On July 4, 1776, America gained its independence from the Motherland. The battle for America’s heart struck up again one hundred and eighty four years later when the Beatles made being British sexy again. They took our cities by storm, their tours made millions, and they inspired the most passionate hysteria American women had ever felt. The sixties and seventies belonged to the Beatles. We belonged to them. But nothing lasts forever in music and in life. Inevitably, time made its change on the music industry and on those four men as well.
Two score and four years after the reign of the Beatles, their British successors, One Direction, have hit the American teenage girl population with a vengeance plus one. This time a five-member band; Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, and the object of my dearest affections — Harry Styles, are taking the world by storm. And by storm I mean hurricane/tornado/monsoon/typhoon/whatever you want to call it, it’s huge.
One might think it’s awkward that a twenty-two year old student at an exceptional public university (me) would take the time to write about a British boy band. Lucky for me, I don’t have to hide my obsession anymore! Harry Styles, the youngest member of the band has finally turned twenty. Bonus: I can also stop pretending that I took the eleven year old kid I used to babysit to their concert in Charlotte three years ago, for her benefit alone. I screamed just as loud as she did. I regrettably did not get a cool t-shirt like hers, but I did save the ticket…and the poster…and the book.
Harry’s February 1st birthday also makes him the last of the members I am forced to describe in the “-teens” while justifying my fanaticism. My friends are laughing because I am, and have been for three years, very vocal about how much “I luuuuuuuv @HarryStyles!!!! #RT.” But the rest of the population of women in their twenties who felt inhibited by age can now wave the white flag and just say it — he’s beautiful. They all are, and they all have British accents, too. And if you can get past that, difficult though it may be, they make cool music too. Personally, I would describe it as the most fantastic sound to ever reverberate against my ear drum, but that’s just me. Even grown men find themselves enjoying their songs.
…sorry Joe, never trust a woman.
On October 3rd (Mean Girls anyone?) Harry tweeted, “1D day is coming soon. I’m quite looking forward to it I reckon.” I reckon I was looking forward to it as well because I skipped class to watch it. Remember the cat-fight scene Cady imagines between herself and Regina George? Well, that is about what it looks like in reality when Harry attempts to walk through an airport. So what is it about these five men that make young girls capable of qualifying for the Olympics? It took an embarrassing number of posters, magazines, albums, and being made fun of by the majority of my Twitter followers for me to realize it’s the thrill of the chase that has us going. They are so real it makes them so easy to love. It is an absolutely ridiculous thought, but I have sat in a room full of my friends screaming over YouTube Videos and awards shows on more than one instance. The passionate animalistic instinct that comes out when girls discuss who their favorite band member is can only be reckoned to the epic nature of an argument over Chandler, Ross, Joey, Phoebe, Monica, or Rachel. Yes, it is that serious.
I think One Direction can remind all of us college women how fun it is to be eleven years old and “obsessed” with someone we don’t even know. We were in love with those celebrities because the boys our age had cooties and just sucked in general, and they still do. Now we attempt to deal with them by pretending not to care when they break our hearts and then burning their belongings in our back yards. But what if eleven-year old me had it right? At this point in my life I am equally disgusted by all men except Harry Styles and his entourage. (You may call it Louis/Zayn/Niall/Liam’s entourage if you wish, but I stand by my man.) The point is, I don’t know them, they don’t know me, but it’s still fun for all of us. One Direction’s brand depends on the sincerity of the individuals and how genuinely goofy they are, on stage and off stage. Therefore, it’s easy to see why Harry and I have no trust issues. Watch any interview and try to argue that the boys are insincere.
What I’m really saying is don’t be so hasty to shrug off a boy band because you’re a woman in college. The Beatles were epic. Women loved them for their naughty personalities and swoon-worthy tunes. It made that decade of women happy to be obsessed with boys who made music. Only time will tell what our generation can make of a new group of good-looking men with accents, microphones and guitars. The point is we love good-looking men with accents, microphones and guitars, we always have and probably always will. Abbey Road is wide enough for five. Embrace it, it could be epic.
Oh! And Harry my darling, Happy Belated Birthday and thank you for all that you do….
P.S. As every true 1D fan-girl/woman knows, one should always “@” the entire band as a stamp of sincerity: @onedirection, @Harry_Styles, @Real_Liam_Payne, @NiallOfficial, @Louis_Tomlinson, @zaynmalik.