Any self-aware k-pop stan can admit: while fandom’s super fun, it can also be super toxic, particularly for people of color. But this weekend Twitter was treated to a wonderful movement all about loving the amazing black fans that help keep k-pop kings BTS going strong.
The project was originated by Elismarie Ortiz, a 15-year-old fan from Florida, who decided to launch the hashtag when her friend received racist anonymous messages.
“She had a lot of negative thoughts about herself when she saw them,” Ortiz told Buzzfeed. “I wanted to do something to change this. I wanted this to be an impactful project and hopefully start a change in this fandom so that more Armies could speak out against racism.”
And thus, the #blackarmybeauty hasthag was born.
The hashtag we will be using is #blackarmybeauty.
If you want to support our Black Armies please change your profile pictures to this flower. This is a Protea King, it means diversity and courage. The half filter on the flower symbolizes our unity.
Spread Love & Positivity♡ pic.twitter.com/5Bwh8d1lun
— Elis ♡ (@btspopoutsold) April 27, 2018
Ortiz invited her fellow BTS stans to show their support for black ARMYs by changing their profile picture to an image of the Protea King, South Africa’s national flower. Black ARMYs were encouraged to post selfies and share their experiences. Other fans could use the hashtag to tweet them love.
This is wholesome k-pop content I signed up for. It was so pure! So lovely! The hashtag blew up, giving fans around the world a glimpse at the diversity and beauty of the BTS fandom.
People tweeted about their accomplishments:
— Chayla | Saw IW 🙁 (@taesgvccibelt) April 27, 2018
The quoted highly relevant BTS lyrics:
— Who got neo’s back? (@Tens_Titty) April 28, 2018
They broke out of their shells:
They shared their love of Bangtan:
— ❢ IMANI ❢ (@darkskinmani) April 27, 2018
They inspired with words from BTS themselves:
They made compelling calls to action:
— namu (@rmsoIos) April 27, 2018
And they urged others to fight for love over hate:
I love this message this is sending out in the midst of all the hate I see on my tl
Please spread love and positivity to everyone, it is needed especially in a world where hate is so easily overlooked in order to avoid conflict
Love Others pic.twitter.com/NTnsoSQ2nZ
— 〚Cristina〛 (@nochuukookie) April 27, 2018
And some were honestly just style #goals:
We stan these stans.
Overall, #blackarmybeauty was an awesome tribute to the diversity of the fandom and expression of the love that brings us all together! Hopefully this’ll inspire similar projects in the future.