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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SJSU chapter.

In light of the recent Big Time Rush concert I attended, I have made several discoveries about why fans (including myself) act the way that they do when in the presence of boyband members. Especially after the fact we have aged and grown up with them, why do we revert to our fangirl selves like we were back in middle school?

This does not necessarily have to do with just concerts in general, we are consumed by anything they do in the media whether it be new posts/tweets, live streams, merchandise, music, and the list. This then poses the question, what causes us to be so obsessed? Why are we continuing to feel this way even as we get older?

There is a huge stigma around how the public views the fan bases of these boy bands (mostly about women) and all of the connotations are usually negative. Critics often describe teenage girls who are fans as hysterical, and crazy, and their excitement is often viewed as unbelievable and frightening almost. 

Child psychologist Dr. Bernhard Sabel described his experience with the fans at a Beatles concert by saying, “Many of those presents became frantic, hostile, uncontrolled screaming, unrecognizable beings”. 

However, why is it deemed so wrong for women to act this way with their favorite artists but normalized for men to act in this “animalistic” behavior when it comes to things like sports?

Despite the misogynistic undertones that this entails, I still wondered why we acted this way towards boy bands. This has been going on even before our time with fan bases of boy bands like Nsync and Backstreet Boys.

I initially thought that it was about all famous male artists as a whole, but I had noticed that this behavior is more prominent in fans of boy bands.

This is because the bands are often seen as a relatively good-looking group of men that are non-threatening and very talented which catches the attention of young girls. This allows the fans to explore their sexuality and desires early as they are safe targets that they can channel their hormonal and emotional urges onto (the alternative to talking to boys in real life).

Typically, the managers of the boy bands curate roles for each member that go beyond just their looks to accommodate every type of girl that listens to them. For example in One Direction, Niall was seen as the “funny one”, Zayn the “mysterious one”  and Harry was seen more as the “leader” of the group.

As their management knew that having these specific traits for each boy would allow different fans to feel more drawn towards them, they knew that this “boy watching” and the objectification of these men in a sense would be highly profitable. 

It was seemingly easy to gain financial gain through these boy bands because their management knew that their target audience (young, teenage girls) would be more inclined to support them when presented as more conservative, like an older brother or future boyfriend figure.

Who is your favorite boy band? Let us know @HerCampusSJSU

Hi !! I'm Mikaila and I am currently a fourth year at SJSU majoring in Communication Studies. I enjoy writing as it allows me to express my thoughts and opinions and share them with others!