One Direction have gained a remarkable status and have long been considered an undeniable success thanks to an ever-growing and fiercely dedicated fan base. The hysteria surrounding the boy band phenomenon is nothing new, and all-male music groups have been gathering fans and making teenage girls scream with surprising regularity since the early 1960s. Yet, there has been a powerful resistance among many listeners to acknowledge the music of these boy bands as being genuine and worthwhile.
There are some people who refuse to accept One Direction as worthy of these triumphs because of the stigma against their fan bases, which consist primarily of adolescent girls. Women, and most specifically girls, are the cornerstone demographic for much of today’s popular culture. Not only do bands like One Direction attract adolescents and screaming young girls, they also seem to draw in the older crowd.
PPcorn shared the news that a 47-year-old woman spent over £350 to have body art, similar to the one that One Direction’s Harry Styles has on his chest. Another fan, again obsessed with Harry Styles, had Harry’s whole face tattooed on her arm.
Why do Harry Styles’ tattoos look like a page out of my 10 year old self’s journal? pic.twitter.com/X69wStYUaK
— sierra (@sienicburke) March 23, 2016
And with female fans residing in every corner of the globe, it is no shock that there are depraved people who take advantage of the band’s popularity. The Mirror reported that a pedophile posed himself as One Direction’s Liam Payne on an internet chat room and managed to convince one victim to send her naked photos of herself to him.
Associating adolescent girls with the boy band phenomenon has not only degraded the culture in the music industry but it has also replaced the bands’ musical talent with their marketable sexual value. The music industry is full of diverse individuals and sounds, and it is good to respect the art that any band puts into its music. Those who criticize often tend to overlook some of the important work these bands have done with respect to tackling social issues. For example, One Direction is asking fans to get serious and speak up about the world’s ongoing issues like extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change.
In a new campaign called Action1D, the band’s official website has made it possible for people to upload videos highlighting the social problems they face and to describe the ideal world that they would like to live in.
The campaign has a received huge support from various political quarters, including the United Nations and 2016 US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. And One Direction is not the first boy band to participate in public awareness campaigns. Earlier, Taken, the Irish Boy Band, visited schools to address female students on issues like e-safety and cyberbullying. Another group, Eli Prime, spoke to high school girls highlighting the damaging effects of alcohol, drugs, and smoking. This just shows that boy bands can deliver powerful social messages in a fun, engaging way.
And it seems that the members of One Direction are keen to try their hands at something creative other than music. A.V. Club has reported that director Christopher Nolan has taken an unconventional decision to cast Harry Styles in Dunkirk, a film that will tell the story of the British military’s evacuation of the eponymous French city in the ’40s.
This might be the chance for Harry’s fans to prove that they love him not only for his looks but also for his talent and devotion toward the field of arts. It is also an opportunity for the One Direction heartthrob to drive across the point that boy bands are much more than sweet lyrics and addictive melodies.
[Photo by Kevin Winter / Getty Images]