How MONSTA X’s Shownu Helped A Male Fan Change His Concept Of What It Means To Be A Man

The K-Pop idol redefines masculinity.

A male Reddit user explained why MONSTA X‘s Shownu is his role model and how the K-Pop idol helped him change his concept of being a man.

MONSTA X’s Shownu

The Reddit user bigolebagoftaters posted shortly after Shownu departed for his mandatory military enlistment in a MONSTA X subreddit. He titled the post, “Shownu is my role model.”

With Shownu’s recent departure for the military, I have been reflecting on how he specifically has affected me.

— bigolebagoftaters/Reddit

He explained that he had been raised in a culture of toxic masculinity. As a result, he felt weak if he didn’t meet the expectations of a stoic, unphased man.

I’m not going to beat around the bush, I was raised around a lot of toxic masculinity. I was often teased and belittled for not fitting into my peer’s notion of what a ‘man’ was. Their version of what a man was would: break other men down, act superior, and live with a high degree of stoicism. I could never get myself to behave this way, it felt so cruel and unnatural. I figured that I was just too soft, it made me feel weak.

— bigolebagoftaters/Reddit

| El Estoque

Things changed for the user when he discovered MONSTA X through Cartoon Network show We Bare Bears. The K-Pop group guested on the episode “Panda’s Birthday.”

This carried on until late last year, I was casually watching ‘We Bare Bears’ (as a manly man would) on Netflix and got my first impression of Monsta X through their cameo on the show.

— bigolebagoftaters/Reddit

MONSTA X made a lasting impression on him, even in cartoon form. So, he decided to check out their music, which he actually liked. So, like every MONBEBE (fan of MONSTA X), it led him down the rabbit hole where he learned members’ names and more about them.

Long story short, I listened to some of their music, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually liked it. I found myself wanting to know more about the members, so I watched some clips of them on YouTube.

— bigolebagoftaters/Reddit

| BuzzFeed

Shownu became his bias due to his positivity, leadership skills, kindness, etc. There’s so much to love and admire about the man.

Over time, Shownu’s positive qualities became more and more prominent. He cares about his members, his ability to lead and take care of those around him commands a certain amount of respect (notice how the members look to him for guidance and safety in difficult situations). He is not so arrogant that he won’t respect those around him even when they are lower in status or not reciprocating his manners.

— bigolebagoftaters/Reddit

The user also admired that Shownu managed to be a mature adult while still having “child-like wonder.” Characteristics such as these helped change his “concept of what it meant to be a man.” 

He is an adult, but he still allows himself some child-like wonder, rather than seeing it as immature, he recognizes it as a means to inspire and elevate those around him. It may sound dramatic, but Shownu literally changed my concept of what it meant to be a man.

— bigolebagoftaters/Reddit

Shownu as MONSTA X fan-con | @migmonstax/Twitter

Through this, bigolebagoftaters became comfortable with his own personality traits that he used to be ashamed of due to others’ ridiculing. Now, he could embrace who he really was, thanks to Shownu. So, the K-Pop idol became his role model.

He made me comfortable with some of the factors of my personality that I had been ridiculed for, and actually made me want to embrace those factors even more. Shownu has been a very good role model for me, and has helped me to understand many of the things that I have been confused about for so long now. I’m going to miss him for the next two years, but I wish him nothing but good luck and I hope he makes lots of memories and gains some good experience.

— bigolebagoftaters/Reddit

Fellow MONBEBEs were touched by bigolebagoftaters’s reflection. He responded to several comments as they were able to connect over not only MONSTA X but overcoming struggles.

| bigolebagoftaters/Reddit

Bigolebagoftaters explained more about how he became MONBEBE and Shownu became his bias.


The MONSTA X members continually inspire him. From exploring more Korean culture to redefining masculinity, they have greatly impacted his life.


His sister also considers MONSTA X role models. Their qualities are to be admired by everyone.


MONSTA X are certainly role models, redefining masculinity!

Source: r/MonstaX

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