Fandoms – How I Became a part of BTS’s ARMY

Fandoms…Ever wonder how someone goes from this to this?

Books have always been my safe place. If I was upset, depressed, bored, I always had a shelf full of books to dive into until one day I didn’t. During the pandemic I fell into a funk and I couldn’t get into new books and I had re-read my Nalini Singh, Mercedes Lackey, Susan Mallery, and other favorite authors so often I had their books memorized. And then, I stumbled upon something new that, as dramatic as it may sound, was truly life changing. I became a part of the BTS fandom aka BTS ARMY. How did it happen? It all started with…

The sneaky infiltration…

My niece has been a BTS fan for years and every time they visited she would show me a music video or YouTube clip of them, but no matter how hard I stared I couldn’t tell them apart. I mean I’m Asian, isn’t it just wrong that I thought they all looked alike for Pete’s sake?! When quarantine hit I figured, now is the time! I will figure out what is the big deal about BTS!

Step 1: I watched Carpool Karaoke with James Corden.

I never laughed so much watching one clip and I had to keep texting my niece to ask what songs were they singing because they were so catchy.

Step 2: Then watched the Mic Drop music video because – that song! Trust me. Watch it, listen to it, play on repeat.  You can thank me later.

Step 3: I clicked a Facebook link about BTS and BOOM! The next day my feed was filled with BTS content and I lost hours of my day because let me tell you, there is a TON of BTS content out there and every article and video blew me away. It’s amazing that these guys manage to sleep as hard as they work.

Performances that will blow your mind…

While the music videos are fun the guys truly shine in their live performances. I was fortunate to have my niece to show me some of the most mind blowing performances on YouTube that I had to watch. There are so many amazing performances because these guys certainly know who to put on a stunning show. So if you aren’t lucky enough to have a seasoned ARMY to guide you through the performances I have a list of where you can start off but there are many, many more!

  1. ON performance at Grand Central Station
  2. Dionysus performance at the MMA 2019

  3. Though Jin was injured and couldn’t dance as much their latest Butter performance at the Grammys 2022 was still stunning!
  4. Idol performance on the Jimmy Fallon show which is not just mesmerizing but you also get the added bonus of the modern take on the traditional Korean hanboks.
  5. Their Black Swan performance shows a different side to their dancing and singing and is no less stunning.

They all look alike, BUT, I will learn to tell them apart…

Ok, you’ve been blown away by their performances but the most common comment I hear from non-ARMY is that all the BTS members look alike. Yup, been there, thought that, and now I can’t believe I used to think that. lol.

So how did I get to know them?

Step 1: I started watching Run BTS! Seriously, getting to know the guys’ personalities was the easiest way to start telling them apart. Not to mention they’ll make you laugh so hard your stomach will hurt. Some of my favorite episodes are:

  1. Ever been on a zombie run? This is one you don’t want to miss. Episode 24
  2. Episodes 131 and 132 – The pool debate. I bet you have never seen a debate like this before.

    I shared this episode with both my kids because I was laughing so hard.
  3. Episode 127 – You will start to notice throughout the episodes they play the most ridiculous games but my family actually played several of the games during Christmas and it’s a blast. So if you’re in charge of entertainment at the next family gathering, this show’s for you. 

  4. One word — lachimolala. What is lachimolala? I’m glad you asked. This is probably one of their most well known episodes, and trust me, once you become ARMY you need to know this inside joke.

Step 2: I watched their reality show, Bon Voyage. I started with season 4 but really all the seasons are worth a watch.

You’ll get to see the guys visiting different countries and see the members interact during day to day activities and their individual little quirks.

Step 3: I discovered their Bangtan TV YouTube channel.

You get to see more behind the scenes clips, performances, and more.

It took me awhile but trust me, eventually you won’t be able to believe you once couldn’t tell them apart. I included a cheatsheet of some favorite photos of each member with different hair colors and styles at the bottom of this post to help you “study”. lol

Becoming a closet BTS fan…

As I dove further and further into the rabbit hole of BTS I have to admit I was initially embarrassed thinking I’m a grown woman with two kids fangirling over this k-pop group. I kept it on the down low but then stumbled across a Facebook group specifically for moms who love BTS and realized I wasn’t alone. This group alone has over 9,000 members ranging in age from their 20s to those in their 70s and were from around the world. It was amazing to find a group of people who shared my love for this group and they were such a welcoming and supportive group that they made me feel more comfortable sharing with my family and friends about my interest in BTS. But it didn’t stop there.

Do I really need to see them perform in person? Yes, yes you do.

Ever take those MTBI personality tests? My results have always returned as 95-100% introverted, add on top of that I’m deathly shy, AND then toss in some social anxiety. So up until about 6 months ago I would have said there is no way you would find me at a concert. Why go sit in a crowd when I can watch them on my big screen TV in the comfort of my own home?

But come December 2021 I got what I thought was a once and a lifetime chance to go see them perform in Los Angeles. I was a wreck leading up to the concert but once I got there I was blown away. I have never been in a large group of people who were as kind, friendly and helpful as the ARMY fandom. Even though I sat in the nosebleed seats the energy in the stadium and the performance BTS put on was indescribable. It’s one of those moments you need to experience yourself. And so I was now addicted.

But was I ready to take another step out of my comfort zone and actually interact with other ARMY…in person?!

If there is anything that terrifies me more than being in a large crowd of people I don’t know, it’s interacting with people I don’t know. So while I have fallen in love with the members of BTS, I listen to their songs on repeat, and I was dying to go to their next concert, when I heard about my first cup sleeve event I was intrigued but not sure I wanted to actually go. If you aren’t familiar with cup sleeve events they are typically hosted by a fan or group of fans at a local boba tea shop where if you purchase a drink you will also get a cupsleeve and sometimes some other goodies for free. Often there’s vendors and…gulp…other ARMY that gather at the event.

I wanted to go and yet I was afraid to go so I posted in my BTS moms Facebook group asking if anyone had been to a cup sleeve event before and was it worth going if I’m too terrified to interact with others there. And that’s how I made my first local ARMY friend. One of the amazing women in the group reached out and offered to meet up at the event to keep me company. I was still nervous but was so glad I went. I had a fabulous time and have become good friends with her as well as a few other local ARMY that I have met over the past few months. I’m going to have to do an entire separate post just about the ARMY fandom itself because they truly deserve their own post. 🙂 

Where I am now…

I went from not being able to tell the members apart, to a closet fan, to a loud and proud ARMY today who talks BTS to anyone who will listen and probably more than some want to hear. lol And it’s not just their amazing vocal talent and dancing skills that won me over but I’ll save all that for another post. 😉

BTS Members Cheatsheet

I will fully admit that the guys change their looks a lot but here is a little cheatsheet gallery of what were personally some of my favorite looks of each member.

RM aka Kim Namjoon

Jin aka Kim Seokjin

Suga aka Min Yoongi aka Agust D

J-Hope aka Jung Ho-Seok

Jimin aka Park Jimin

V aka Kim Taehyung

Jungkook aka Jeon Jungkook


About Author

23 Replies on Fandoms – How I Became a part of BTS’s ARMY

  • omg! ARMY! So much alignment with you on what you wrote and how you got into it. I’m so happy for you and what you are experiencing. I think most of us that dove into this fandom at this stage in our life and as mothers are feeling a revival of our youth as well. It has been such a wonderful experience and a safe space within the ARMY Mom group. Thank you for sharing your experience and I am grateful to have crossed paths with you during this BTS process, experience, spell, or whatever one wants to want to call it because it is just magical and very healing. Just like they say in the lyrics of DNA, I don’t believe that any of these things are coincidence in life. I think it is all timing and part of destiny and someway. Stars align and before you know it, you are asking yourself who is BTS. then in a matter of a blink of an eye, you are full on 100% ARMY! sending you much love and positivity always! 💜

    • Thank you so much Ness! I really am grateful for all the wonderful people I’ve met and the amazing experiences I would have never had were it not for BTS. It always makes me so happy when I hear how they’ve affected other people’s lives as well.

  • Amazing!!!! I am so much like you!!! And have fallen so deeply in love WITH BTS!!! THEY have changed my life!!!💜
    I also truly believe they are changing the world with their self love campaign and I can not stop talking about them! Trying to spread BTS’ message!!! …because people need to feel this kind of love!!💜💜

    • I so agree! I just love their message of positivity and self-love. I think it’s something so many people need to hear and embrace.

  • Fantastic article! So well-written! Really good information for people wanting to start to take a dive down the rabbit hole of BTS content!

  • Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us and I am so proud of what you have accomplished. I’m actually excited to hear more on your upcoming posts. I thought I know BTS well enough, but you’ve mentioned so many more great things on this post. They are fun to watch! A source of inspiration and makes you wanna “LOVE YOURSELF” 💜 Thanks for sharing & congratulations on this post! This is amazing!

  • Love it – you may have a new convert here haha! Thank you for sharing this awesome piece! Barbara

  • Good job Debbie! BTS Moms are the best. Keep doing what you’re doing, let’s share all the love for our boys 💜💜💜

  • Wonderful job Debbie! Beautiful writing and you have described everything and everyone perfectly. I can’t wait to read he rest of your blogs. Good luck my Army Friend!

  • I enjoyed this a lot. And, I can relate to all of them. Thank you for sharing. Borahae 💜

  • I can totally relate! Thank you for sharing your path to our BTS boys. I see that we are all connected with our love for their music and what they stand for. Looking forward to your next blog. Well done Debbie! 💜

  • Well said! I think the pandemic did all of us a favor and gave us BTS to help us through our darkest times.

  • Thank you for sharing your story! Mine is similar yet different. I had to relocate to a different country for my husband’s job, giving up my dream job, my friends, my happy life. I had a few low years where I really felt I lost, or had, no identity outside being a mom of young kids and now working at home, barely leaving the house ever (whereas previously I’d had a fulfilling career). It drastically affected me as I felt my life mostly devoid of happiness, affection, and hope and my marriage started to run into trouble. In the midst of this, yet totally out of this context, my brother made me a joke bet that I should become a K-Pop fan. I agreed to take him up on it. I chose BTS as the band I should “fan” because they were the only K-Pop band I knew. I promised I’d learn each of their names as a joke. Well, my descent down the rabbit hole was mechanistically very similar to yours, except in an incredibly compressed time frame. I essentially went from 0 mph to 250 mph in about 2 weeks. I’m very new Army (only last month!) (have I only been Army for a month)? But it is no exaggeration to say that my life has changed completely. Through their music and all the other avenues you highlight above I have found happiness, and as you discuss in your later post, finding people in demographics similar to mine where I can share my fanship has helped me feel I’m not alone. It is no exaggeration to say that BTS saved my marriage, by giving me happiness and making me want to do the work to try to repair things. I hope these 7 guys know how far reaching their positive impact goes on the personal lives of many individuals. I will be ARMY all my life, Borahae sister!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.