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K-Popularity: In light of BTS speech at United Nations, students should appreciate positive influence of music groups like BTS

Heidi Peng

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In recent years, the world of Korean pop music (K-Pop) has blown up tremendously across the world, especially in the United States. Boys and girls of every age group have flocked to these artists’ concerts and even KCON—an annual K-Pop convo.

As someone who has not only gone to K-Pop concerts, but has also frequented KCON in New York, I know a lot about the world of K-Pop and would call myself a “stan,” which is considered a particularly avid fan. I may not speak for every fan out there, but I hope my message can help increase appreciation.

As K-Pop has grown, one group always seems to be ahead of the game of K-Pop’s growth: Bangtan Sonyeon Dan (BTS). Although they debuted in 2013, BTS only recently began to explode in popularity; in less than two years, their name has become synonymous with the expansion of K-Pop and they’ve become legends. They currently have one of the largest fan bases in the world.

However, many people, like my parents, still ridicule K-Pop and its fans, saying the artists aren’t talented and the men resemble women. These critiques undermine the accomplishments of these artists by insulting their appearances, and they make some fans feel too embarrassed to admit they like K-Pop. They are unable to appreciate the hard work these idols put into their craft as well as the “blood, sweat and tears” they shed to succeed.

These artists are more than just singers and dancers; they’re more than just pretty faces on a poster. These artists, with millions of followers around the world, have the ability to make a real difference, and groups like BTS are working to promote more than just their music.

Moreover, on Sept. 24, BTS was invited to speak at the 73rd General Assembly at the United Nations (UN) along with YouTuber Lilly Singh (iiSuperwomanii) and other world leaders.

BTS has been known to write powerful songs about hard work with lyrics like “If you can’t fly, then run./ Today we will survive.” and “Don’t ever run backwards, never.”

Like BTS’s leader Kim Namjoon said in his UN speech, “I urge you to speak yourself. I would like to ask all of you, ‘What is your name?,’ ‘What excites you and makes your heart beat?’ Tell me your story.”

The views in this column do not necessarily reflect the views of the HiLite staff. Reach Heidi Peng at hpeng@hilite.org.

Read Caleb Shaffer’s column on the influence of football players here: www.hilite.org/gamechangers

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About the Writer
Heidi Peng, Managing Editor

Hi! I'm Heidi Peng, one of six managing editors for the HiLite. My primary role on staff as of now is to oversee graphics and the logistics of our staff....

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