On Boybands

Don't forget where you belong.

Having British friends has its perks. (When I say perks, I mean they live tweet all of the great things that are happening there that we don't get to see over here (Great British Bake Off) and I get to pretend like I am actually watching it) Another thing that was live-tweeted like crazy was X Factor. I distinctly remember seeing One Direction come up on my feed often - photos, interviews, videos, and anything else you could find. I remember tweeting this video back in 2010 and saying something along the lines of "I refuse to like this band but this is a good cover." I fully embraced the fangirl label when I loved three brothers in a band because: 

There is nothing wrong with pop music. 
There is nothing wrong with loving a band that consists of boys. 
There is nothing wrong with liking whatever the hell you want to like if you aren't hurting anyone.

So why was I so apprehensive about liking this band?

I don't know if I was trying to be cool and passé or if I just didn't have the time for another band to love, but I was pretty adamant on not getting on another bandwagon. When I started liking the Jonas Brothers, people would laugh and mock and roll their eyes, but I really didn't care. I shrugged off anyone that would laugh and I loved that band wholeheartedly regardless.

But I was once with someone that would nitpick and make fun of the things that I enjoyed, and usually it revolved around pop culture. It began quietly; I didn't really realize what they were doing until they were gone and I saw how badly I was repressing who I was to make someone else feel more comfortable and secure in the things they like. I learned how to be unapologetic; I refused to apologize or explain why I like what I like, because if it makes me happy - who cares? I am at my best when I'm able to just be the person I want to be.

So I started to get back to the real me last summer—the one that really loves bands that consists of boys that sing pop music, and then this past week I saw One Direction live for the first time. I stood beside a girl in her early teens that had glitter eyeliner and dressed like she was going to a fashion show and she was singing her heart out - and she looked so free. At one point during the song You and I, I turned and saw that she was crying while watching the show. I asked if she was okay and she said she was just super emotional and just incredibly happy. We hugged and I told her to never be afraid of crying at a show, especially when you love the band so much.

That's the kind of show I like to see. That's the kind of environment I like; where girls can freely express whatever emotion they have, and be supported. It's comforting to know that you can turn to the girls around you and feel supported, which is why I've met so many of my friends through pop music and boybands, like Danielle, who was the reason why I got to see One Direction live in the first place. All of the friendships I share with girls in the U.K started with a boyband, and now it's blossomed to something even larger. All of these bands are just the starting point to something even bigger. 

Girls are going to these shows to feel good. They fall in love with the music, they buy concert tickets months in advance, they plan everything with their friends, they travel hours, spend even more time getting ready, and get to go to a place of acceptance and love with their friends and see the band that brought them together. When Zayn decided to depart, there was a lot of people making fun of girls reactions and I hated every minute of it. To mock people that are hurting, regardless of what it is, is horrible and not needed. I may not understand everything that people go through, but I do know that it's much better to say something nice or say nothing at all.

I know that if I didn't begin liking the Jonas Brothers back when I was 15, I wouldn't have all of the friends I have now; friends that have helped me for the better, friends that know me, and friends that also don't care if you stick your nose up for liking pop music. I am not interested in being someone that has to subject the things she likes to make you feel better about whatever it is you are passionate about.

One Direction, and music in general, is important to girls - just in the same way sport teams are for their diehard fans that never miss a game on TV. Let's stop writing off a band because they may have a fanbase that is not the same fanbase that your favourite artists have, okay?

But just in case someone feels the need to comment on the things I like again:
If you need me, I'll be singing along to Through The Dark for the next 7 years.