An Analysis of Gender Images of Fashion Style in BTS Music Videos Using Judith Butler's Performativity Theory

버틀러의 수행성 이론으로 본 BTS 뮤직비디오 패션스타일의 젠더 이미지 분석

  • Jung, Yeonyi (Dept. Jewelry.Fashion Design, Hanyang University) ;
  • Lee, Youngjae (Dept. Jewelry.Fashion Design, Hanyang University)
  • 정연이 (한양대학교 주얼리.패션디자인학과) ;
  • 이영재 (한양대학교 주얼리.패션디자인학과)
  • Received : 2020.01.22
  • Accepted : 2020.02.17
  • Published : 2020.02.28


The music videos of BTS go beyond the limit of media promoting music and shows their meaning in various ways and complete the visual message of music through fashion style. BTS' fashion style in the music videos shows a change in symbolic representation of the genre of each album and song, of which gender images are changing aligned with the music messages of BTS. The purpose of this study was to derive gender images of fashion style in BTS music videos and to interpret their meaning based on Judith Butler's theory that performativity creates discourse through iterative process. It is conducted as a research method, an analytical study was conducted in parallel with literature studies and empirical case analysis. The scope of the study was limited to 301 costumes that appeared in 21 official music videos from debut single album '2Cool 4 Skool' released in 2013 to the mini album 'Map of the Soul: Persona' released in 2019. As a result of the analysis, the controversial fashion style, challenging fashion style, boyish fashion style, hybrid fashion style, the playful fashion style were revealed. The conclusion of studying the gender image of BTS, interpreted by this analysis using Judith Butler's theory, is as follows. The gender image of BTS is the traditional image that identifies with the dominant gender discourse, the resistive gender image that intentionally distances mainstream culture, the eclectic image parodying the gender of the opposing term, and the deconstructive image that transcends the dominant gender discourse.


  1. Ahn, S. (2019). An analysis on costume design of in Korea : Focusing on the gender performance theory (Unpublished master's thesis). Hongik University, Seoul, Korea.
  2. Berbiguier, M. (2019). K-pop fandoms interpreting k-pop differently: Focus on the BTS X UNICEF "love myself" campaign. Proceedings of K-pop Beyond BTS: Media Technology, Creative Industries And Fandom Culture (pp. 19-21). Seoul: Korean Society for Journalism and Communication Studies.
  3. Blood Sweat And Tears. (2016). Retrieved November 2, 2019, from
  4. Boy With Love. (2019). Retrieved November 17, 2019, from
  5. Butler, J. (2008). Gender trouble. (H. Cho, Tarns.). Paju: Munhak. (Original work published 1990).
  6. Cho, H. (2001). Judith Butler's gender identity theory: Focused on parody, performativity, subjection and melancholia. Feminist Studies in English Literature, 9(1), 179-207.
  7. Cho, H. (2014). 젠더는 패러디다, 주디스 버틀러의 젠더 트러블 읽기와 쓰기 [Gender is parody, Judith Butler's gender trouble reading and writing]. Seoul: Hyonamsa.
  8. Cho, H. (2016). 주디스 버틀러, 젠더 트러블 [Judith Butler, gender trouble]. Seoul: Communicationbooks.
  9. Connell, R. W. (2010). Masculinities. (S. Ahn, & M. Hyun, Trans.). Seoul: Imagine. (Original work published 1995).
  10. Danger. (2014). Retrieved November 2, 2019, from
  11. DNA Close-up Scene. (2017). Retrieved November 17, 2019, from
  12. DNA Opening Scene. (2017). Retrieved November 17, 2019, from
  13. Entwistle, J. (2013). The fashioned body. (K. Choi, Trans.). Seoul: Hansung university press. (Original work published 2000).
  14. Fire. (2016, May 11). Retrieved November 14, 2019, from
  15. Idol. (2018). Retrieved November 2, 2019, from
  16. Jo, J. (2014). Accounting for an agency without "the subject"-Focusing on Butler's concept of "performativity"-, Epoch and Philosophy, 25(4), 73-96.
  17. Kim, H. (2019). Study of gender identity and fashion design characteristics performed with persona -Focused on Judith Butler's gender performativity and Jung's archetype theory-. Journal of Communication Design, 66, 332-344.
  18. Kim, H., & Yim, E. (2015). Gender identity expression in contemporary men's fashion -Focus on Judith Butler's gender identity theory-. Journal of the Korean Society of Costume, 65(3), 47-61. doi:10.7233/jksc.2015.65.3.047
  19. Kim, J., Jekal, M., & Lee, Y. (2010). Gender characteristics in contemporary men's fashion - Focusing on the characteristics of metrosexual and ubersexual -. Journal of the Korean Society of Costume, 60(7), 1-13.
  20. Kim, K., Kim, J., & Hah, J. (2018). Analysis of gender identity expressed in perfume fashion film -Focused on Judith Butler's gender performativity theory-. Journal of Fashion Design, 18(3), 93-109. doi:10.18652/2018.18.3.6
  21. Kim, M. (2013). Aesthetics in dress, new perspectives of fashion & fashion thinking. Paju: Gyomoon Publisher.
  22. Kim, M., Kwon, Y., Song, S., Lee, Y., Choi, K., Lee, J., & Lee, M. (2014). Fashion designer & fashion icon. Seoul: Gyomoon Publisher.
  23. Kim, Y. (2018). Life trend 2019, gender neutral. Seoul: Bookie.
  24. Kim, Y. (2019). BTS: The review. Seoul: RHK.
  25. Ko, E., Kim, K., Kim, M., Kim, S., Kim, J., Kim, H., Noh. S., Moon, E., Park, M., Park, L., Park, H., Eum, H., Un, J., Lee, K. Yim, O., Yim, H., Cho, Y., Cho, H., Heo, Y., Hyun, N., & Hwang, J. (2015). 페미니즘의 개념들 [Feminism concepts]. Paju: Dongnyok.
  26. Kwon, H. (2015). Gender identity revealed in the movie Laurence Anyway -Focusing on the expression of Laurence's fashion images-. The Journal of the Korea Contents Association, 15(6), 191-202. doi:10.5392/JKCA.2015.15.06.191
  27. Lee, J. (2019). BTS, art revolution. Seoul: Parrhesia.
  28. Lee, K. (2013). Gender and transsexualism : Anthropology of changing sex, changing sex of anthropology. Cross-cultural Studies, 19(1), 5-39.
  29. Lee, M. (2003). Power and aesthetic images in men's fashion. The Research Journal of the Costume Culture, 11(2), 177-192.
  30. Mic Drop. (2017, November 24). Retrieved November 14, 2019, from
  31. Min, K. (2019, August 26). "보수적 영국사회 BTS에 깜짝 놀라...'대안적 남성상' 될 것" ["The conservative British society was surprised by BTS...It will be 'an alternative male image"]. JoongAng Daily. Retrieved October 17, 2019, from
  32. No More Dream. (2013). Retrieved November 14, 2019, from
  33. Not Today. (2013). Retrieved November 2, 2019, from
  34. Piao, M., Lee, S., & Jeong, E. (2019). The emergence of a new consumption culture of the "BTS" craze: Focusing on the discussion of Azuma Hiroki and Saito Minako, Humanities Contents, 2019(53), 115-146. doi:10.18658/humancon.2019.06.53.115
  35. Park, Y. (2019, October 24). '남녀갈등' 보도 그만, 젠더 전문성 키우는 언론사들 [Stopping reports of 'gender conflict', media outlets now looking to develop gender expertise]. PD Journal. Retrieved October 17, 2019, from
  36. Run. (2015). Retrieved November 2, 2019, from
  37. Save Me. (2016). Retrieved November 2, 2019, from
  38. Spring Day. (2017). Retrieved November 2, 2019, from
  39. Svendsen, L. (2013). Fashion: A philosophy. (S. Cho, Trans.). Seoul: MID. (Original work published 2004).
  40. We Are Bulletproof Pt.2. (2013, July 16). Retrieved November 14, 2019, from
  41. Yim, O., Shin, J., Cho, H., Lee, H., & Kim, N., (2016). 페미니스트 정신이론 분석가들 [Feminist psycho-analysts]. Seoul: The Center for Women's Culture and Theory.
  42. Young Forever. (2016). Retrieved November 2, 2019, from