The Jonas Brothers Have Reunited--And I Feel Old

*Warning: By the end of this article you will probably feel like you’ve aged 50 years.

 

I would just like to speak on behalf of 12-year-old me and say I KNEW IT!!! Like any other die-hard fan would be, when the Jonas Brothers announced their break up, I was crushed. Then again, I was crushed when I found out Zayn left One Direction, and when One Direction broke up, and when Justin Bieber got married to Hailey Baldwin–––sorry Bieber!* I’d be lying if I said part of my tween self didn’t wish upon a star that the Jo Bros would get back together and that maybe Nick and I would fall in love and get married, but anyone who has a celebrity crush has felt that way before, right? (Just nod along to make me feel better about myself.)

 

I’m sure as everyone (hopefully) knows by now, the Jonas Brothers are back! Not only are they back with their debut single “Sucker”, but they made a killer music video featuring their incredible wives and fiance, and James Corden had them on his show for a full week with a throwback Carpool Karaoke video that I’m pretty sure broke the internet. In the meantime, my roommate and I have been listening to their classic hits, “S.O.S”, “Burnin’ Up”, “Love Bug” and the other day the cafe at school started playing a playlist full of Disney Channel throwback music, so I guess you can call this a celebration among the whole generation!

 

The real reason I chose to write about this reunification isn’t that I love flaunting around the fangirl side of me (I have a reputation to keep!). It’s really because of a Skype conversation I had with my little cousins last week. My 11-year old cousin Sashi and 13-year-old cousin Kiki (I love you both so much please don’t hate me for writing about you both) are at the forefront of their awkward tween years (yup you know the ones I’m talking about). We were talking about everything from the latest popcorn flavor their dad was sending me (yes, my uncle owns a popcorn company), whether guacamole counts as a vegetable (it totally does), and of course, they were asking me when I was coming to visit. As you can probably assume, the call had many periods of awkward silences and tweeny giggles that made me feel like I was 12 with braces and bad B.O. all over again (#glo-up). So naturally, I blurted out, “Did you guys hear the Jonas Brothers are back together?” and like they were programmed, my two baby cousins responded, “Who’s that?”

 

Let’s just say until that moment, I had never felt older.

 

I would like to blame myself partially for this happening. I clearly have not done my job well enough as the older (cooler) cousin if my own blood doesn’t even know who the Jonas Brothers are. In their defense, Sash and Kiki were born and raised in Olomouc, Czech Republic (just for you though, Kiki, I’ll call it Czechia). But as soon as I saw the confusion in their faces I was like, “The Jonas Brothers, you know, Camp Rock”... still nothing. After forgiving them and moving on to other topics and later hanging up the phone, I thought, “Damn, Cec, are you really that old?”

 

And so this article came to be.

 

I guess in more ways than not I feel bad for younger generations. They will never know what it was like waking up on Saturday mornings to Hannah Montana, and in a way, they will never know what it truly means to have “the best of both worlds.” They will only know Miley as the foam finger singer who has tattoos and is now married to Liam Hemsworth. Remember when the biggest thing in TigerBeat magazine was that she dated and broke up with Nick Jonas? (“7 Things I Hate About You” anyone?)

 

Miley’s not the only one who’s all grown up. Nick Jonas is an underwear model and recently married one of my idols, actress Priyanka Chopra. Joe is engaged to actress Sophie Turner, and Kevin has been married for 10 years and had not one but two children! (Pausing for a much needed time to flip out). One day you wake up and curly-headed Nick is no longer singing “Introducing Me,” Joe isn’t dating Demi Lovato or Taylor Swift nor is he in DNCE anymore--he’s a grown up. And Kevin, well we still have yet to hear a solo from Kevin, but he is officially a “dad in a band.”

 

As for other Disney stars, Demi Lovato is anything but Michie in Camp Rock. She is a master at jujitsu, a mom to two adorable dogs, she’s releasing her best music to date, and speaking at conferences raising awareness for mental health and bullying. Selena Gomez, although struggling with real-life illnesses, has turned from magical wizard Alex Russo to a musical wizard, acting with Paul Rudd (Friends fans anyone?) in 2016 film Fundamentals of Caring. Don’t even get me started on the Sprouse twins having graduated from college already. Cody–––I mean Cole* is now Jughead Jones in a T.V. show adaption of a comic book my Grandpa used to read when he was young, and Dylan brews his own beer in Brooklyn. Our favorite, Zac Efron, now has his name in the headlines for taking on the role as American serial killer Ted Bundy in Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, when we all know his best role will always be as dreamboat Troy Bolton in High School Musical. (Am I right, or am I right?)

 

Eventually, we all have to grow up. You just never expect your childhood celebrity crushes to marry the most beautiful woman in the world and go off to college, too. When you’re graduating high school and starting college yourself, you realize how special it is for fans to grow up with their idols, to experience real life obligations and challenges together; it makes the memories so much more meaningful. One of my favorite parts of my childhood was singing along to the Wizards of Waverly Place theme song, and staying up late enough to watch Nick at Night so I could watch Zoe 101, That’s So Raven and Drake and Josh (Josh is also a father!). But the childhood we had is what keeps us forever young. You’re never too old to sing along to Jonas Brothers’ “When You Look Me In the Eyes” or Hannah Montana’s “Life’s What You Make It.” It’s sad that younger generations will never know how happy we got to see our favorite Disney stars introduce the channel with their sparkly wands, or when Disney Channel had the clock in the corner of the screen counting down to the next Original Movie or the Halloween special.

 

It’s crazy to know that no matter how much I geek out to my cousins about the Jonas Brothers, they will never fully get my excitement. But I know how happy that “era” made me, and I know how awesome it feels to scream “Breakin’ Free” at the top of my lungs, especially today (and I’m 21). I know that my parents have probably had moments like these when they were my age. And while it may not feel like it, a part of me also knows that my cousins will have this experience, too. Maybe that’s why it’s so important to me that my cousins know the stuff I grew up listening to and watching on T.V., because at the end of the day it was goofy teenagers like Nick Jonas who set my standards so high and the cast from High School Musical who made me believe, “We’re All In This Together.”