|Oh, boy bands...|
Boy bands are nothing new.
When I was a teenager, I used to hang out with my friend Nicole who was OBSESSED with the Backstreet Boys. She had posters of them in her room, and we’d flop down on her bed and stare at A.J., Howie, Brian, Nick and Kevin… who all smiled down at us from their poster pictures while Nicole dreamily debated over which of them she would consider marrying. (Yeah, I know…we were silly…)
One of the newest boy bands on the scene is One Direction, a group of five guys from the U.K. whose songs like “What Makes You Beautiful,” “Gotta Be You,” and “One Thing” have helped them debut at the top of the charts, and they are touring the U.S. this year singing to crowds of screaming young teen girls.
I listened to the songs and watched the videos, and came to the conclusion that their music is kind of like cotton candy… a lot of fluff, but not a lot of substance. These types of boy bands are pre-packaged and sold to the masses for one thing: to make money. Producers know what the magic formula is, and they play into the fantasy teenage girls have about finding that special someone and falling in love. Think about it: what teen girl wouldn’t like to have a really good looking guy (with four equally good looking friends) with super cool hair look into her eyes and sing to her about how all he wants is her?
I hate to be the one to burst the bubble for the ladies, but having parented four teenage boys, I can assure you that they spend way more time thinking about food, sports, comics, food, music, video games, and food than they do thinking about the potential loves of their lives. Did I mention food? As I listened to song after song by One Direction, I noticed that almost all of their songs are about how they can't live without the girl, that they can't stand being apart from her, that she is wonderful and beautiful and she is the only thing they can think about. Unfortunately, that's not realistic.
The content of the One Direction lyrics is fairly benign, with the exception of a few subtle references to physical contact, and the hooks are catchy. The videos are simple and don’t contain the kinds of “wardrobe malfunctions” and inappropriate situations (at least in the ones I saw) that videos from other popular musicians often contain. I can’t find a lot wrong with them…but I can’t find a lot right with them, either, because everything about them, from their clothing to their hair to the songs they sing, feels fake to me.
Eventually, Nicole and I grew up. Amazingly, neither of us married any of the Backstreet Boys. Looking back, I think that when we got a little older and became more mature, we stopped being sucked into the emotional high of sappy, silly stuff like boy bands. Life became more about what is real, and not just the fantasy.
Sure, the idea of romance and good-looking boys and falling in love is cool. God designed us to fall in love with someone special, and someday that will happen for you. But for now (whether you choose to listen to One Direction or not), my advice is don’t waste your emotions on a poster. Wait for the real thing. :)