C: You’re so an ARMY.
ME: No. I don’t think so.
C: Yes you are. Just admit it!
ME: Really, really not!
C: But you love BTS!
ME: True, I really do, but I just don’t see myself as an ARMY.
C: Why not?
ME: I don’t like the chant. I support it if it supports BTS but I personally do not enjoy it. I don’t own those light-bulb things… nor would I buy you one unless we’re at a BTS concert. Speaking of BTS concerts, I’m not sure I’d go unless it’s to take you. Concerts are just not my thing. The only way I support them is legit-purchases of their digital tracks, digital albums and well, the full L.O.V.E. Love Yourself album set. And that was for you!
C: So? You don’t need to do all those things to be an A.R.M.Y. If you like them truly for their talents and accept them for who they are, faults and all, you can totally be an ARMY!
C: And by the way, it’s called an ARMY Bomb light stick…
Could my daughter, who is often found in moments of true maturity, even more than myself, be correct?
Lets back up for a moment…
I honestly never classified myself as an ARMY. And believe me, I am not against BTS’ fandom. I’ve just never ‘belonged’ to any fandom group before. Rather, I’ve been going along for the ride, supporting ARMY but not really being a part of it.
So it got me thinking, “What does it mean to be a BTS ARMY?”
I’m aware of the negative side. I’m aware of the fan-wars between ARMY and EXO-L, for example (as well as other k-pop fan groups). I’m aware of those who claim to be ARMY but only act out in hurtful and spiteful ways – whether to other ARMY members, other k-pop fandom members, themselves, or even BTS members should one or more member do something they feel isn’t right (as if they feel BTS members owe them something – for example, see past dating rumors of how these fanatical fans have reacted).
Is this negative side what made me think I’m not an ARMY? I thought about this. And my final answer is… No.
There will always be a dark side to everything – any type of subculture formed, even with the intent of the greater good, has a dark side. And I think it’s important to actually see these negative people as NOT a true ARMY. Yes, I’ll just go out and say it. The ones who are disrespectful and create division rather than coming together as a positive group and movement, should not classify themselves as true ARMY. I won’t list all the past examples – I did go out to do a bit of research and was quite disgusted with some of the incidences associated with said, negative fans. I felt the hurt BTS members must have felt during those times.
Begin the hate for anyone who may stumble upon my blog and disagree with me. But I stand strongly with this belief and I do not limit this to k-pop fandom.
So where does that leave me? Why do I not see myself as an ARMY (yet)? Maybe because it’s my age? Maybe I’m just not use to this type of fandom? Perhaps I’m just happy calling myself a fan who loves BTS’ music and supports their hard work and creativity? I don’t know. I don’t have an answer. Maybe in time I will call myself an ARMY.
I do know this… whatever label I may or may not feel comfortable with, I am thankful of great wonderful ARMY folks who I have befriended here. And I’m thankful BTS strives to put out good work and share their talents with us. I hope all seven of them are happy and wish them all the best! As long as they strive to do what they love and continue to be both human yet respectful as they have been, I don’t see why I wouldn’t support each individual member equally. Hwaiting!