BTS Speaks at the United Nations General Assembly

Kayla Timmerman, Editor

Many celebrities underestimate the power they have as a result of their large audience. BTS, a South Korean boy band, has always wanted to change the world and make a difference. Now, five years after their debut, they have a bigger audience than they ever imagined, d are often referred to as the “the biggest boy band in the world.’ They took this amazing opportunity, and finally started to do what they always dreamed of.

On September 24th, 2018, after working with United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in an anti-violence campaign called LOVE MYSELF for almost a year, BTS gave a speech at the United Nations General Assembly. The leader of the group, Kim Namjoon, moved everyone with his words, as he connected with everyone in the audience in some way. Namjoon said, “I tried to jam myself into the other molds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and started to listen to the voices of others. No one called out my name and neither did I. My heart stopped, and my eyes closed shut. So, like this, I — we — all lost our names. We became like ghosts.” He related to many who have had similar struggles. He continued, “Even after making the decision to join BTS, there were a lot of hurdles. Some people might not believe, but most people thought we were hopeless, and sometimes I just wanted to quit.” This gave the audience an idea of the struggles he has been through and the hardships that brought him to be the person he is today.

He then changed direction of his topic, shining a more hopeful and inspirational light on his life now. He says, “Yesterday’s me is still me. Today, I am who I am with all of my faults and my mistakes… I have come to love myself for who I am, for who I was, and for who I hope to become.” He recognizes that even after everything he has been through, he knows all his hardships helped shape him as a person and gave him the life he has now. He ended his speech with a moving statement that truly allowed the audience to feel connected to what he was saying. Namjoon said, “I’d like to ask all of you: What is your name? What excites you and makes your heart beat? Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice and I want to hear your conviction. No matter who you are, where you’re from, your skin color, your gender identity—just speak yourself.” Namjoon moved everyone with this speech by connecting with every single person, no matter what makes them the person they truly are.

Giving this speech was a life changing opportunity for BTS since they have always dreamed of making an impact on the world. They took this opportunity and made it truly unforgettable, as they demonstrated the goal of the UNICEF program: to help children not live in fear because of who they are. They showed that children, and everyone else as well, are not alone in this world, no matter what their past, ethnicity, or gender is. They should not be afraid to speak for themselves. This speech is, without a doubt, memorable and incredibly moving.

* photo via Google Images under the Creative Commons license