K-pop idols, just like us, have their own struggles to get through. Many of them have been honest about their struggles, and one thing many of them struggle with is loving themselves under the harsh spotlight pointed at them, with he world watching their every move. But here are 7 songs that put forth the message of loving and empowering yourself, no matter what.
1. “Dear Me”- Girls Generation’s Taeyeon
The most recent release on the list, Girls’ Generation‘s Taeyeon dropped “Dear Me” as the title track from her repackaged album Purpose. Taeyeon has been very open about her struggles with depression, and also announced that in 2020, she will focus on healing.
The main message of the song is to love yourself, as evidenced in the title itself, “Dear Me”. The lyrics contain sentences such as “I love myself, I trust myself”, thereby encouraging listeners and fans alike to love and trust themselves as well.
2. “Yes I Am”- MAMAMOO
Released back in 2017 as the title track to their fifth mini album Purple, “Yes I Am” is a song filled with empowering messages to their fans, and a fight-back anthem against the harsh beauty standards that chain idols down in the eyes of the public. MAMAMOO has been the centre of several “controversies”, especially, but not limited to their choices regarding clothing. But the group has made it clear several times that they’re not going to back down from being who they are, and will continue to express themselves the way they want to!
“Yes I Am” is filled with lyrics such as “If I were to describe myself, I’m a confident woman”. With this song, MAMAMOO encourages their fans to be confident, and to be happy, however they are.
3. “Answer: Love Myself”- BTS
BTS is perhaps the most well-known group that speaks about self-love and empowerment. The group themselves have been very open about their pain and suffering, and most of their songs tell their own story, which is why so many fans connect to their raw honesty and messages to love yourself.
The group has even named a trilogy series of albums after the concept of self love, titled Love Yourself: Her, Love Yourself: Tear, and Love Yourself: Answer. The song “Answer: Love Myself” is from the last album in the trilogy, and contains lyrics such as “It’s just that loving myself, doesn’t need anyone’s permission”. Through the song, BTS encourages everyone to love themselves, because even if its the hardest thing to do, it’s also, quite possibly, the simplest thing to do.
4. “Hip”- MAMAMOO
MAMAMOO have been on the road to talking about self-love and empowerment in many of their songs! Their 2019 song “Hip” from the album Reality In Black also contains messages about self-love and empowerment, and claps back at haters who constantly harass them for the choices they make in their personal lives. The song also criticizes social evils, and can honestly be the representative song for the woke queens!
5. “I Am The Best”- 2NE1
2NE1 will always be known as the original badass queens!
“I Am The Best” is the ultimate self-love anthem! A song so blatant in its professed self-love, it contains lyrics such as “I refuse to be compared, I’m telling you the truth. If we’re talking about my value, I’m a billion dollar baby”. 2NE1 tells their fans to love themselves, no matter what your value (even though you’re likely a 1000%), and to be every kind of unapologetic about it!
6. “Grow Up”- Stray Kids
Stray Kids, a rookie group that debuted in 2018, still have much to say about their struggles and ups and downs.
“Grow Up” is part of the group’s debut mini album I am NOT. With the lyrics written by 3racha (a unit comprised of Bangchan, Changbin and Han), the song’s narrative is focused on picking yourself up no matter how many times you fall down by being kind to yourself, and also focuses on the message of how the only way to ever get over anything is to go through it.
7. “Palette”- IU ft. G-Dragon
IU is another idol who has been very open about her struggles. With each song she releases, her artistry gets more and more personal, in a hauntingly beautiful way (example, “Love Poem”).
Her 2017 released song, titled “Palette”, talks about all the things she’s learned about herself through living, and at 25, she’s totally got the hang of things. The song has a feature from BIGBANG‘s G-Dragon, who, in his own way, opens up in the song about his struggles with the idea of aging. Through the song, IU and G-Dragon comfort each other about their struggles, and also comfort the listeners, by telling them that however they are, they’re “truly fine”.