For my Culture and Society module, we were asked to watch Crazy about One Direction, a documentary which showed how obsessive fans are around the X-Factor boy band. (1D = One Direction, if that wasn’t already clear).
Firstly I’d like to start by saying ‘crazy‘ is an unfair word to use. I’m crazy about Fleetwood Mac and Royal Blood, I’m crazy about Game of Thrones (maybe not to the same extent as some of the 1D fans). It would be fair to say that typical 1D fans are fanatical, which is where the word fan comes from, to ‘be’ fanatical.
Secondly, this is not the first time history has seen a British boy band rule the pop world. Obviously I’m making reference to The Beetles of the 1960’s. The only difference between 1D and The Beetles is that the latter had no way of connecting with their fans on a very personal level. This leads me on to my next point.
One Direction had of course been made famous by Simon Cowell and his X-Factor money making machine. But it was Twitter that transformed the boy band into one of the fastest selling bands of all time. Twitter offered fans of the band a way of connecting with its members. Its like being able to watch what the band are or was doing and offering a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the boy’s lives which allowed fans to get to know them on a much more personal level, essentially removing the ‘celeb’ barrier most artists have. It also gave fans ludicrous hopes of actually meeting the band. For example, 1D could tweet: “Staying in Glasgow, were knackered” and the next day the hotel they’re staying at would be swarmed by adolescent girls. Girls who fight over who loves Harry Styles more. Twitter has also helped fans of the band get extremely near their idols.
“I was outside your room while you were asleep, Zayn”.
I’ll let you think about the above statement a fan had said.
I’ll honestly say I don’t think One Direction is a good influence for young girls. I can understand an obsession with the band in 10 or 11 year old girls, but 16, 17, 18? If these girls are looking to escape from reality for a while, why not read a book and join the Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings fandoms?
Obviously a lot of this is down to what your friends like: If my friends don’t like Taylor Swift, well then I don’t like Taylor Swift either. Because when your that young (12- 18), your friends are usually your life.
The featured image was taken by John Wright.