, one day, I was scrolling through YouTube videos, and I saw the “Blood Sweat & Tears” mv. And I thought ‘who are these guys who are great at singing and dancing? I knew BTS because of this mv.

2) I decided to join the fandom just after the next day I discovered about BTS. I watched all of their songs and “Nevermind” from BTS really made me an ARMY. They talked about depression, mental health, love, and many more. I fell in love with them because of their music.

3) Currently I’m about to graduate from my Master’s degree in Nanotechnology. I’m planning to take a PHd soon after I graduated. My dream is to build a hospital for old folks and children who are in need.”

@LOVERS_of_Heiji

My nickname is Chana. I’m 23, turning 24. I’m from Germany; so English is my second language.

“How did I come to know about BTS?” Well, first of all I started to listen to K-Pop when I was 14. Everything started with other groups that were “trendy” that year. Then, I found a song of BTS. Sadly, I don’t know the title anymore. I loved the song since the first time I listened to it.

I searched for more songs and started to like them. That happened in their early stage of debuting. After a while, I lost the interest in listening to music in general because of stress and school. Time passed and in the end 2015, I started to listen to them again. Like that was the year I needed them the most. I was so stressed by school and everything started to change.

What made me decide to join BTS ARMY? Well I didn’t decide anything. In the last years I listened to their songs, and started to follow them on Twitter and on YouTube. Two years ago, I found a friend who liked them too, and since then I can be called an ARMY. I didn’t decide it; I was an ARMY without even asking what I got myself into.

Last year in October I went to the concert in Berlin. It was my first concert in my whole life, and the first time I went to spend 2 days far away from home with a friend. But for BTS I could do it. I also pre ordered the DVD “Love Yourself Tour Europe” and I never bought a DVD of a group before. So BTS changed me, the music gave me support. Since last year I’m not only interested in BTS but also in Korea and started learning Korean. I want to understand not only the lyrics but also the K-Dramas.”

@beeonaegmailco1

My nick is JJ☆otftfz on Twitter. I am 50yrs old, a dentist and a homeopath in Korea. I have a private dental clinic.
First, with YouTube because I heard they were going to perform at the Billboard awards. While listening to “Boy with Luv”, I felt joy instantly, even while I was working in my office. What an experience!

I started looking for their MVs on YouTube. Some made me cry real hard, such as “Truth Untold”. And I am an army now.
There are so much more to tell actually. But the best parts are that they are hard-working, and I have genuine appreciation for them. For me, BTS music comes foremost.”

@sameenasultan

I’m Sameena Sultana, 26 years old, and working as a research engineer at NOKIA, India.

“How did you come to know about BTS?” I usually watch kdrama once in a month. I was searching for a good kdrama on YouTube and came across Kim Namjoon aka RM’s UN speech. I thought it’s some scene of a drama before starting the video.

Later I realized it was real, and these guys are some young activist. I was blown by his speech and I was so inspired and started to realize that I never loved myself for what I am now. I wanted to check more speeches; I was clueless that they are a boy band.

After watching the full speech, I got the idea that they were not just activists; so I wanted to know more. I dived deep and ended up becoming a hard core fan of them. I love the way they see the world.

“What made you decide to join BTS army?” I love the fact that they love their fans so much that they consider them as family. I have never seen any such fandom in my life. ARMYs are passionate and humble. I didn’t realize that when I became an ARMY. Now, I am at a level where my day starts with BTS and ends with BTS. And yes, they inspire me a lot. I wake up with a smile every day. I was full of regrets before knowing BTS and now my life has changed. I love myself and love people around me. A big “thanks” to BTS and the lovely ARMYs.

@moon_child_3

I’m Kristy, 35, and I’ve been into BTS for almost 2 years. I have surprised all my friends by loving a “Kpop boy band”—I used to listen to punk, rock, country, and hip hop/R&B only. I am a vocal feminist and politically active, I have tattoos and curse like a sailor. Not exactly what people think of when they think of kpop fans.

But BTS speaks to me and touches my soul in a way I haven’t felt since I discovered Againt Me! in college. Not only do they make good music (including deep lyrics that address real social and personal issues), they are truly good people and it shows in their behavior and the things they say.

I quickly became interested after watching a music video, and music videos lead to dance practice videos, live performances, and shows like “Run” BTS. In this new age of celebrity, they use social media to connect with fans in a way I’ve never seen—there is a two way connection between ARMY and BTS that the guys see, acknowledge, and appreciate.

When I think of BTS, my heart beats a little more warmly, they have gifted me with a love that I was really lacking — love for them – but also a deep love for myself. I really never thought this would be my life — learning Korean to better understand 7 young men, joyfully watching them play games and solve puzzles together on Run BTS, crying with them when they share their struggles on stage, only playing BTS music in my car for a solid year.

My life is infinitely better since I found BTS. I needed to connect to other ARMY so I joined Twitter to follow them and have gained a few friends, other folks who also found themselves in this beautiful world BTS has created; and just want to celebrate Kim Namjoon, Kim Seokjin, Min Yoongi, Jung Hoseok, Park Jimin, Kim Taehyung, and Jeon Jungkook. Our BTS. I couldn’t be more grateful or full of love for these 7 young men.

@btsjiminuk

I’m a 42-year old mum, wife for 22 years, and a professional Logistics Planner. I know about BTS through my 17-yr old daughter. She listened to them before me. I just started to get to know who they were and found the songs total bops . I looked into the lyrics more and the meaning behind them.

I then started voting to help them win awards and before I knew it, I was recruited to a fan-base to help. The fan-base I am still with and I am also now one of the main admins that help run it. I purple ALL ARMY. “

@SGArmyMom79

“How did you come to know about BTS?” 2 years ago, my then 12-year old daughter was prepping for a national wide school exam. The outcome of this exam would determine her learning path in high school.

As a parent, I was, of course, nervous and was more than annoyed that she spent her time not studying. Her time was spent literally listening to BTS songs. I haven’t had a clue who they were. Fast forward a year, her interest did not wane. I was getting curious, as I hadn’t observed anything that could sustain her curiosity for that long. She was turning into a teenager, and was beginning to lack self-confidence. The only thing that made her smile was BTS. I then knew I had to find out more about them.

“What made you decide to join the BTS ARMY?” In one of my conversations with her, she told me to check out RM’s UN speech. The words, the message, the intent – everything hit me hard. I dug further and found out that these men were just in their 20s, but to wield such positive power at that age, making millions of people stop and listen to them, is just unheard of.

But that is the power of these 7 young men. I accompanied my daughter to their concert in Singapore, with zero knowledge and expectations. I left the Stadium a fully converted ARMY. Their songs were catchy, their lyrics were meaningful, and their love for their fans was evidently genuine. Jan 19, 2019 was a life changing day for me. It was a day that I turned into a full-pledged ARMY. My daughter and I are now closer than ever, with the boys as our common ground. And I cannot thank them enough for that.

@jKvLeeOT7

Let me introduce myself first, my name is Kristine, 31, from the Philippines. I’m a mother of 4 (ages 12, 11, 9, & 4). My sister was the one who was stanning BTS since 2015. She was always watching their videos, playing their songs, buying BTS related stuffs. But I was not paying too much attention. I just know them as a kpop group.

One day, I was scrolling random vids in YT, when their episode in 2017 at the Ellen DeGeneres Show popped up. I was curious, so I played it. V’s visual got me, then RM’s fluency in English. I enjoyed the whole video.

To sum it up, I watched all Ellen’s BTS episode, including their performances. “Mic Drop” got me. I searched for more of their MVs, then I discovered “Dope” and “Go Go”. I didn’t know their names yet, until I watched fanmade random videos. They were so funny and very natural, so sweet and clingy.

Now, I won’t last a day without watching YT vids and MV’s. I’ve decided to join and call myself an ARMY because of RM’s speech at the United Nations. My deep curiosity brought me to the point that I have to know this people individually; their past experiences and history has hit me and I am so touched with their hardships.

I search and translate their songs every time, until I finally understand what their messages really mean.”

@biastapes

I’m Biastapes or Grace, 41. I stumbled on BTS through Bad Lip Reading when he did his version of Idol (“Sample of my Pasta”). I love BLR and I always watch the original music videos that he spoofs just to see what they’re like, and I ended up getting hooked on Idol.

And a nice army in the BLR comments answered my questions (and told me about J-Hope who had caught my attention!) I didn’t really decide to join the ARMY. It was more like people in the comments said “welcome to the army”, as if I had already arrived. Everyone was very nice and answered my questions and made me feel like part of the group, so it just happened. I fell in, and I fell in love with BTS.

@sparkerdelica

I’m 49, my friends call me SParker. I found out about BTS first from a compilation video on YouTube of bad English in kpop songs. I decided to become an ARMY after “I Need U”. I really liked the song and the video was intriguing. And I found that BTS music and themes in their music got me through a rough period losing my bestie to cancer.

@qhhnh_nina

I first found out about BTS through my granddaughter. She was a huge fan and would talk about them often. She would play their songs for me, and my first impression was “why listen to music sung in a language you don’t understand?”
One day she sent me some music videos of BTS. I watched “War of Hormones “, and I was so impressed with their performance! I watched it over and over. Then I watched “Dope” and many others, and I was hooked.

Now, going back, the more I get to know them, the more I love them. I am proud to be ARMY. I also love and respect ARMY. I love the diversity, their strength, their commitment and all the good things that they do. I feel loved and inclusiveness and support from ARMY. And I love that we all “get” BTS and support and love them always. BTS and ARMY bring joy into my life.

@thejennimon

My name is Jen and I’m 34 years old. I’m Korean-American, born and raised in the US. But I can’t speak/read Korean very well and did not consume any Korean popular culture (music, dramas, etc.) prior to BTS.

I first found BTS on YouTube – I was looking at videos of good choreography, and one compilation included clips from the “Dope” and “Fire” MVs. I really liked the choreo I saw and found the videos which led me down the BTS rabbit hole. I liked the music, especially the rap line, who I found to be far superior to other K-pop groups I’d seen in passing.

That’s actually the reason I can’t get into a lot of K-pop music since outside of BTS my favorite genres of music are hip hop and R&B and found almost all.

@sam52181

My Name is Stephanie and I am 37 years old. I came to know BTS through my 14 year old daughter. About a year and a half ago that was all she’d listen to and BTS was streaming through our house all the time.

After realizing she is suffering from severe social anxiety and depression- knowing that she was able to find comfort in their music and message I wanted to be able to connect better with her. We started watching “Run” together, every music video and anything BTS we could find in YouTube.

Before I knew it, they were all I wanted to listen to. I found their music bringing me the same joy that it was bringing to her. I decided that I wanted to become a part of the BTS ARMY, because I could stand behind their message. If they were able to impact my daughter in such a positive way, it was a no brainer for me. It happened so naturally.

The world needs more love and BTS spreads love- I want to be a part of that. I want my actions to be able to positively impact those around me, and I have been able to do that as BTS ARMY. My two daughters and I are eager to see the boys next weekend- I can’t wait to share this experience with my daughter.”

@iZh06

Hi! I’m Lily, 30.

“How did you come to know about BTS?” I first saw a reaction video to “Blood, Sweat, and Tears” on YouTube and thought the song and video were pretty good. Later, saw the video of them at the Ellen show for the first time and was amazed by their live performance. Googled them right after, and I realized it was the same group whose song I had watched before, and I have been hooked ever since.

“What made you decide to join the BTS ARMY?” I was actually going through a difficult and dark time in my life when I found them, and the more I got to know them, what they stand for, and their message, I just connected to them so much. Their music inspired me to continue working on myself and fighting through my struggles.

I actually showed my husband their performance on Ellen and afterwards he would join me when I first started Googling and watching BTS’s videos, and he also became an ARMY. We both enjoy their music and content and love cheering for them at award shows. We hope to attend a concert soon.”

@Dnaworldforever

I’m Mari, 37 years old. I first learned about BTS through Twitter last year during the BBMAS, as I saw that they were trending. During that time my curiosity wasn’t triggered; so, I ignored them. It was during the month of September that they were promoting here in the U.S. I went to YouTube and there was their Idol performance in Good Morning America, which was trending. Curiosity kicked in and I watched their performance. I remember commenting with my sister about it, and she told me: “Once you enter the kpop world, you can never get out.”

A week later, after watching lots of music videos and performances, I told my sister I am in love with kpop and she just told me “I told you!” I started watching video after video, being immersed into this new world. The more I watched the more I fell in love with BTS and their music.

In December during the award season, I woke up at 4 am to watch them perform in one of the award shows, and that’s when I knew I was an ARMY. What made decide to become an ARMY was the simple fact I wanted to be part of something. I wanted to belong somewhere. In becoming an ARMY, I finally felt like I belonged, to be included; that was not alone anymore. I wanted to be heard, to have friends and to love myself more.

And because of that, my sister encouraged me to open a fan account. I created Dnaworldforever in honor of the song “DNA”. “It is not coincidence, it is meant to be.” I never thought that in my life I would be so happy to be part of something like this. To be part of this big family that I love. I am grateful I fell into this rabbit hole, as it is called when you listen to kpop music. Thanks to it, I’m meeting amazing people who are becoming my closest friends that whom I adore for the simple fact that we share the love for BTS.

What I am grateful the most from all this, is that I am learning to love myself and to speak for myself. I am forever grateful to BTS for transforming my life to be a better human, for making me happier and for giving me a big family of friends. I am especially thankful for BTS being in my life. For that I say, I am proud to be an ARMY.

@yhl9257

Hi, I don’t have a nickname so I’ll just add my name, which is Yeleini. I am a 26 year old Mexican – American. So around June 2013, I was scrolling through Facebook and the MV “No More Dream” appeared on my timeline. I clicked on it out of curiosity. The minute the music started and I read the English subs I fell in love with the song. Right away I looked up information about the group and decided that I was going to be their fan.

@AylaSemper

Hello, my nickname is Ayla Semper @aylasemper and I’m 61 now. Q1: My daughter, now 16, showed me YouTube videos back in 2016. Q2: I didn’t want to join the ARMY, but she taught me all their names, and so I watched a lot of videos and listened to many songs. And then, one day, I woke up and knew suddenly that I’m an ARMY. That was in the fall of 2016.

Since then I love the boys more and more. We went to Berlin to enjoy their concert. I bought their albums and merch. I was never before a fan of a group or any artist; now, I’m a proud ARMY.

@kpopnoona85

I am Nain, 34 years old; a Museum Public Relation staff; a mom and a BTS ARMY. One more, I am kpoper since 2006, but during 2010 – 2015, took a hiatus from kpop world because of work and married life.

I found BTS when I was pursuing my post grad degree early 2016. One day I heard a song “Boy in Luv” blasting from my youngest sister’s phone. I heard Yoongi’s verse and spontaneously I ask her: “Who’s that rapping like Eminem?” She said it’s BTS rapper Suga. I thought: “Oh, nice rap and nice song”.

Then one night when I was so stressed about my thesis, I started to search BTS on YouTube. I wanted to hear that song but I forgot the title. Instead I found a new mv “Fire”. I was so impressed with the song, the mv style, and all the members were so hot and had swag. I fell in love right away, and my thesis nights never felt so alive.

I finished my studies with BTS as my companions. I was also on my last trimester of pregnancy. I decided to join ARMY after a month of BTS video binge-watching. I have never been into a fandom before, but I felt so welcome in the ARMY.
BTS helped me through my post-partum episodes. Their songs and lyrics gave me strength and spirit to stay sane. I love and accept myself and my condition after pregnancy, so that I can love my baby and family more. Thanks to BTS and ARMY!

@licinia74

Hello, I’m 45 years old, a UD ARMY. I remember I was posting something in my Instagram back in 2016, and while looking at others, a picture of BTS appeared. I opened it because they all look sweet. There was something about Joonie that got my attention. It didn’t say much about them, just that they were the best group ever. I was curious at that phrase because I grew up in the era of boy groups and of course I knew nothing about K-pop.

I started to do a deep research about BTS, their story from the beginning until then. I decided not to watch their videos; instead I read articles about them. After reading about their hardships and how their music was so inspiring to so many young and older people, I decided to become an ARMY.

I started listening to all their songs and began watching their videos. It was weird because the love for them (as a mom) grew – especially Joonie. He reminded me of my older daughter not for the physical of course, but their likes and dislikes and their unique way of expression hit my motherly love for him.

The rest, well I buy their music, stream like a lioness. I flew from Miami to New York to see them at city field. I’m so proud of them; their music helps me when I’m stressed. I am so grateful for their smiles, silliness and humbleness – and no matter what – I’ll always be an ARMY to support them.

@Shisogeiiim

I’m Mariel, a 25-year old Filipina, working in media 1. I found out about BTS through my brother. We’re both into K-pop, but at that time, I was focused on another group (wouldn’t call myself their stan though). He made me listen to “Idol”, but I wasn’t very impressed at first. Then he introduced me to “Mic Drop”, and that did it for me! I couldn’t stop listening to the song and watching their performance on Jimmy Kimmel.

I became an ARMY when I listened to the entire “Love Yourself: Answer” album. This is what happened. One day, I decided to listen to it on my commute to work, purely on a whim. I’ll never forget the awe that I felt then. Not only were all of the songs amazing, they had SOUL in them too, a sense of artistry that I had never heard in any of the K-pop acts that I had listened to. That’s when I decided to dedicate myself to them.

To be honest, I’ve stopped following other K-pop acts as well. You really never turn back when you’ve struck gold, and that’s definitely our boys.

@jenilynn80

Hi, I’m Jenilynn80, 39 y/o. I’m a newbie to BTS & ARMY, with only a few months of interest in both kdrama or k-pop. Besides another K-pop group, I didn’t really care for kpop that much, until I heard “Idol.” I love the attitude of not caring about what people think, and staying true to yourself.

I remember my teens and 20s, and how hard I worked to blend in. It wasn’t until I accepted myself that I became stronger. So that song really resonates in my soul.

I had a vague knowledge of them through various friends. But it wasn’t till about 3 months ago meeting my friend June (she’s in the Philippines, I’m in the US), when she kept on me to just give them a try. She told me if I loved the other K=pop band, I’d like BTS too. This was right as she was going to their concert in Bangkok, and she posted lots of photos and videos of the show. I was very impressed with their energy and enthusiasm, as well as their true love for their fans.

I often find myself becoming a fan by accident, usually because of a live performance. That’s how I spent my childhood loving NKOTB, and my teens, and early 20s loving BSB (still do!). The live performance, for me, is what really hooks me.

I’m admittedly, still learning about BTS, but I’m swiftly falling headfirst into that rabbit hole you mentioned. Honestly, I think what I love about them most is their true love for their fans and the dedication they’ve shown to giving us their all. I’m impressed that such young guys are writing and producing their own stuff, not just taking a pre-packaged song and doing it. I’m excited to see what the future holds for them, and us, as ARMY.

@nabby_bts

I’m Nabby, 43 years old. My teen nieces introduced BTS to me. One of my nieces actually covered a BTS dance in one of our family party, but I didn’t know BTS then. After the 2017 BBMA, BTS made worldwide news so I caught a whiff of them. Almost every adult in our household was curious about them, so my nieces showed us a few of their MVs.

Their in-sync and intense choreo piqued my interest. I heard k-pop songs before, but never really hyped anyone because the musicality sounds the same. BTS’s musical style was varied and stood out, another reason why I got interested. I guess, like any ARMY, I started watching their YT vids, looked up lyrics translation, got to know who’s who.

Eventually I came across their story of hard work, the prejudice of other people against them, their struggles, depression, and their own story behind their songs. They made me feel like I could relate to them. From being a ‘nobody’ trying to make a difference and working their way to the top. They give off a very sincere, altruistic, humble, and authentic vibe, which I rarely see from well-known artists. I would say all of these are just the tip of the iceberg of admiration I have for them right now and why I support them.

Talking about BTS with my nieces and sisters is one of the bonding moments for us in our household. Like we all cheer and scream when we see them perform live on tv/stream, or when they win major awards or laugh out together during their funny episodes in ‘Run’, or cry when they cry. I’m glad that my nieces have someone like BTS to look up to, a positive influencer.

Even at my age, I do find inspiration from them. They made my bad days more bearable. They have given me a piece of peace especially when I was at my lowest. This may sound cliché but I can’t imagine the past 2 years if I haven’t encountered them. Once you get to know them, like really know and understand them, I think you can never hate or ignore them. All you can do is give back the love to them by supporting them in any way you can.

@Yoongimeowmeow7

My name is Mariana Alves, you can call me Mari, and I am 23 years old. My family is Brazilian and I speak, read, and write Portuguese and English fluently, and Japanese on a conversational level. I have a degree in Chemistry and one in Media/Communication Studies; and I’m about to start a chemistry graduate program in the fall.

I actually had added “DOPE” to my workout playlist because it was added to my playlist of recommended songs but didn’t investigate too much into it. I completely forgot the song was by BTS. Then last year in June, my friend who also listens to Kpop, showed me their video for “MIC DROP” and even though I liked it, I didn’t look into it too much again.

Finally in mid-September, I was watching reaction videos to PATD, and was recommended a reaction video to “FAKE LOVE” and “IDOL”. After that, I spent the rest of the weekend watching more reaction videos and started to check out their music and videos. And the rest is history.

I had never really been part of a fandom and the closest I’ve ever come to stanning is supporting PATD. Once I started listening to their music, I kept watching reaction videos and videos about the members, about their friendship, and then started getting a little involved on Twitter. My interactions on Twitter were almost always positive and I started to fall in love with the fandom itself.

And then when “Burn The Stage” was out in theatres, I made my first IRL ARMY friend, and I felt even more inclined to stay. Ultimately, I don’t support artists or performers that make mistakes and do nothing to address them or that have done heinous things. I don’t like giving my money and energy to people like that, and through learning more about BTS, I found that they are genuine, caring, compassionate, and loving human beings who try to connect with others through their music, express themselves honestly, support important causes, and are embracing people from all walks of life.

@NoonaBtsarmy

My name is Fazz, and I’m from Malaysia. I am a 33-year old mom of 2 sons, and a wife to a supportive husband, who turned out to be a casual BTS songs listener. I came to know BTS after I came across with an old news about BTS as the 1st kpop artist – ever – to perform at the Billboard Awards in 2018.

It’s a beautiful fate because I found that article in late July! How did I find a 2-month old news all of sudden? Then I checked that historical performance on YouTube and how impressive it was with their energetic dance movements, plus with that “Fake Love” song. Who doesn’t fall in love with that song!

Then, I came across their other videos that ARMY dedicatedly compiled. How genuine and organic their personalities are that made me more attracted to them. Only then I decided to check their other songs and how thankful I was to be able to find a group that not only sing songs with meaningful lyrics and also produce their own music.

That was how I realized that I have fallen in love with them and decided to be a part of BTS ARMY. And day by day I became proud to be a part of the fandom because I am amazed how dedicated the ARMY fandom is, not only in helping promoting the boys, but in defending them no matter what. They dedicatedly made donations after donations; I am very much impressed!

I feel happy to be able to get connected to ARMY all over the world. We got connected thru our love towards the 7 boys. Plus, I feel a little bit nostalgic because when I was small, I had wished to have overseas pen pals but I didn’t due to the language barrier (I’m not really good in English back then) And now, i feel like my Twitter friends are my pen pals but virtually not the traditional way with pen papers and stamps.

@DevotedKittyKat

Hello! My name is Karina, I’m 39, mother of 2, married for 18 years. I’m a laser technician, and a proud ARMY. Oh, also my friends call me Kitty, Kat or KittyKat. I found out about BTS from a reaction video where a priest and two YouTubers where discussing the music video. I found it interesting that the priest was saying how deep the meanings of the imagery, dance and lyrics were.

Honestly I fell for them with their enthusiasm in the video “DOPE”. I suffered with depression for many years that got worse with my father’s passing almost 5 years ago. I would force a smile and go on my day. Being a mom of 2, one has to. Once I found them, I noticed my interest peaked and continue, seeming to never fill an empty cup but always willing to keep pouring in.

They were like a sudden ray of sunshine in the dark fog I lived in. I didn’t even notice how much they were changing me until I noticed I had not thought of suicide for weeks.

My husband noticed my change. He says I smile every day and I do now, thanks to them. I’m originally from Argentina but I live in the US now. I know what it is like to not fit in, and I also know how it feels to be accepted. I am fluent in both my native tongue (Spanish) and English. I understand some German, Italian, Portuguese, French, a little Latin and Japanese and (before BTS) I have started to learn Korean.

What I love most about them is even if you don’t understand their songs; you can feel the emotions behind their voices. Playfulness, pain, forgiveness, joy; these emotions are all shown. So even if you don’t understand the words, you can understand the meaning.

I am so glad the boys have made it here now too. I am also so glad that they found me, and that ARMY has accepted me.

@ChellrianaSix

Pic is of me and my daughter heading out to the Rosebowl in LA for my 1st concert of BTS!!

My daughter, who is now 22, was into Kpop since she was in her teens. I never paid much attention to it. In 2017, she went to her 1st major trip/concert. As her mom, I was curious who it was, well it was a BTS concert. I looked them up for the 1st time and watched a few seconds of “Blood Sweat and Tears” music video, thought to myself: “Oh, they sound good.” Never thought much of it.

Fast forward, months later, I was trying to relate to my daughter with something, as she had moved out of state for quiet sometime and wanted to find some common ground. I had heard that BTS was going to be performing at the American Music Awards in November 2017. Knowing my daughter was into this group, it was a way for me to talk to her about her interests.

I watched their performance on YouTube after the Awards, talked about it with my daughter and went about my business. Then about a week later they released “Mic Drop. I watched the video and it absolutely floored me. I loved the beat, the dance, how they came across, and I was forever hooked!

Long story but that’s how it happened! My daughter and her friends were the ones who kept referring me to the ARMY, they actually kept referring me as a MARMY, which apparently means MOM ARMY; it would make me laugh. It wasn’t until I signed up for Twitter-really only for BTS because I had heard they were pretty active on here that I really began to understand what the ARMY is all about.

As someone who enjoys all aspects of BTS, the whole experience, I feel that that is what ARMY is about and I am proud to be called an ARMY.

@dzieckoziemi

I’m dzieckoziemi, 36 years old. I got to know BTS through this American YouTube reaction channel, where I used to watch a lot of different music reactions. At one of the episodes, they were reacting to some band called BTS, which I had never heard of before. There were a few different music videos, and what’s funny for me right now is that I didn’t fall in love immediately. I thought the music is alright but I could not understand a word they were saying, plus their appearance was a bit awkward at first.

I especially liked one song (“Not Today”). So, after a couple of days I watched this clip again. And again. And again. Then I looked up the lyrics and a bit of info about the band. Then I felt bad that I couldn’t tell them apart, so I learned their names and was trying to match them to the correct person on screen.

It’s actually really hard to answer why I joined the fandom. I feel like that was not even my choice, I simply couldn’t help it. The more I learned about them, the more I was in awe of their talent and hard work, that everything they do scream QUALITY and MEANING. That they make their own music for a reason, not just for money. That they really live what they preach: being kind and caring, dedicated, passionate, helpful.

I just fell in love with them as a team and their powerful message wrapped in mesmerizing visuals. I needed them in my life. As Lady Gaga said in one of her recent interviews: We live in pretty shallow times. And we find somewhere inside our hearts a need for something deep, sincere, something real.

I found that in BTS. I think it’s so rare to have that in the music industry that’s why I want to support that with all my heart. It feels like I am supporting myself through this also: my faith in people, my hopes anything is possible. Because they are a manifestation of all that.

@sunnyraeofday

My name is Rae, 29 years old in June. I am from Texas. “How did I come to know BTS?” A friend showed them to me in the Summer of 2014. In fact, funny story, I have epilepsy (not the funny part), and so I actually have a really weird memory, where I have to experience some things several times to remember them.

With BTS, I was shown them in 2014, and later that year, I “found” them myself and showed it to that same friend, who cracked up and swore she showed me. I knew I had felt something strange when I heard their music. Oddly enough, through BTS, I experienced Jamais Vu!

“What made me decide to join the BTS ARMY?” One doesn’t have to join a fanbase to enjoy an artist, but fanbases can be fun, and can really open people up to making new friends and familial bonds. I have had amazingly loving and giving experiences with this fandom. I don’t see this kind of unity with so many kinds of people often, and can personally vouch for that.

I want to tell of a particular experience that really meant a lot to me. I have epilepsy, and I was at the 2017 WINGS tour in Newark with my friends: Autumn, her husband Vinny, and Candice. We actually got a spot right up front in the pit; I was behind only one person. I get stressed easily and was feeling overheated (which sometimes can be a trigger for seizures), because some people were crowding around me. Vinny dragged me out of there, sacrificing his own spot and also leaving him open to undesirable fans tearing up the homemade fan shirt we made for him.

Some negative aftermath came from it, due to some details I wish to not disclose. I felt honestly like the worst person who ruined his experience, but without his knowledge, Candice and Autumn sent out a call to any ARMY, asking to give him a chance to see them again. The fandom actually helped him buy a ticket, making sure to have a spot for Autumn right next to him.

He wind up having possibly a better time the second day. Not only that, he got a lot of love and gifts from the fandom. I even got a few gifts despite them not really knowing me, as by that time, I stayed out of the second showing, probably for the best. Still, they were so kind. That is the familial bond I am referring to.

@marie_blade

I’ve known about kpop since I was 15/16 (I’m 32 now). I knew about BTS when they debuted. I watch a lot of SK TV, so I can’t remember which program I was watching when I saw them for the first time.

“No More Dream” was my original introduction to BTS. However, I was not an ARMY until recently. It’s been over a year; however, for me it’s recent – my perception is skewed because of my exposure to Hallyu for many yrs. I usually wait several years before I decide to follow a kpop group/idol due to high disbandment rates. I also rarely join fandoms due to the type of atmosphere that exists (the toxicity and child-like behavior).

I decided to join ARMY after observing them for quite some time and was very pleased to see that most of the community was not only diverse but polite and cordial. Yes, I have seen behavior that is typical of fandoms (again the toxicity and what not); however, I rarely have come across a fandom that is as genuine as ARMY, and tries to be good.

And yes, I take YEARS before showing interest in both the idols and their fandoms: I’ve been watching some groups longer than BTS. For me, it’s comes down to the difference of being a fan versus a stan. I’m a fan of a lot of groups/idols, but I stan BTS. I don’t buy other’s albums or attend their concerts or buy their merch. I only do that for those I stan. I’m not solo, I just only use my money on groups/idols that I’m invested in, to the point of joining the fandom. I do stan other idols as well; not many but some.

@HSBT1W

Hi, I’m 50 and a professional with multiple graduate degrees, and a Bilingual Feminist, who loves dogs. I’m currently living in the US. I happened upon BTS whilst studying Korean politics and history. I was first intrigued by Kim Namjoon’s introspection and change. I then discovered his artistic brilliance, and from there the talents of each member and the group as a whole.

The members are so diverse; there is something there for any fan to relate to. The genius is how their diversity interweaves together to form the cohesive BTS structure. You love one, you end up loving them all. I’m impressed with the diversity and inclusivity of the BTS fandom. It’s the ‘intersectionality’ of ARMY that keeps me here.
These ARMYs who are different from me ‘Speak Themselves’, this is what I want to hear. This is what we should all be listening to.

@bunltd

I’m Lisa and I’m OT7 and my bias is Kim Namjoon.

“How did you come to know about BTS?” I was introduced by my daughter who has been ARMY since January 2017. She started sharing them with me, a lot. And demanding that I learn their stage names and then their real names and yes, she quizzed me, over and over.

“BS&T” was the first video I watched and I was so intrigued; I remember gray haired Jimin. My daughter also told me about the theories, the notes and everything else, and I couldn’t not dig in to learn more.
“What made you decide to join the BTS ARMY?” Their “Love Yourself” got me. It was about that message and how it helped me navigate my life, at 53.

In 2018, I put Love Myself into action for me and lost 40 pounds, changed my health, and began making changes in my career. My daughter and I traveled to Oakland to see them last September (from Texas) and it was an amazing trip.
After that experience and sharing it with my daughter, I’m even happier to be ARMY.

I started keeping up with more on Twitter, which for me had been more professional, now it’s a mix of BTS, writing and my other professional interests. My daughter and I try to ‘scoop’ each other on who saw the latest first. BTS inspires me daily and their music reminds me to keep going. I’m even studying Korean because I want to know more firsthand. Wish we’d been able to make Speak Yourself, but it didn’t work, travel costs.

Me with my twenty year old daughter @OMG_KPOP_HipHop. By the way, we are three generations of Army’s. My little grandson is four months old.

I’m Iris, 57 years old, a German mum of three, and grandmum of three. I’m a bestseller-author writing non-fiction, most historical fiction. My novels were released in Germany and US.

“How did you come to know about BTS?” Well, my younger daughters are big KPOP Fans since 2008 and they often showed me videos on YouTube. In 2013, it was “We are bulletproof” by BTS. Cute, I thought, but they have to find their own selves first. But I had an eye on these boys. In 2015, I was mesmerized by the video of ”Dope”. They have simply stolen my heart.

“What made you decide to join the BTS Army? Looking back, it wasn’t a decision, I only followed my heart. Seeing the boys studying and struggling in USA in “American Hustle Life” made me fell in love. Sometimes, I wish I could tell them how much they are inspiring my daily life. First I was a little shy because of my age, but my daughters love their crazy mum, and I love fangirling with them. So, life is good and I will support my 7 incredible heartbreakers till the end.

Me with my twenty year old daughter @OMG_KPOP_HipHop. By the way, we are three generations of Army’s. My little grandson is four months old.

@pretzellebts

My name is Lian. 24. I’m studying for my Masters Information degree – specializing on Knowledge Management Technologies and Cyber Information Policies and Security. I knew about BTS before they debuted in 2012! I liked listening to underground foreign music and liked Korean hip hop.

Then, there was a thread about a new Korean boy group called Bangtan Boys or Bulletproof boys. They weren’t known as BTS then. And I was amused watching baby Jin and Joon doing that Christmas Video and the Harlem Shake at their small studio. I didn’t stan them immediately at that time because I just started my undergrad studies and thought I had no time for them, which leads us to question 2.

I joined the BTS ARMY in 2017 when I finished my undergrad. Before graduating, I developed PTSD because I was bullied and taken advantage by people who had strong ties with my university’s faculty. I felt hopeless and ruined. Nobody believed what they did because they were seen as good kids by the professors. When I finally graduated college,

I felt dead. I used to be confident and optimistic but I didn’t feel like the same person and I hated myself. I wasn’t motivated to do anything and I wanted to die, until I came across the YNWA album. Their message was so different and it made me feel more alive. Then, I listened to HYYH too and I realized that the worst experiences that happened to me shouldn’t stop me from living.

BTS’ songs helped me recover. I wish I can find a time machine and stan them earlier, maybe that could have made things more bearable

.

@Andariel14

Hi! 30-year old army here. I hope I have a little bit of time to come up with some kind of a mature reply because my fangirling part forgot that I’m an adult and was ready to give you the answer right now – full of unnecessary emotions.

“How did you come to know about BTS?” I discovered BTS in 2015 right after moving to a foreign country. I had a hard time adapting to a new culture, people around me, and even speaking English was a challenge. So, I just found a playlist with Korean music at some random internet radio station. The point was to find music that would get me distracted but wouldn’t remind me of home; meaning that listening to something completely opposite to what I liked, and K-pop seemed to fit into this category.

It doesn’t make sense now, but it did then somehow. That was how I came across “Danger” and “We are Bulletproof pt.2” for the very first time, and it worked miracles. These two songs still have a special place in my heart.

“What made you decide to join BTS Army?” As a person who gets drawn to the lyrics I found BTS’ songs touching and meaningful. Some of the lyrics resonated with me so much that this fact alone was enough to make me fall in love with their music. Watching their MVs, performances, and other videos, helped me to see a bigger picture and realize how talented and hard-working these 7 boys were, so joining this fandom happened organically.

@MamaArmy126

I’m Winnie, 44 years old. My husband downloaded a few songs for me after the BBMAs 2018. It wasn’t until 1/26/19 when I took my friend out to see LY in Seoul at the movies. I went in, only knowing 3 songs (FL, DNA, and Euphoria). It was somewhere between the “Idol” opener to the LY ending when something moved me to the core. I left there wanting to enlist in the BTS ARMY, scouring the internet for all BTS content.

I started with YouTube videos and interviews. The UN speech really did it for me. Since that fateful day, I have been living the ARMY life to its full extent. Almost 4 months now, and still going strong.

@Dementia_Smile

Hi, my name is Andrea, I am in my 30s, late 30s. English is my second language, so I may not be able to express myself well. I joined the BTS ARMY since the very first day, 06/13/2013. I used to be a fan of some Korean artist. When I saw BTS debut, I just felt a special connection. They literately save my life. I’ve been living with depression since I was a teenager. With me it’s chemical, and it is so hard to fight with that because it’s my body and the chemicals in my brain that make me suffer in that way.

They (BTS) make me want to live. They make me strong. Before knowing them, I was just surrounded to the depression and cried all night long. With them around, I just watch some episodes, and I start to laugh. They relieve my pains and my insecurities. They make me feel special even when I am alone in the world (Yes, I am alone, no true friends in my city to hug; no family more than my mom and dad).

They make me feel like I belong, and they helped me to fight each day. You know I tried to commit suicide like 3 times in my life, since they came they made me feel like… Let me explain to you; there is a quote in Mikrokosmos that says: “Don’t disappear ’cause you’re a big existence”. This quote applies to me exactly. Now, I feel like I matter.

@HannahFarhana

I am Hannabelle, 25 years old. I knew BTS from their “War Of Hormones” era. I cannot dance but I was into the strong hardcore dance steps for “We are Bulletproof pt2”. I listened to their voices without knowing which voice belongs to who.

I learned about who is who during the Wings era. I was attracted to their voices especially Jimin and Taehyung’s voice. Being an alto, which is a lower voice in choir for female, made me appreciate Taehyung’s vocals a lot. I was hooked up immediately and began looking up all their songs from the previous eras that I might’ve overlooked because I discovered that every song is a part of their own pieces to the puzzle that is each album. Each album is a piece of a bigger puzzle, which makes the story of BTS.

As I began learning every member’s voices and appreciating every one of them, I cried. It has been a while since I’ve encountered the same feelings when listening to Kpop. The last feeling I felt was during another band’s era. The feeling of togetherness. The feeling of unity. A family. As cliché as this may sound, their songs helped me through my hard times. Times where I felt like crying silently and felt like nobody can understand what I feel.

They literally taught me how to slowly know who I am, accept every part of who I am – even my flaws. They taught me that it’s not always gonna be sunshine all year round but there’s gonna be better days. I am sorry if my replies are too long, but there’s more I want to say because they helped me a lot. They inspire me to be better and I am proud to be an ARMY. I am learning how to love myself and I am a Proud ARMY.

@muklukcanuck

I’m a 55-year-old ARMY! My daughter found BTS through a reaction video a few months before their first BBMAs. She kept showing me things about them and quizzing me to make me point out her bias in pictures, so I had to learn about them quickly.

But I think I truly fell in love with them as people when I saw the video where Hoseok’s parents surprised him with birthday messages and brought him to tears. The boys aren’t afraid to show us pieces of their true humanity, whether it’s in videos like that or in their lyrics. We were lucky enough to see them in concert last year in Newark; they definitely made it worth it, for my severely introverted self, to be in the middle of a hyped-up crowd all night!

@Marianacalofer

I’m Mexican, 41 years old, teacher, mother of a 21 years old psychology student. The first time I heard about BTS, was thanks to my daughter. She showed me the Music Video “Not Today”. It surprised me because of the intense dance and lyrics, so I started looking for more information, videos and their interactions in their daily lives. All these made me understand that they are human beings like you and me, who suffer, laugh and dream and want to make their dreams come true like any other person.

“What made me decide to join the BTS ARMY?” Although it is a language I don’t understand completely, their music transmits many feelings and emotions. I wanted to know them more and I realized that my age did not matter, that there is no age to recognize, enjoy and love music, as well as recognize the incredible talent that BTS has as complete artist. I am very grateful to be able to find them in my life.

@IntoBecause

I am Joyce, 34 yrs, and my nickname is Baby. I saw them on YouTube in 2014. I don’t remember what video, but it was Namjoon that attracted me because I thought he was mixed race; like half black half Korean. So, I was interested in getting to know the group better (my family is mixed).

I decided to join the ARMY in 2016, when I almost died during pregnancy. I had preeclampsia and had to go through a very life challenging operation. I used their music to comfort me because I was a mess . My son was in the premature unit; I had c-section, life was hard. Then after I was discharged from the hospital, my mom also died.

I didn’t know where to turn to. I got comfort in their music and kept going. I was a YouTube ARMY. I installed Instagram, Twitter, line, vlive only for BTS. I wasn’t an ARMY even though I knew them through RM, but I became an ARMY in 2016.

@MoeJNeloms

Hello, I’m Moe from California and I’m 42. My middle son was the one who introduced BTS to me accidentally. One day in 2015, I heard a rap song coming from my son’s bedroom; I love watching K-dramas, so I recognized that the language was Korean. I was familiar with Kpop but wasn’t really into it per se.

What surprised me was that it was my son – who was 12 at that time – was the one rapping. He was a very quiet kid so I wasn’t expecting it. I was so happy and yet intrigued as who was the artist so I asked him. He was so embarrassed, but I told him not to and that I’m proud of him.

He showed me the video of BTS performance of “Boyz with Fun” (the song he was rapping to). I liked it so I searched more videos and looked them up online; checked out translations of their songs. I learned so much about their backstory, their struggles and the positive influence that they are trying to give to the younger generation through their music.

I became an ARMY because BTS helped my son to come out of his shell. He’s almost 16 now and very open to trying new things, like playing new musical instruments and even dancing and fashion; whereas before, he was so shy to show his talents and only wear black shirts and jeans. He’s now part of a Korean Club at school and volunteers to sing whenever they needed someone to perform at school events.

BTS also helped me overcome depression through their Love Yourself campaign and their music gives me energy to go through my daily tasks. We are ARMYs together with my husband and youngest son (who has Autism).

We still have to convert our oldest son. BTS is a special group of talented artists who genuinely care for others’ happiness and success. They are very influential in building bridges with families, people of different nationalities, genders and even generations. They are a true model, a true epitome of what an IDOL should be. We attended the LYSY concert in Rose Bowl on May 5th.

@k_st4r

Hello I am Katia, 29 years old. I heard about BTS for the first time through my nephew. He was a 6th grader then. He told me “there is a girl in my class that loves this Korean band named BTS”. I searched them on YouTube and I was hook.

I really like the messages in their songs, love their personalities, how much they show to care about their fans and how personal they are with us. Not that many artists do that and because of that I decided to join the BTS ARMY. I want to support the boys as much as I can. I am a teacher so I am always trying to spread the same amount of love and meaningful messages to my students.

Actually, because of them, my interest to the Korean culture and language grew too. I will be moving to Korea in 30 days to work there. Because of these boys, I have grown to love myself, to feel confident in my own skin and live a happy life.

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