Meet the BTS Auntie Army: the older women unashamedly fangirling over the boyband

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The Titas of BTS consider themselves to be the ultimate BTS fans. (PHOTO: Facebook@ Army Connect PH)
The Titas of BTS consider themselves to be the ultimate BTS fans. (PHOTO: Facebook@ Army Connect PH)

If you thought the BTS Army recruits were exclusively teens and tweens, think again!

Fans of the South Korean boyband are legion, and they include mothers and grandmothers who've nicknamed themselves the "Aunties of BTS".

The aunties, or Titas of BTS as they call themselves in their native Tagalog, started as a Facebook fan page by a group of women from the Philippines in 2020, and now has nearly 14 000 members.

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Group founder Demai Sunio-Granali (39) says her interest in BTS began during the pandemic. The band's songs, she said, conveyed a powerful message of hope, which she really needed. 

She created the fan page as a repository for any and all BTS content she and a friend could find online.

BTS, fan, facebook
Titas of BTS welcome any fan who's 27 years and older. (PHOTO: Facebook@ Titas of BTS)

“Little did we know that the safe space for fangirling that we created for Tita Armies would turn out to become this beautiful community of women virtually loving and supporting each other during this tough time through our common love for BTS,” says Demai, who works as the public relations manager of a marketing agency.   

The group only accepts members born before 1997, and consists mainly of women in their late 30s and early 40s who say they've often been shamed because of their obsession with the boyband.

Titas of BTS, Facebook, fans
Tita Alya Honasan takes a selfie with her dogs and plush toy of BTS member Jung Kook. (PHOTO: Instagram@alyahonasan )

BTS Tita member Alya Honasan (59) isn't swayed by the haters.

"The nice thing about being a BTS auntie of my age is that I don't care what people think. I'll enjoy what I want."

Their online community gives them the freedom to post anything about the members of the band, from upcoming releases and recent rumours to favourite memes, stories of how they first heard the band, and the occasional flirty selfie with the boys. 

Tita Hyung, one of the group moderators, writes, “There’s so much that people outside of this fandom don't understand. We get asked why we stan a group like BTS at our age. People say it’s laughable, absurd, childish. But in this little tribe of ours, there's no judgement, only LOVE.”

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The titas arranged a big party in a mall last year to commemorate the band's global success. They performed their favourite songs alongside fellow fans they met in Zoom get-togethers, while others posed with cardboard cutouts of the BTS members.

Titas of BTS, Facebook, fans
Fans posing with cardboard cutouts of the BTS members at the recent Titas of BTS party. (PHOTOS: Facebook @Army Connect PH)

Apart from their love for BTS, the friendships they’ve formed through their fandom is what most of these women cherish about their little community.   

"There'll come a time when BTS retires. We all know that. Like all boybands, they'll come and go," Tita Crystal Sevilla says.

"But I hope I never have to imagine life without these ladies by my side. They're the greatest gift that BTS has given to me."

Sources: Insider.com, bandwagon.asia, facebook.com

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