BTS: ARMY Etiquette for Namjoon’s Birthday

Screenshot of Kim Namjoon (RM) in the “Black Swan” music video. Copyright goes to BTS and the Hybe Corporation.

Hey! Hallie here!

It’s Namjoon’s birthday today! Or tomorrow, depending on which time zone you’re focusing on. Either way, ARMY usually spends both days celebrating BTS birthdays and Namjoon’s is no different. Tomorrow our official happy birthday post is coming, so watch out for that, but today I want to focus on what I’ve seen coming from ARMY on social media today. All the amazing birthday wishes are lovely. I also love that ARMY has been posting pictures of plants as a gift to Namjoon! But I’ve seen a ton of inappropriate behavior and it isn’t exclusively directed at Namjoon either. We want this to be a happy celebration for Namjoon, not a frustrating one. So let’s look at what needs to stop both for Namjoon’s birthday and other BTS events coming up.

Shipping:

Shipping ruins a lot of things. It can make relationships between BTS members awkward, it can start ARMY wars on inopportune days, and it can lead to disturbingly toxic fan behavior. Today the Jimin/Jungkook ship was trending on Twitter because of released behind the scenes footage of BTS. Essentially, Jungkook and Jimin were drinking, Jungkook decided to uncontrollably spin Jimin around, and Jimin bit him to make him stop. The bite wound up on his neck, leading shippers to freak out about the “hickey”. I do understand that some shippers just had a quick laugh about it and moved on, but too many used this opportunity to prove just how bad shippers can be. A large group decided to claim that this was proof that Jungkook and Jimin were dating. They became angry at everyone who told them otherwise and a few of them decided to throw around the term “homophobia” to describe those who denied that Jungkook and Jimin are a couple. Gross. A situation where two friends go out drinking and wind up doing something crazy doesn’t in the least imply that they’re dating. Especially because the closeness between male friends is much different in South Korea than in America. We can’t push American standards onto two men who grew up in a completely different culture. Jungkook and Jimin have also never said they’re dating. They’ve never even said what their sexualities are. That is personal information none of us are entitled to. Because of this, assuming their sexualities, whether that be gay, straight, or anything else, or making guesses at who they’re dating, is inappropriate. And those who do take pleasure in these assumptions too often find themselves trying to force their delusions on real people with real lives. That’s not even mentioning all the shippers that used this situation to over sexualize Jungkook to a disgusting degree or tried to paint Jimin as a more feminine figure. These two are real people. Not your toys. Not your weird fantasies. Real people who deserve your respect. If you can’t respect them and their privacy, you aren’t ARMY. And please stop with these ship wars when we’re trying to celebrate someone’s birthday.

Missing Taehyung:

This has been trending for a while but it’s even more frustrating that it was trending on Namjoon’s birthday. Taehyung has been completely silent on social media for a while now. This isn’t the first time he’s done it, but we wouldn’t be ARMY if we didn’t feel his absence. Some have even been surprised by his continued absence on other member’s birthdays. Quite a few ARMYs are concerned about him and that’s completely fine. We all want the best for Taehyung. But constantly getting this sentiment on trending sends the exact opposite message. In fact, a lot of people seem to have the goal of getting Taehyung back on social media. That isn’t ARMYs decision. We can miss him and hope he’s well, but we should also acknowledge that Taehyung is a busy man and social media can be extremely detrimental to your mental health. If Taehyung feels he needs the time off, that’s his decision. Sometimes I need to take a break from social media too. I’m sure he’s spending lots of time with the BTS members and wishing them happiness on their birthdays in private. I’m sure there will be a time when he comes back. But until then, let’s not bug him. And let’s not center a member who’s been absent in the middle of another member’s birthday. It’s Namjoon’s day! Let’s celebrate him!

NAMJOON!:

I keep bringing every topic back to Namjoon. That’s for a purpose. Namjoon doesn’t get as much attention as members like Jungkook or Jimin on their birthdays. And that sucks. Today isn’t the day to talk about Jungkook and Jimin’s personal lives or about how much you miss Taehyung. We should be focusing on Namjoon. He’s a wonderful leader! He’s inspired so many people! He’s absolutely helped me sort through some of the darker parts of my life. He deserves the praise today. Not all of this other drama I’ve seen many ARMYs putting a focus on. He deserves better than that. All of us should be there to support all of the members when they need us. And for both today and tomorrow in particular, ARMYs should be supporting Namjoon.

So now that we’ve gone over what ARMYs shouldn’t be doing for Namjoon’s birthday, what should ARMYS do? Celebrate, of course! Send Namjoon a positive message. If you do so, please be respectful of his boundaries and be polite! Look up the projects ARMY has started as gifts to Namjoon. If you want to post a picture of a plant you’re taking care of, do so! Plant a tree for Namjoon! Stream his solo work! And if none of these appeal to you, there are plenty more projects you can find to gift Namjoon something great for his birthday. I know this post was more of a downer, but we’ll have more of a celebratory post for his birthday tomorrow. In any case, Happy Birthday Namjoon!

Don’t do anything fun until I get back!

Hallie

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