Amazing thought, right? But how do we actually do that?
I’m a (relatively) confident adult. I work hard, at my job, on my partnership with my husband and on raising my kids well. I have a blessed life and a strong faith in my Buddhist practice.
My brain “knows” that I have a beautiful life and am a good person.
2 weeks ago, I made a statement that startled me with how truthful it felt and how deeply I meant it;
“I hate myself right now”
The irony of that statement was not lost on me. There I was, sad, depressed, and experiencing a self-loathing I hadn’t dealt with in a very long time, and all because of my personal decision to NOT make the long and tiring trip to see BTS perform live in their “Love Yourself Tour”. (I know right now ARMY’s are stopping and thinking “You WHAT?!”. Yes, I know fam, hence the thoughts I was having.) For whatever reason, missing that tour brought on a whole onslaught of personal issues that I had spent years not dealing with.
And then, our wise young leader said these words during his speech at the United Nations UNICEF summit:
“Maybe I made a mistake yesterday, but yesterday’s me is still me, today I am who I am with all of my faults and mistakes. Tomorrow I might be a tiny bit wiser and that will be me too. These faults and mistakes are what I am, making up the brightest stars in the constellation of my life. I have come to love myself for who I am, who I was and who I hope to become.”
“No matter who you are, where you are from, your skin color your gender identity just speak yourself. Find your name and find your voice by speaking yourself. I am Kim Namjoon and also RM of BTS, I am an idol and an artist from a small town in Korea.”
And friends this ARMY heart was lifted for a moment. I WANTED to get past these painful feelings and I WANTED to speak a self that I loved, truly loved. But would it be true? Does saying something enough times make it a reality? How far does “fake it until you make it” get you, when it comes to respecting the dignity of your own life?
The answer came right after this speech, as so often happens in my life, from a TEDtalk by Emily Esfahani Smith “There’s More To Life Than Being Happy”.
(I’m about to give you the speed dating version so I highly recommending listening to this woman’s entire talk here to get the full impact)
“The 4th pillar of a meaningful life is Storytelling, the story you tell yourself about yourself. Creating a narrative from the events of your life brings clarity. It helps you understand how you became you. But we don’t always realize that we are the authors of our stories and can change the way we are telling them. Your life isn’t just a list of events. You can edit, interpret and retell your story even as you are constrained by the facts… You can do it by reflecting on your life thoughtfully, how you’re defining experiences shaped you, what you lost, what you gained.”
WHAT STORY WAS I TELLING MYSELF ABOUT MYSELF? Forget what I was speaking to the world, what was I speaking to myself? This seemed so simple and yet as I changed and re-worded my inner story I felt lighter and new.
“Why is this happening to me” turned into “I’m happy others are experiencing that”
“Why are my wants last?!” turned to “Missing this event allowed me to put my own mental and physical health first”
“I will always regret missing this” turned to “This is giving me an opportunity to learn how to speak to myself”
I don’t know what the next step is in my progression. But I do know that I feel differently now. I see the value in staying home when I could have gone. I see the value in the disappointment and sadness I felt. I see the compassion I’ve had this week for my kids and husband, and more importantly the compassion I’ve had for myself. And while I also know that I’ll be disappointed and sad again in life (hopefully not over missing another BTS concert!) I’ve learned a valuable lesson. To speak myself and the story of myself with grace, kindness, and love.
To my ARMY friends who already Love Yourselves, I commend you. And to those of us that still have some work to do on that I encourage you to keep fighting, to work hard on changing your inner story, because the name you speak to yourself is the one that’s most important, and often the one we listen to last.
My name is Mama B and also Bethany. I am an ARMY, Wife, Mom, Friend and Buddhist and I Love Myself.
Maknae Monday is brought to you this week by our awesome subscriber Mama K! Thanks for putting this awesome ode to Sehun together! – Kpop Mamas
EXO is definitely slaying their most recent comeback. With the record-breaking release of their third album, Exa’ct, a world tour in the books, and now the repackage Lotto releasing last week, these boys are busy performing and promoting their little hineys off.
Speaking of, let’s meet the group’s handsome and 4D maknae, Oh Sehun.
Just the facts:
Name: Oh Se Hun
Born: April 12, 1994 in Seoul, South Korea
Height: 183 cm (6ft)
Role: Lead dancer, lead rapper, sub vocalist, maknae
Unlike his fellow EXO mates, Sehun didn’t aspire to be an entertainer. At age eleven he was spotted by an SM agent while eating street food with his friends. His response? He ran away (his mother told him not to engage with strangers). The agent chased him for thirty minutes until she was able to convince him to talk to her. Officially cast by SM Entertainment in 2008, he debuted with EXO in 2012.
So somehow over the past four years Sehun went from this:
Despite his physical changes, Sehun’s personality has basically stayed the same. He’s all srs bsnss when it comes to performing.
Very srs bsnss.
Srsly, you can lighten up a little.
He’s known as the “sassy” maknae, which is sometimes difficult to see due to his somber expressions. But the sass escapes every once in awhile.
Better tuck that back in, young one.
Did I mention he’s full of aegyo?
His cheeky reputation is well earned, since he can’t stop pestering his hyungs:
But he’s still very much their maknae.
Sehun is a maknae of many moods. There’s this maknae:
And this one:
And also this one:
Then there’s this one:
Despite all this, he does love his hyungs:
Even when they resist:
But like I said, resistance is futile:
He also loves:
His Bichon Vivi.
And ice cream.
Sehun even has his own vocabulary.
As if being a dancing/rapping/singing/modeling/yeheting star wasn’t enough, he’s a terrific actor, stealing scenes left and right from his hyungs in EXO Next Door:
Next year his first movie, Cat Man, releases. And yes, he plays the Cat Man. Make of that what you will.
Above all, Sehun is known as a sensitive and caring guy. He can get a little emotional sometimes:
And doesn’t mind publicly sharing how he feels about his hyungs and fans:
It’s good being the maknae.
As one netizen wisely put it: “It’s Sehun’s world. We’re just living in it.”
So we watch a lot of K Dramas y’all …. A LOT of Kdramas…. at this point I’m guessing even more than most South Koreans do (I’ve found out through PAINFULLY awkward conversations; most recently where I ended up explaining what a flower boy was <cringe>)
But since our hearts and souls are founded in Kpop all of our drama conversations come back to one essential topic… WHO ARE THEY IN THE KPOP GROUP HIERARCHY?!
At the moment we are obsessed with Scarlet Heart: Ryeo
But there are so many Flower Princes in this show that we couldn’t pick just one favorite man. So we’ve decided we get a Prince Subunit! (limit 3)
Here are our choices for favorite leading men in this show. Let us know who your “SHR” dream subunit would be! #SHRSubUnit
FIRST SPOT GOES TO….
Prince #10 Wang Eun:
The Maknae- oh little Baekhyun is fabulous as the younger brother so clearly Wang Eun is the Maknae!
Moodmaker- Who hasn’t laughed at his playful antics and charm! He’s the member that’s just so adorable you don’t really remember if he’s the singer the dancer or what else besides just being too cute and positive.
2nd SPOT GOES TO…
Prince #8 Wang Wook!!
The Leader – like in so many groups the leader isn’t always the oldest but the one most willing to keep the dongsaengs in line and the hyungs happy.
Lead Vocals- I mean really some of those soulful longing looks he gives though! Only a true crooner could get away with them!
Visual-Now Mama B has considered Kang Ha-Neul to be the Flower Boy to end all Flower Boys ever since the first time she watched Heirs; so this one was an obvious choice… That jawline though!
Also the one you always root for to get a solo but never quite gets picked. With that being said it looks like they start fighting over the girl in the next episode so #4 Fighting!!!
FINAL SPOT IN OUR SUBUNIT GOES TO…
Prince #4 Wang So
Lead Rapper- I mean really who else could he be? Hitting us hard with the rap lines but then unexpectedly raw, real and angsty getting us in the feels. (Cmon Oma just give the boy a hug!!)
Lead Dancer- Those sword moves and coordination make him the ideal lead for the rest of the unit!
Token Rebel- Every group has that member that you know just doesn’t care about the spotlight as much as the others. He just wants to sit in the corner, make music and take the eyeliner off (think Suga and Woozi).
Basically we’ve decided that our Prince #4 is Tao in Black White. He’s left his crazy big family behind but still wants that recognition from them that he’s alive and doing well.
And of course he’s the most famous member of the group which means he gets the girl… Everytime… No matter how douche-like he is in the beginning he always seems to come around and get you at the end!
Well that’s our SHR subunit! Let’s talk! Which Princes make your subunit list and who are they in the group!
Some of you may know me. I’m Mama B from Kpop Mamas. I’m an American Kpop Fan; You Tuber of kpop music video reviews, blogger (or at least I try), I’m an A.R.M.Y./VIP/CARAT and most importantly to me a wife of 10 years and a mother of 2 young girls.
The first time my daughter started singing a Nicki Minaj song at 2 years old I realized I needed to seriously start monitoring what she was listening to and the example I was setting for her. Around that time I found Kpop and was immediately drawn to the fact that I could play these songs in front of her and the M/V’s could be part of our nightly “Dance Parties” in our kitchen.
So when I saw this Soompi article talking about my favorite group (Noona ARMY here!) and specifically Rapmon, being in trouble with ARMY (of all people) for misogynistic lyrics and comments I was interested to say the least. I do truly believe that there are misogynist and anti feminist themes running throughout the music industry and I was encouraged to find that people were finally talking about them. I was also at the same time confused on what BTS could have done that would get ARMY riled up. Possible lyrics and M/V’s started running through my head as I started making a list of what I was going to see as the “issues”.
And when I read what the uproar was over, I was immediately disappointed that THESE were the examples everyone decided to take a stand on. And now of all times so far after all of these songs have been released and statements made.
HERE ARE THE ISSUES AS SITED BY SOOMPI:
“Lyrics from the song “Joke” by Rap Monster, under fire for the implied sexual prejudice from the use of “gonorrhea”:
“Yea, you’re the best woman, being bossy. You do so f**king well, being bossy. But now that I think about it, you were never the boss. Instead of boss I’ll say gonorrhea.”
(Note: This is also wordplay, as the words for “being bossy” and “gonorrhea” are only different by one syllable.)”
My thoughts on this one… Misogyny inherently means that if I replaced a man in the sentence above it would no longer make sense as it’s directed solely to women. In this case I just don’t see how wordplay between bossy and an STD has anything to do with the persons gender. It’s like calling someone “Stinky Stanley” Stanley isn’t stinky because he is a boy; he is called Stinky because it rhymes with his name. Every elementary school child knows this is how you make fun of someone you don’t like… right? I mean this is a lesson I learned back in the “olden days” of playground bullies and mean kids. Now if anyone was going to be pissed about this lyric it should be how he calls a woman “bossy” like it’s a negative. Women who are “bossy” regularly get labeled as “bitchy” while men are called “tough”. THAT is where the objection should have come from, but here we are upset over a “Stinky Stanley” situation.
“Lyrics from “Converse High,” under fire for objectification:
“I like you. But don’t ever wear Converse lows.”
Ok so I almost laughed when I read this originally.
The first thing that came to my mind is a conversation I had about 6 months ago with my 3 yo daughter who came to me almost in tears during one of our “Dance Parties”. She was watching the music video to a song she really liked, “Boy In Luv” by BTS.
Her urgent and distressed question “Mama!! Are they BAD guys now?!” utterly confused me. So we sat down and I asked her why she would think BTS were suddenly “bad boys”? Her response was and I will never forget “Well mom he is pushing her against the wall and pulling her and mom we DON’T do that to people! Why is he taking her away?” If you’ve never seen the video this is what she is referring to.
My first thought was, “my god I can’t believe I let my daughter watch this” and the 2nd was “but look at the conversation we just had” and I had what was a very basic yet profound conversation with her about how we behave toward others and why sometimes what we see on TV is not true or right.
But it got me thinking, and THIS is where I think the conversation should be. WHY IS IT OK TO LAY YOUR HANDS ON A WOMAN IN KPOP? I’m not saying it doesn’t happen in American music videos, it does. However in Kpop it is routine to see a girl being dragged off against her will. And she is rarely if ever putting up a fight or defending herself.
If anything I find this line from Rapmon to be more of an example of gender bias toward men. It is routine for women to tell their significant others not to dress a certain way or wear certain clothes and it’s no big deal right? I mean men don’t have fashion sense (heavy sarcasm here) and they need our help. But a man tells a woman what he likes her in and we suddenly have a very taboo subject.
Lyrics from “War of Hormones,” under fire for objectification:
“A woman is the best present.”
If he had said “a woman is the greatest gift in the world” no one would have batted an eye. C’mon people. This one is a stretch at best.
But while we are on the subject let’s talk about a group of people that are routinely objectified. Touched without permission, physically assaulted and the object of extreme and dangerous stalking by so called “loved ones”…. The members of BTS and MANY other groups are regularly treated as though they are objects. Are seldom given the respect they deserve as fellow human beings; and this treatment is almost always at the hands of the “fans” they are supposed to be grateful and thankful to. When BTS is no longer hunted down in the streets, knocked down in airports and stalked (all in the last 3 months) by their fans, is when I think ARMY can start talking about how a silly comment about shoes “objectifies” them.
Here is the tweet from Suga — from May 16, 2013 — and the lyrics that were brought into question:
The Tweet, under fire for its aggression:
Suga says, “I’m watching you all. If I catch you looking elsewhere, I’ll [take a photo/hit] with my camera. ^^ With the corner. ^^ On the crown of your head ^^”
(Note: The tweet uses a play on the Korean word jjikda, a verb which can mean “take a picture” as well as “hit a point with an object; stick; hack (with an axe).”)
This is the only one that I actually think is moderately inappropriate. But the first thing I thought when I saw the original Tweet?
“Suga was performing some serious fanservice for ARMY they are going to love it.”
Y’all I really am A.R.M.Y. and I love these boys. I am in BTS fan groups on several social media platforms and I think we can ALL agree that it is not in any way unusual for someone to say “My husband Yoongi better NOT look at another girl like that!”. Or earlier this year when Twitter ARMY thought they saw a pic of Jungkook with a “girlfriend” (it wasn’t him in the pic by the way) and the hashtag #CuttingForKookie sprang up over night. Y’all I cried when I saw that… really shed tears for those girls, for the girl in the pic that was misidentified, and for Jungkook. I find the entire “He is mine” talk very uncomfortable. It directly leads to the sasaeng culture that is so prevalent and many of the obsessive fan issues we see everywhere. Taking this fan behavior into account I honestly never thought twice about him saying something possessive like that that to his fans… I mean they say it to him ALL THE TIME. It’s like when Jungkook looks into the camera and says “ARMY I’ll be your boyfriend”. Fan service is everywhere. Was this done poorly? Yeah probably shouldn’t talking about knocking girls over the head Suga… but is this worthy of all that’s been said and done so far? I don’t think so.
I truly believe there is a difference between
Outright misogyny on a repeat basis that is followed up with action… Like we see in American rap culture, or even in Korean Rap at times.
And artists taking some license while talking about the very real issues and differences between men and women and their experiences.
To me this whole BTS experience is clearly the 2nd.
I am proud of BTS and Rapmon for standing up for their ideals and feel those far outweigh any perceived negatives from over 3 years of successful song writing.
Let’s instead talk about the serious issues that these girls and young women will be dealing with for the rest of their lives. How at Kcon NY the most popular and largest booth was giving away free BMI checks to teenagers and giveaways of “plastic surgery trips” to Korea.
Education starts at home in how we teach our daughters to value themselves and understand their own unique beauty and self worth. So that when a man tells them “don’t wear those shoes” they do what I did. Laugh at the thought of a man telling her what shoes to wear. THESE are the deep seeded and negative images that girls all over the world are dealing with. Fat shaming of the beautiful and talented girl groups. Not this nit picky report of misogyny. Lets give these young men a break and put this effort into talking about the REAL issues and problems.
I think it is a testament to how POWERFUL and AMAZING A.R.M.Y and the fandoms of Kpop are that they could turn a simple question into a full-fledged conversation and apology in less than 60 days. You all have POWER in your voice. Especially in this day and age of social media and technology. We can come together and talk about issues that we all face as women no matter what our age. And demand the fair treatment of women in music, especially kpop. So while I don’t agree that this was the right place to start… it WAS a start. And I hope the conversation continues and grows and moves on to bigger and better outcomes. In the meantime love to all of my fellow ARMY and of course one of my favorite lyricists out there bar none Rapmon. Do you RM it’s a great thing you are doing and accomplishing in your young life.
Well it happened!! U-Kiss has their comeback! Consider us Kissmes at this point!
These boys are amazing. Now I (Mama B) am normally not into the pop bands but these men totally do it right. The vocals and dancing were on point and of course they’ve got the visuals perfect (hehehe!).
Also congratulations to Eli and his wife on their new baby boy!!! So happy for them! We love to see these kpop idols growing up and getting lives of their own. It gives us all the feels!
It is June 3rd and I just read a post that has really touched on every concern I have about being a Kpop fan and concerns for the safety of these young idols.
I know we’ve touched on this before but here it is again.
Youngjae from Got7 posted this heartfelt and very well worded message to fans; asking them to have more respect for their private lives.
We hope that this gives some fans pause before mobbing these poor boys every where they go. I know if I met them or saw them it would take everything I had in me not to fangirl out (and I am hopefully going to Kcon so that will be put to the test quickly)! But please lets all make an effort to be better fans!
“Hello. This is GOT7′s Youngjae. Everyday I gain strength from the love that fans give.
However, there are some who take photos and videos at places like the airport or when we are spending personal time.
I think we need to be more respectful of each other. (For example, at times when the entire screen of my cellphone is shown.) I’m worried that people following us and continuing to take photos when we are moving to a different location might fall. I would also like for people to be more careful not to disrupt other individuals in public places.
I am also very worried about a dangerous situation happening to those who stay until dawn in front of our dormitory and to those who follow us in cars when we are going to a location for individual schedules. I would like to continue meeting each other in a safe and healthy manner.
Thank you very much for reading my poor writing.
I really love you Ahgases.
Let’s continue to stay together for a long time. (If anyone can translate this into Japanese, Chinese, English, or Thai, I would really appreciate it…)
IT’S ALMOST HERE! We recently did a reaction video to an older 유키스(U-KISS) song ‘끼부리지마 (Quit Playing), you can check that out below. And to say that we loved it would be an understatement. SHOCK. AND. AWE. These guys are bringing it and we are so so excited for their comeback!
The teaser trailer for their mini album “Stalker” dropped and is everything we want from them. I mean check out these track names? They are coming for the girls this year!
Is fame and all of that comes with it part of the deal of doing what they love? Of course.
However having to fear for your physical safety because a “fan” does not realize where boundaries are or has created an imaginary relationship with you in their head; is something else completely.
In this day and age of instant gratification and entitlement these fans believe that they DESERVE to have a piece of their favorite idol. No matter the situation or how it affects the idol they have so come to respect. And in the case of Tomita Mayu even serious injury.
We hope that the companies that represent these young adults are watching and setting up more security for them and taking these threats seriously.
As mothers we cannot imagine how the families must feel and our prayers are with Tomita tonight and we ask for all of you out there, seeing your favorite band on the street and in public to remember…. THESE ARE PEOPLE. NOT ANIMALS. You may have bought their album but they don’t owe you any more than anyone else in this world. Be respectful and most of all be safe. There is no call for this. Be responsible to yourself for your actions so that we can all enjoy the privilege of seeing these artists out in the public and making the music we love!
Hi all!! Please watch BTS’s latest MV with us. It was amazing and everything I wanted from BTS after ‘Fire’. Watch the original at Bighit.
These boys are at the top of our Bias list. We LOVE them; not like your typical ARMY but with more of an Unnie/Dongsang feel (I mean we are moms and they are barely in their 20’s) These boys are talented and we appreciate their dedication to what they do. And we find them hilarious! Seriously if you haven’t seen their show “American Hustle Life” stop what you are doing and watch it now. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDjNuPRWo3TASERIKTVQnaXc3R0hef3Wr
We hope you enjoy! We know we do! Congrats boys we love this song and M/V!
We recently did a reaction video to Seventeen. All I really knew about them is that they are a popular rookie group, the young girls are crazy for them, and there is REALLY 13 (it just looks like 17) of them in the group. I need to know more… so let’s do it together!
They are under Pledis Entertainment. I just read that Pledis is the same company that Nu’est is in… (which makes so much sense to me for some reason.)
There are 13 members in the group, not 17.
They write and help with the production of their music and make their own choreography. (awesome!)