Watch RM speak before the United Nations to urge young people around the world to ‘speak yourself,’ regardless of their skin color and their gender identity.
BTS a.k.a. Bangtan Boys proves that they’re not just a global superstar, but also a role model. The popular South Korean boyband was invited to the launch of UNICEF’s (United Nations Children’s Fund) new “Generation Unlimited” initiative at the 73rd UN General Assembly on Monday, September 24 in New York City, during which they delivered a powerful speech about self-acceptance.
RM a.k.a. Rap Monster, whose real name is Kim Nam Joon, delivered the speech on behalf of his group, promoting their “Love Myself” campaign which is aimed toward ending violence against children and teenagers. RM began his speech by talking about his upbringing in Ilsan.
“I would look up at the night sky and wonder … I used to imagine I was a superhero who could save the world,” he said, with his bandmates standing behind him. “In the intro to one of our old songs, there’s a line that says my heart stopped when I was maybe 9 or 10. Looking back, that is when I began to worry about what other people thought of me and started seeing myself through their eyes.”
“I stopped looking up at the night sky, the stars. I stopped daydreaming,” he continued. “Instead, I tried to jam myself into the other molds that other people made. Soon, I began to shut out my own voice and listen to the voice of others. No one called out my name and neither did I. My heart stopped and my eyes closed shut. Like this, I-we-all lost our names. We became like ghosts. But I had one sanctuary, and that was music.”
RM then urged young people around the world “to speak yourself.” He added, “What excites you and makes your heart beat? Tell me your story. I want to hear your voice. I want to hear your conviction. 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.”
Fans have since taken to Twitter to react to the powerful speech. “So proud of @BTS_twt! They’re not just becoming known globally for their amazing music, but they’re using their popularity for GOOD. This is why I will always stan them, they give back in the most beautiful ways. Legends only!” one commented.
Another Twitter user posted, “As mother I’m worried about the future that my girls will have to face but with the inspiration of bright young like @BTS_twt I’m sure they will achieve full success in their lives, thanks for showing that everything starts with LOVING YOURSELF.”
Some others have shared their stories and revealed how BTS and their music have helped them make it through their worst days. “It took time but BTS is the reason I decided not to end my life. BTS is the reason, I got back everything I had lost. I am now a strong, confident and happy person. I am forever grateful to BTS, I will love and cherish them all my life,” a fan wrote.
Explaining why they chose BTS to speak as goodwill ambassadors, a representative of UNICEF Korea said, “BTS’s ‘Love Myself’ campaign, which states that all [human] potential stems from loving an respecting oneself, and UNICEF’s new ‘Generation Unlimited’ agenda, which aims to uncover the unlimited potential of young people, are aimed towards the same values.”
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