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BTS Inspires: Breaking Gender Norms

Fluid in music, style, and mind

BTS never seizes to inspire us. They donate to charity, speak about loving yourself, and so much more. Something else truly inspiring is how they keep breaking gender norms in a society where men struggle with feeling that they have to keep up a strong and tough facade. The 7 members say ‘screw that’ as they show that being manly has nothing to do with the clothes you wear.

We live in a society where many men struggle to show vulnerability. Many feeling as if though they need to be tough and emotionless to be considered ‘real men’. Some perceive that crying, talking about mental health issues and expressing emotions is only for women and something that shows weakness. Something that men can’t do. This deranged view of masculinity is hurting us more than one might think and is a cause for high rates in suicide amongst men.

One of the reasons I personally became an ARMY is BTS’ openness. They are incredibly raw and not afraid of sharing their emotions or struggles with all of us. They show their love openly, not only to us but also for each other. This creates a healthier view of what a man can, and in my eyes, should be. Let’s also remember that the seven men we all love and adore so much, come from Korea; a nation where gender roles are still rigid. This makes their massive global impact on the subject even more impressive.

Credit: Vanity Fair
Photo by: STEVE GRANITZ/WIREIMAGE.

In 2019, BTS was included in Vanity Fair‘s annual Best-Dressed list. This list includes celebrities that are amazing people with their sickening fashion sense.

The photo above was included in the list. A stunning photo of BTS with quotes from the members. The group’s maknae, Jungkook, said that great style is: “Wearing anything you like, regardless of gender.”
We’ve seen them wear clothing from the women’s collection on multiple occasions and can assume that Jungkook’s statement is an opinion that they all share.

An article by Harper’s Bazaar Japan talks about how, in recent years, the norm of masculinity has loosened. BTS’ Jimin was mentioned alongside other famous men such as Harry Styles and Nick Jonas. The article was saying how Jimin has adapted his own style including various earrings from loop earrings to fringe types.

There’s something about Jimin. He has a way of being both feminine and masculine. His duality is lethal. I used to entertain myself with watching reaction videos and there were several very funny ones of “tough”-looking men who all got weak for Jimin, saying things like “I love my females but Jimin – oh boy – you’re pretty, my man.”

In conclusion: Jimin has everyone whipped!

During an episode of the first season of BTS’ reality show, Bon Voyage, the boys went to visit northern Europe and as they were being their goofy selves the maknae line (Jimin, Taehyung and Jungkook) decided to take a selfie. After the photo was captured Jimin wanted to see how the picture came out. Jungkook and Taehyung stated that men shouldn’t check their selfies but were quickly corrected by Jimin who shunned their words by saying “There you go again…What on earth is Masculinity?”

They have often cried on stage, showing raw emotions and appreciation for us fans as well as each other. Both Rap Monster, Kim Namjoon, and Suga, Min Yoongi, have openly spoken about their struggles with anxiety and depression both as trainees and now as a global phenomenon, saying that it’s always been music that ends up being their savior. This is something that is strongly noticeable in the raw lyrics and power that the groups’ music holds.

In 2016, BTS did a legendary photoshoot for The Singles Magazine where they wore fishnets, corsets, and skirts. Breaking all the rules in the “man” book as well as blessing all of our eyes with their stunning beauty.

See the photos from the photoshoot in the gallery below.

It’s safe to say that the way we view men and gender roles, in general, is becoming healthier as BTS continues to spread their important messages. Let’s all help spread their message and self-reflect in what we ourselves say and do.
Let’s stop with all the assumptions about a person just because of their gender or how they act.
Let’s love ourselves and each other just the way we are, flaws and all.

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Written by Felicia

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