K-pop sensation BTS under Big hit entertainment has been making strides lately for their love and sincerity towards music and their fans, also known as A.R.M.Y. The Seven-member boy band consisting of Kim Seok-Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM (BTS Leader), Jimin, V, and Jungkook are frequently active in entertaining and interacting with their fans.
In 2020, the year pandemic hit us, many Indians turned to BTS for finding comfort and warmth by listening to their songs and watching interviews and variety shows. This helped BTS, gain fandom and popularity among Indians. However, as BTS does not fit the ideas of the heteronormativity of masculinity, deeply rooted in India, many began trolling BTS, their music, and fandom. Soon, hatred began like wildfire, and memes attacking the gender choice of the boy band members started circulating, and comments were filled with rage from people who thought they lacked huge muscles, had small faces, or abnormally tall legs, and had no good music. Let’s list out few reasons why BTS received hate in India
- Xenophobia and racism, Indians are not new to this, dislike or prejudice of people from other countries, cultures, or races, and also our North-eastern citizens has become quite common and persistent in India. Many haters argue that the BTS members did not belong to their country or did not meet the cultural standards of India and should not be coddled or put above the Indians themselves as they simply were not Indians
- Insecurities, also play a vital reason for hate against the members of BTS, as they have porcelain, perfectly flawless skin, face or nose or because they are thin, and don’t have gym-built-heavy-muscles, or because BTS members Jungkook, Jimin, Kim Taehyung, Min Yoongi, Kim Namjoon, Kim Seokjin, Jung Ho-Seok are often seen taking care of their skin, using makeup, wearing gender-neutral clothes, endorsing the same to A.R.M.Y or because they don’t have facial hair, and all this exacerbates Indians’ insecurities because Indian men and women don’t believe in following a set of skincare routine or makeup routine or approving a man wearing a slightly lesser masculine t-shirt compared to others, or approving slightly more comfortable or stylish clothes like jeans for women.
- BTS members do the exact opposite of what a traditional masculine Indian man does, which leads to a toxic masculine conclusion of calling them ‘Gay’ or ‘Trans’ or even a ‘Woman’ at times targeting the sexuality of the boy band members, only because they do not match the beauty standards of Indian toxic masculine body features.
- Language barrier is another common reason, that few haters use to justify against BTS, often claiming that they did not understand the lyrics or the language they were speaking and it just did not make any sense. Few Indians went ahead and claimed that they hated their music as well including the melody or tune of the song as they did not understand the language.
- Girls are crazy for them. Yes, it is a fact that most girls in A.R.M.Y are crazy for them. That girls are always talking about BTS members, stalking them or praising the looks of Kim Taehyung or Kim Seokjin or finding Jimin cute, and have raised their standards for what they look for in men, which doesn’t sit well with guys, and ends in asking questions “what do girls see in these idols?” quite often and leaving negative remarks about the BTS members.
- A.R.M.Y – that’s right, one of the biggest and main reasons of all is because of their fandom itself. BTS, World’s biggest boy band, have oftentimes enjoyed the love and support fans have showered them, and there were even incidents when fans went to lengths and raised donations supporting various causes. But every coin has two sides, and so does its fandom, and this side of fandom is often referred to as ‘Toxic A.R.M.Y’. A.R.M. Ys who claimed to follow their idols has not been always nice towards the haters or even the critics. It is hard to be nice towards haters, true. But how nasty are these fans allowed to be towards the haters, attention-seekers, marketeers, or even critics? Toxic A.R.M. Ys have sent death threats, and rape threats, about which celebrities like Neha Bhasin and James Corden have spoken as well and publicly spammed comments hoping that the particular person who commented or criticized their idols would die. Toxic A.R.M. Ys also dig up information related to someone’s personal life, family, friends, and colleagues and send hateful and negative messages to them and degrade them by leaving derogatory comments on their looks and sexuality. Toxic A.R.M. Y’s behavior includes attacking people and disrespecting them because they simply dislike BTS music or did not connect with their music, leaving unrelated comments regarding BTS World and A.R.M.Y, and trying to brainwash and bully people around them into liking BTS repetitively.
- Haters have found yet another reason adding to the already tiring list of reasons to hate BTS. As announced by The White House, on Tuesday, May 31st, the members’ Jin, Suga, J-Hope, RM, Jimin, V, and Jungkook will join President Biden to discuss Anti-Asian Hate Crimes and Celebrate AANHPI Heritage Month. But this did not sit well with Twitter users and haters as they argued that, there is no point in inviting BTS, that it was just a public show, or that they were not fit to talk about the mentioned topics as they belong to a homogenous country and even claimed that they were not Asians in the first place and even if they were Asians, they were not Asian-Americans.
Regardless, of the efforts of the K-pop global phenomenon group BTS, to spread love, hope, and positivity in the world, and to let people know that it is ok to be vulnerable and accept one’s flaws and faults, people continue to choose to hate the group for their popularity, ideologies and fake love of Toxic A.R.M.Ys. As BTS spread love, hope, and positivity. Check out the reasons why people love BTS.