Hey! Hallie here!
For anyone who doesn’t know, BTS recently joined forces with Klaud Draft Beer for an ad campaign. A very umm…nice ad campaign. Ok, let’s be honest, this ad campaign is completely unfair. Every member looks extraordinarily incredible in both photos and TV ads. But today Taehyung was trending on Twitter as a result of the ad campaign. The director of the shoot posted a photo Tae had taken for the campaign, only to be bombarded with complaints that Taehyung was being focused on too much. The disgusting amount of hate aimed at both Tae and the director caused the director to delete the post. This isn’t the first time he’s had to do this for posts featuring Taehyung, either. The fan response to this was amazing. Fans decided to drown out the hateful comments with lovely, encouraging messages to every party being harmed by the situation, especially Tae. So, case closed. No need to feed the haters. Except, the people who were commenting these things under Taehyung’s photo were BTS fans. They weren’t just haters. They simply disliked Taehyung, especially compared to other members of the group. Are these fans allowed to consider themselves ARMYs if they don’t support a member of the group? Is liking only some, but not all, members of a group an ok thing to do? Let’s look into it.
Let’s first look at the type of people that send members of a group hate in situations like these. First are solo stans. These fans only like one member of a group and are not a fan of anyone else in that group. Only liking one member of a group means that you only care about that person’s content. For example, if I only liked J-Hope, I would be waiting for him to appear during every performance and every music video, and I would only pay attention when his parts come up in every song. I would be mostly uninterested whenever J-Hope wasn’t present. This already creates a problem. Because BTS tries their best, especially at this point in their careers, to give every member equal time. And there are seven members. If I was only interested whenever J-Hope showed up, I would be bored and frustrated for the majority of any music video or song. This is why we see mostly poor behavior from solo stans. Solo stans are often unsatisfied with the amount of time the member they’re a fan of gets in any song, performance, or video, and they take it out on other members who they feel steal that time away for themselves. So if I’m only a fan of J-Hope, can I consider myself an ARMY? The answer is no. Because ARMY is a term that refers to the fan base that belongs to BTS. If I’m not a fan of the group, I’m not an ARMY. Simple as that.
What about antis? Antis can be haters, but they also can be fans who strongly dislike only one member in particular. They like all the other members, but for whatever reason, they can’t stand one member of the group. However, this isn’t simply liking one member’s singing voice less than the other members in a K-Pop group. This is completely attacking someone for sounding “awful” or for “thinking they’re better than everyone else”. Antis go beyond quiet dislike or respectfully admitting that they don’t necessarily vibe with one member. They actively spread hate. So do antis get a pass since they like the majority of the group? The answer is no. If you like every member of BTS except for Taehyung, and you hate Taehyung so much that you try to make him feel horrible about himself, you are not an ARMY. BTS has made ARMY into a force for spreading love, and if you are attempting to do the opposite, then you aren’t part of the fan base. Also, as I said above, ARMYs are fans of the group BTS. If you can’t support them as a group, you aren’t an ARMY.
Can’t We Just Accept That Everyone Has Different Opinions?
I feel like this argument is brought up a lot when someone is accused of not being a fan of a group because they dislike one or more members. Why is it wrong to have a different opinion from the fans who like all the members? Why is it wrong to dislike the sound of a member’s solo songs or to not connect with their personality in interviews? Those things aren’t wrong. There are plenty of people who can be perfectly civilized about opinions like these. There are so many people who aren’t particularly a fan of Taehyung, but they are still glad he has fans even though they aren’t one of them. They still wish him well. The “fans” who attack him and those that like him are the problem. Trying to harm someone because of your opinion can never be justified.
What’s The Point of Supporting All the Members?
Even if you don’t like all of the members equally, you should be supporting all of them. Regardless of your opinion. This is because, no matter who you like, they all belong to the same group. The group image depends on all of them. If one fails, all of them fail. And in cases like BTS, they also deeply care for one another. It upsets all of them when one member is having a difficult time. But, above all, everyone deserves to be treated with human decency. If you are getting on Twitter to say something less-than-decent to an idol, you’re already in the wrong. And what reason is there not to show politeness to all the members?
To clarify, I love all seven members of BTS. Taehyung is my bias wrecker. I can’t say I completely understand why you wouldn’t like all seven members. But there are definitely differences between the people who feel like something isn’t for them and the people who take things too far. Often times the people who take things too far can’t even be reasoned with, which is why sending Taehyung love rather than attacking back was such a good move on ARMYs part. But it’s good to be aware of why these behaviors are wrong. As for Taehyung, he is one of the most talented, attractive, kind men I have ever seen in my life. I know every member of BTS constantly receives hate and he probably has his ways of coping with it all by now, but I still hope he is doing well.
Don’t do anything fun until I get back!