I promise, ladies, in ten years this photo will look just as dated as the ones above. Actually, it may look dated next week.
I am a huge fan of the Backstreet Boys, and of pop music. I have a love hate relationship with Justin Timberlake (love his music, hate his acting.) I will never be ashamed of my love for pop, especially the way it will churn out a new iteration of a decades old formula time after time after time.
I asked Maya about One Direction, and while she isn't into them, she says a ton of girls at school are. She said that they all have their favorites, and that they are very protective of their favorites, and talk of fate and destiny and marriage. Sound familiar to anyone who ever loved the Heart throb, or the Bad Boy, or even the Troll? I'm sure these lads take up a lot of ink in Tiger Beat and Bop. (Are those still published? Surely the teen glossy formula is as indestructible as the boyband formula.)
This leads me to wonder, if One Direction is a one off, or if they're the harbingers of the come back of the boy band. The traditional recording industry is hurting, and the boy band is a business model that works. There's tons of money to be made in merchandise and touring, even if most of the audience illegally downloads the music. The great thing about boy band love, though, is that it's easy to turn loyalty into actual music sales. Never was this illustrated more fully than when one record company pitted two groups of fans against each other to prove their band's superiority by parting with their cold hard cash. Does anyone else who survived the BSB/*NSync rivalry look back and feel completely duped?
Whatever happens, I know it'll be a fun ride for the girls who are fans.
P.S. If you're looking for some light reading on the subject, check out Caroline Sullivan's Bye Bye Baby: My Tragic Love Affair with The Bay City Rollers. If you've ever been a mega fan, of anyone or anything, or you just want to get inside the head of one, it's fascinating. I read it in the early 2000s and was amazed at the similarities in my experiences and hers.