‘Happy To Help’: BTS Speaks About ‘Redefining Masculinity’

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K-pop group BTS, over the years has been promoting positive messages, is often termed as the artists who have a crucial role in redefining masculinity and challenging gender constructs. The South Korean music industry has collectively defied the predetermined gender roles through their music videos as well as off-screen appearances.

The biggest k-pop band BTS has played an active role in defying the conventional expectations of masculinity. The members of the group have donned skirts and been praised for their decision that breaks gender norms. In an interview with Jaeki Cho for Amazon Music, BTS leader Kim Namjoon acknowledged the impact that they have possibly made in ‘redefining masculinity’.

“We’re living in an age and a time where the label we call ‘masculine or ‘manly’ is kind of disappearing. We’re always happy that we can help,” he said.

Suga, rapper of the group, added to it and said that the “notions and definitions are always changing” along with “cultural phases of the time”.

Citing his own example growing up, the rapper elaborated on how over time artists have changed.

“When I was growing up, all the hip-hop artists wore really baggy pants and clothing. But right now, it’s skinny fit everything. If a hip-hop artist dressed like that back then, some would’ve said, ‘You’re not a real hip-hop musician,’ Suga continued.

BTS’ subtle efforts in redefining masculinity

The South-Korean group has blurred the line between “femininity” or “masculinity” through their performance concepts and choice of clothing. They have been seen wearing women’s clothing in their performances, photoshoot and several other occasions. Fashion accessories such as chokers, corsets and earrings which are usually regarded as “feminine,” have been part of their wardrobe for years.

In 2018, in a speech to the United Nations, BTS rapper RM emphasised voicing one’s opinion barring their identity and said, “No matter who you are, where you are from, your skin colour, your gender identity, just speak yourself.”

BTS released their latest track Permission to Dance which is co-written by British singer Ed Sheeran. The song came on July 9 as a gift for their fans on ARMY day. The new release has reached 48 million views in 12 hours.