Can we talk about this song?

How many times have you heard a feminist, female-empowering song…sung by a boy band? Not many times.

Sure, songs have come out sung by males complementing a girl and making her feel pretty and loved, but most are written in the context of a romantic relationship. And nearly all of them are still centered around the guy (i.e. “You’re beautiful because I find you attractive”).

(Not bashing other artists. Just trying to make a point.)

Now BTS comes along with a song called 21st Century Girls. From the title and the sound, I expected it to be a War of Hormone type song, going on about how mind-blowing the girls of this century are with their attractive figures and clever mind games.


I looked up the lyrics and I was floored.

This song is all about girl power. You’re amazing. You rock it. Don’t let others get you down. PERIOD.

I absolutely love it. I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear when reading the lyrics. They do mention themselves (“you’re my lady” “you’re mine”), but I see it as a symbol of BTS talking directly to their fans. This song can apply to any woman, but it is so much more meaningful when you think of it as a song BTS wrote specially for all of the girls who make up their A.R.M.Y.

You worth it, you perfect,
Deserve it, just work it.
You’re glamorous, glamorous and pretty, pretty.
You shine, you shine. You’re the truth and the reason.

If somebody curses at you,
Tell em you’re my lady, go tell them!
What are those other guys? What is this world?
You’re the best to me, just as you are.

BTS, the figurative “guy” singing the song, isn’t saying these things to flirt. “Tell em you’re my lady.” You’re already with him. This isn’t a possessive line but an encouraging one. He’s reinforcing you with the words you might not believe about yourself: that you’re worth it and you’ve always been worth it.

Don’t get cold feet.
No matter what anyone says, you’re okay. Alright!
You are strong:
You say yes or no, yes or no.

Yes, you’re going to have moments of fear. People may criticize you. Don’t worry. You’re fine. Only YOU can control you.

20th century girls:
Live your life,
Live your life, Come on, baby!

21st century girls:
You don’t mind,
You don’t mind that new lady.

Tell me that you’re strong.
Tell me you’re enough.
Let you go, let you go, let you go,
Let it go.

Sure, someone “prettier” than you may come along. Don’t worry about her. You’re strong. You’re enough. She doesn’t matter.

All my ladies, put your hands up!
21st century girls, hands up!
All my ladies, put your hands up!
Now scream!

This is my favorite part because he isn’t just encouraging you to cheer. He’s doing it right along with you. Who cares that he’s a “man.” Who cares about appearing macho and indifferent. He wants to encourage you and he’ll get up on a stage and scream like a maniac until you feel confident enough to do the same.

It’s about 21st century girls: that includes everyone. Every girl, no matter what her face looks like, her size, her nationality, her religion. Everyone.

He’s talking to you. Yes, YOU. Get up off your seat and put your hands up. YOU CAN DO THIS.

You walk by, the guys say:
“Oh yeah! What’s up with her? Who is she?”
Their spirits leave. The girls say:
“Who the hell is this one? Who is she?!”
Oh bae, don’t lower yourself.
Okay, they can’t match up to you.
You’re mine; You’re beautiful enough.
Don’t worry, don’t worry.
Baby, you’re beautiful
You, You, You.

He knows that there are people in this world who will try to bring you down. Guys who say you’re not good enough. Girls who try to pick at your self-esteem. Remember, he loves you. You don’t need to prove anything to anyone else. You’re beautiful and loved and appreciated just the way you are. The people who criticize just don’t know you.

Oh, everybody wanna love you.
Oh, everybody gonna love you.
Don’t worry about other things.
Oh, everybody wanna love you, bae.
Everybody gonna love you, bae.
You receive love, as you should.

People love you. You are so incredibly special that people can’t help but love you. They will love you, even if you can’t see that right now. They will love you, because no one is more worthy of love than YOU.


Can I just curl up into a ball of hearts and smiles? The song is so sweet. I’ve heard song after song of men encouraging women, but I haven’t felt like any of them spoke directly to me until this one. Something about it is different.

There is nothing about this song that is trying to build his ego. In no way is he trying to impress you or push his own agenda. It’s just about you and trying to make you love yourself because you are so worth loving.

I want to go to a BTS concert now just to be part of this performance. This song and performance was just the ultimate gift for their fans. It’s a perfect way to show how strong and mutual the relationship between ARMY and BTS is.

Question of the Day:

What other songs make you feel empowered?

Wanna talk K-pop? Follow me on Twitter @mystification86!


3 thoughts on “Can we talk about this song?

  1. What I like the most about this song is that it came after bighit apologises for misogyny in some bts songs. I mean, they could be like “We did nothing wrong” but they choose to show that they no longer want to be seen this way.

    A song that makes me feel empowered is I’m not yours by Jolin Tsai. Here’s a part of it:

    Hey, I wanna rule my world
    I don’t wanna be your girl
    And I just wanna be myself
    I’m not your girl

    Ps: Sorry for any English mistake, it’s not my first language.


  2. think I am the only one who gets lost. I just started listening to BTS and people keep saying how empowering this song is, but ..idk. I just think this is the kind of song you hear in the club or party and where you scream along with it.
    “Tell them you are my girl” implies what makes it worth it is because “he is my boyfriend”. It’s the girlfriend status that makes us valued, which means without him we are nothing? If he truly wants me to love myself, it doesn’t matter if I am his girlfriend or not.
    I am just wondering. Do BTS members themselves ever say that this song is about women empowerment?


What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s