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BTS and Gender norms

BTS started their journey towards gender consciousness when their song “War of Hormones” was accused of being misogynistic and objectifying women. Released in 2014, the song contained lyrics such as “your clothes, they are seeing through, you make me see everything clear (Natural Lasik) I don’t need to pay for anything” and they were heavily criticized for it. But BTS chose to learn from it rather than defend their actions, they apologized for their mistakes and after that, they started visiting feminist seminars. Psychologists and sociologists to consult while writing their albums.

BTS’s journey from this accusation to now being called the KPOP giants who are redefining gender norms is nothing short of miraculous. BTS’s Leader RM, in his 2018 United Nations Speech said “no matter who you are, where you are from, your skin colour, your gender Identity, just Speak Yourself ” while campaigning for UN’s End Violence agenda. I am listing out instances where they redefined gender:

1. Singles Magazine 2016 Photoshoot- they wore Fishnets, lace, corsets and skirts, all of which are traditionally associated with femininity. They can be seen in skirts and corsets in their new album photoshoots too. They rock the feminine accessories choker, dangly earrings, fur etc.

2. They are the models and brand representatives of VT Cosmetics and Mediheal, a popular skincare brand in Korea, a role traditionally modelled by females.

3. Their lyrics are gender-neutral. They usually use the pronouns interchangeably, which contributes to their fluid identities.

4. Talking about All forms of love, which is a huge taboo in Conservative South Korean society.

5. In their Esquire Interview, Suga says that “There is this culture where masculinity is defined by certain emotions and characteristics. I’m not fond of these expressions.

6. Jimin is one of the RUN episodes states that he is contemplating giving a make-up makeover to his father, which is a very radical idea. Because the makeup is frowned upon as a feminine thing, “a girly thing”.

7. Using soft colour pallettes for their albums which are considered “queer” or feminine colours.

As RM said in his recent interview, “we are living in a time where labels that we call ‘masculinity and ‘manly’ are vanishing. We want that image where people call us dope or cool”. And that’s why the ARMY is crazy about them. They are providing a very safe and inclusive space for them to grow.


Do you agree with me? let me know in the comment section.    


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