Mo’ Korea: BTS takes New York by storm with inspirational message of self-love

BTS perform live on “Good Morning America,” Wednesday, September 26, 2018 on the ABC Television Network. GMA (ABC/Lorenzo Bevilaqua)

Welcome to Mo’ Korea! Mo’ Korea is a new column for JUST ADD COLOR that explores Korea through facets of pop culture, including music, K-pop fandom, social mores, television, film, and the cross-cultural relationship between K-pop, K-hip hop, and K-R&B and African American culture. 


BTS has had quite a week during the New York leg of their Love Myself world tour. The week started off with BTS becoming the first K-pop group to speak at the UN. Thanks to their Love Myself campaign with UNICEF to combat childhood violence, the group was asked to speak on the floor of the UN as part of the organization’s Youth 2030 campaign. BTS leader RM gave the speech on behalf of the group, relating the campaign and BTS’ message of self love to his own journey towards self-love and self acceptance.

They later made the late night rounds on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, in which they talked about the UN speech, their message, as well as performed their latest single, “IDOL.” Coincidentally, BTS’ visit dovetailed nicely into topics Fallon’s second guest of the night, Empire star Taraji P. Henson, brought up, including her new foundation, the Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation, aimed at erasing the stigma in the African American community surrounding mental health.

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Wednesday, the group made their first American morning appearance on Good Morning America, during which they met with fans, were interviewed by Robin Roberts and Michael Strahan, and performed “IDOL” as a preview of their concert at Citi Field, their first American stadium performance.

Overall, it’s been a whirlwind time for BTS, and as someone who has been watching their career ever since I wrote my extensive Reappropriate article on the group, I’m heartily excited for their upward trajectory. I’m also particularly grateful for their message of self-love, something that you’re never too old to learn.

I’m a couple of years older than BTS, but as a 30-year-old, I’m realizing that I, too, can take inspiration from BTS and understand the power of self-love, something I think a lot of us take for granted. If you’re anything like me, you’re used to ignoring yourself and treating yourself harshly. But I’ve found out the hard way that that route only leads to suffering. For you young fans out there, learn BTS’ message of self-love early, so you don’t have to pay on the back end. But if you’re like me and you’re just now realizing the importance of self-love at an older age, don’t treat yourself too harshly. There’s always time to learn, and think about it this way–at least you’re making the first steps toward self love now, regardless of how many mistakes you might have made in the past.

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Even though I don’t know these boys, I’m glad they’ve inspired so many with their message. They are pop stars, sure, but they are pop stars who are actively using their platform for good, and it’d be great if we had more like them in the pop culture sphere.