2015 my oldest daughter showed my youngest daughter a BTS video. At that time my oldest was a freshman in college, my youngest, a freshman in High School.
My oldest daughter has always been into Cosplay, asian culture, Anime and world music. While she happened to like one of BTS' songs and shared it with her sister, she never really became a follower. The difference between my daughters is that my older one found her tribe young, in middle school in fact. So while she suffered all the angst and difficulties most young women do, she had her friends to lean on.
My youngest daughter was different. She had friends. But, no one consistent and no one really close. She thrived academically, participated in extra-curricular activities, even made Captain of her school's Colorguard and Winterguard teams in her Jr. and Sr. years. But, unknown to me, always questioned herself and her value and felt lonely. Until BTS. And also unknown to me, BTS is why she has thrived academically and why she excelled in her sport and in leadership.
The music, the lyrics, the dance, the dedicated fan base, all brought her the pieces she felt she was missing in her life. When she was tired of learning dance, rifle and saber routines and just felt exhausted from all the practicing, she saw how relentless "her boys" were and how they pushed through it all. When she felt like being a leader to her peers was too much, she saw RM and how he handles being both a leader and a member. When she felt angst or pressure or sadness, she found a BTS song to either lift her up, or help her cry it out, or even just make her feel something different than what she was feeling. And when she felt weird for leaning on BTS' music and videos, she saw the other ARMYs and their love for BTS and realized she isn't alone.
Last year in October, just before my youngest daughter's birthday, I wanted to buy her some BTS merchandise. I still knew nothing about them, so I enlisted the help of my older daughter and bought an ARMY keychain/lanyard, some posters and stickers, and a T-shirt for the wrong bias, oops! We just googled and picked V, he is terribly cute after all. Her bias is Jimmin. Yeah, he's terribly cute too. And Suga. (how can you not love Suga?)
After going with her to see "Burn the Stage" and the BTS concert film, I became a fan too. How can anyone watch these guys perform and not like them? I fell in love however, when earlier this year my daughter shared what they have been to her and what being a fan has done for her. How can I not love and be grateful to 7 lovely Korean men who's music and words have inspired my little girl to become a phenomenal young lady?!
We also have turned watching BTS into a family activity. The 3 of us watch their videos, TV appearances and share family time together. We had hoped to see them on their American stadium tour, but AP testing, youngest daughter's HS graduation and oldest daughter's college graduation conflicted. Hope we can next year. My oldest daughter and I have our own BTS bias now, mine is RM, hers is J-Hope. Although all 3 of us love "our boys" all 7 of them!
My youngest daughter enters college in the fall on a full academic scholarship. Pursuing her dreams, thanks to BTS. And thank you ARMY for being her friends without even knowing you were!