“Find love in myself, embrace people and society in a larger sense with love.” BTS
This simple but powerful message has inspired millions across the world. Among them are Amber, Aida and Jahnavi, three teenagers who participated in I PURPLE ME, a youth-led project collecting the stories of how young people around the world improved their self-esteem and confidence thanks to UNICEF's and BTS's Love Myself campaign, which has generated almost five million tweets and more than 50 million engagements since it was launched in 2017.
“We started LOVE MYSELF as a way to reach young people and help improve their lives and rights,” said BTS. “During the process, we also strove to “LOVE MYSELF” ourselves, and we as a team and as individuals grew as well. We hope that many people felt how the love received from others can become the power that allows them to love themselves."
Learn more about how this campaign has impacted people around the world and check out the stories from three girls in Canada, Russia and India who asked themselves the same question: “What if I learned to love myself?".
I PURPLE ME 💜
The I Purple Me Project was created in response to the original #BTSLoveMyself campaign with UNICEF and BTS.
It’s a photo-documentary project aiming to share ARMY stories, help ARMYs in their self-love journey and show BTS's positive impact on their fans all over the world.
Watch this video to learn more about the project:
💜 AMBER, 16, CANADA
"In the past, I've always had a hard time with coming to love myself as a young child. I've always had self-esteem issues and no matter how hard I seem to work on them I could just never fix them. When the Love Myself campaign came out, I heard the beautiful speech that Namjoon had given at the United Nations, and it truly made a thought appear in my head - I thought to myself "what if I learned to love myself?"
Youth is hard. Existing is hard. But you are not alone and you must never feel alone. Your voice is important and you must raise it though it may be really hard when you're traversing the dark tunnel.
The fact that there's a stigma around mental health in general is incredibly crushing because everyone at some point will struggle with mental health no matter the reason. Not everybody can live their life in a perfect way that is out of a movie. Everyone has their own struggles and difficulties, and it should be normalized to seek help when those difficulties become too big for us to handle."
💜 JAHNAVI, 18, INDIA
"Being proud of who I am and not ashamed of how someone else looks at me was a major step that I was able to take thanks to the Love Myself campaign. Having flaws doesn’t make me weak: I started embracing them and working on them, rather than feeling insecure about them. It’s not just the campaign that helped me but BTS as a whole played a major role in my life, which helped me gain confidence in myself.
Never lose hope. Believe in yourself and keep going. It is easy to ask people not to think about things that bother them but it is not as easy to do so. Try to entertain yourself and engage in things that make you happy. You deserve your own love more than anyone.
Most importantly, mental illness is not a weakness and it is very common for most people to face mental issues at some point in their lifetime. Individuals suffering from mental illness are shunned, and made voiceless due to the criticism they face in their day to day lives. So breaking the stigma around it would help people brace themselves with confidence and lead a stable and happy life."
💜 AIDA, 16, RUSSIA
"It’s hard to find support while going through bad days. But I did. And my support system was BTS. I can say a lot of grateful things about them, because they literally heal me everyday. I’m so thankful for the Love Myself campaign with UNICEF: they did such a great job together.
After this campaign, I thought for the first time: “Wow, I’m unique”. I’m so lucky that I became an ARMY in 2016.
I know that thousands of people are having rough times, especially now. Drawbacks such as stigma and discrimination against someone are really bad. But I promise it’ll get better soon. Feel free to take a nap, eat your favorite cupcake, or do whatever you want. Remember that you are important!"