Standoms Music Pop Culture

It’s been a full decade and One Direction still gives me butterflies in my stomach

Somehow, someway, One Direction turned ten this week.

Yes, ten. And, at 21 years old myself, I’m not quite sure when time managed to escape mebecause in my head I am still 13 writing fanfiction in my room, hanging up posters from Rolling Stone of the band on a beach, and having my heart literally melt because of the way that Harry Styles shakes his hair out of his eyesbut it is right now, in this moment, that I feel as if I’ve crashed headfirst into unwarranted adulthood. As if the rug has been pulled out from underneath me. Damn.

Ten years is a very, very long time. A lot can happen within a single decadein fact, a lot did happen. We’ll get to more on that later, but it is important to say first that I am starkly nostalgic of those times, which now seem to be reminiscent of the most incredible joy and comfort. It seemed as if the mind, body, and spirit of every single Directioner somehow operated on the same wavelength—and heartbeat. I always loved the idea that we all, as a collective, validated one another’s thoughts or commentary and found community in adoration. Looking back, being part of a fandom like this one was surely a bit of necessary respite in a time of awkwardness, petty teenage relationships, and deceit. 

Of course, there are other things too. For starters, it is common practice to associate things like personal style, music, cinema, and clothing to be both obvious and meaningful stakeholders of culture—which certainly helps in the case of any band or musician. Think of Michael Jackson’s moonwalk or Elton John’s sunglasses. Those are things you will never forget, or that you will even cherish. The kind of things that you can point out from a mile away. The kind of things that seem to transcend time and place—that sort through all of the randomness and bring you back to that one perfect moment or feeling. For One Direction, at least to me, it’s their silhouettes and boyish laughs. But also, it’s their evolution from shaggy hair, varsity jackets, khaki pants, suspenders, and striped T-shirts to slick black suits, skinny jeans, assortments of tattoos, and wide brim fedoras all the while maintaining a charming sense of self. 

Now, I know what you’re thinking—she’s obsessed! And, while that is a true statement, I am not just saying these things as a fangirl. Trust me, I’ve fallen in ‘love’ with my fair share of boy bands (insert the Jonas Brothers, 5 Seconds of Summer, and Big Time Rush here) but nobody, and I mean nobody, compares to One Direction. So, although this might seem like a stretch for most people, One Direction defined a generation. And, they defined it in a way that moved way beyond the capabilities and limitations of music.

There is no denying the enormity of the impact and that One Direction had, whether you are a fan or not. It is clear as day. 

However, it is quite important to note that their career as a band was not always a linear feat. As most people know, they weren’t always a band. Harry Styles, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson each started off as solo artists, all under 25 years old, on the X-Factor UK. On July 23, 2010 Simon Cowell, the notorious judge of the talent competition, pulled the 5 boys together and gave them the chance of a lifetime. By the time they rounded out the competition, One Direction wound up in third place and backed by Cowell’s record label, Syco. Right off the bat their first singles as a band toppled charts across every single continent. Quite literally, their Na na na‘s could be heard world-wide, which is nothing short of a testament to the stardom that they soon would face. Not to mention the frenzy of fans, media, and paparazzi that quickly surrounded the boys which in hindsight seems like an all-encompassing storm. It was a non-stop cycle of album making, global touring, countless 24-hour long live-streams and video diaries commemorating their relationship with fans, along with goofy realness that made them immensely crush-worthy. 

Fast-forwarding a bit, One Direction managed to accomplish a ton while in the limelight. In 2011, the band’s debut album Up All Night shot to #1 overnight and stayed there, making them the first UK group to peak at #1 in the US with a debut album. In addition, they were the first group to debut at #1 with their first four albums in the US: Up all Night, Take Me Home, Midnight Memories, and Four. In 2012, the band performed at the Olympics closing ceremony in London. By 2013, the group produced and released two concert documentaries titled One Direction: This Is Us and One Direction: Where We Are. In 2014, Billboard announced One Direction Artist of the Year. Altogether, the band has sold more than 70 million records worldwide. In addition, they’ve taken home 16 MTV awards, 154 awards in other isolated categories, and have been nominated for 317 awards in total. Plus, they have sold over 8,287,195 tickets on their tours.

On March 25, 2015 Zayn Malik, 22 years old at the time, left the band during the One The Road Again tour citing a need for normalcy and some time out of the spotlight. Speculations have risen since then about the real reason behind his leaving the band, including episodes of discrimination based on his religion and music style. The other boys continued on and produced the Made in the A.M. album that same year. The band never toured with this album and announced that they too would be going on a hiatus in January of 2016. All 5 members have gone on to maintain remarkable solo careers while holding on tight to their roots in One Direction. The most successful being Harry Styles, an undeniable international heartthrob and sensation.

So far, there has been no serious mention of a reunion in the near future, but hey, miracles do happen! Based on their social media presence on the day of their 10 year anniversary, the boys seem as amicable, genuine, and grateful as they were a decade ago.

Within their record-breaking career before entering a hiatus, the quintet managed to reaffirm what a boy band means all the while establishing their unique and notable brand. These are heavy, even monumental, footsteps to fill.

So, no, One Direction is not just a measly boy band. At incredibly young ages, they were thrust into a world of not so subtle adoration and managed to produce worthwhile music for a loyal, dedicated, fanbase. They changed my life in the best way. Let’s give credit where credit is due and grant them the celebration that they so desperately deserve.

Happy 10 Years of One Direction! 


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You literally can’t even and that’s totally okay

I’m not gonna lie, I’ve said “I can’t even” more than a few times. I’ve also made a lot of fun of the white girl culture of literally not being able to at all – but I’m starting to wonder if maybe I was being a bit harsh. I know everyone ruined this for us in the last year or two, but I’ve shortened it to “Can’t,” and I am 100% confident it’s an acceptable expression of your state of being because we are bombarded with so much bullshit thanks to our world being extra connected via social media that it’s okay to not have any time or energy to break it down for idiots.

[bctt tweet=”I’ve shortened it to ‘Can’t,’ and I am 100% confident it’s an acceptable expression of your state of being.”]

thank you, Ru

I think it’s fine, and totally acceptable to canNOT in certain situations. What’s more, can’t evening isn’t the first time in the world, or even in English, when we were trying to express this same sentiment.

[bctt tweet=”your bullshit, world, is not just one mountain, it’s a whole series of them”]

Does anybody remember having to talk to peoples’ hands? That’s because they couldn’t with you. It was a gestured stop sign because you were being so obtuse that they were unable to discern where to begin explaining things for you – and guess what, they don’t have the time and they don’t owe it to you either. Given the actual mountain ranges (yes, your bullshit, world, is not just one mountain, it’s a whole series of them), I’m going to check myself and my snark machine and give people a pass every once in a while when I see they are not capable. At that rate it’s not just semantically interesting that one word can express a complicated blend of emotions ranging from apathy to irritation to rage, it might actually be lifesaving.

omg i will stupefy you so fast

[bctt tweet=”you’ll probably find yourself running out of fucks to give by 9am”] 

If you have a computer or leave your house, or basically have any contact with humanity, you’ll probably find yourself running out of fucks to give by 9am. It piles up that fast. Here are some of the things I couldn’t with in the last few days:

1. The Donald

this guy. he’s like the shitty uncle you can’t get rid of.

It’s not just you, buddy, it’s mostly your followers. What’s so irritating about this charlatan is that he’s a classic swindler – just a shark in a suit trying to sell some shit to you. The fact that a) PEOPLE ACTUALLY ARE GLEEFUL ABOUT HIS IDEAS and b) THE SAME PEOPLE CAN’T UNDERSTAND THAT HE’S JUST CONNING THEM AND CASHING IN ON THEIR BIGOTRY. I can’t with this all the livelong day.

2. Daaaaawkinssss

oh man, where to start with you, doc?

Once again, we have a situation where it’s not primarily the leader but his followers who peeve me so grievously. There isn’t enough time in the known universe to explain to all the new atheist crew that they can’t be scholars of Islam after a 12 second Google search. There isn’t enough time to explain to them that you can’t be a misogynist and a humanist – those two things are mutually exclusive. Also they wouldn’t listen to me anyway because I don’t have a penis. Can’t.

3. MRAs

tell me more. but wait until i’ve driven this railroad spike into my ear, k?

Enough said.

4. Anti-Choice whackos

i don’t even have the spoons (p.s. that woman is a hero)

I try to keep in mind that anti-choice activists are probably not all that brilliant since they don’t seem to understand simple medical science and in fact, I’m pretty sure anti-choice activism can lead to some kind of trauma-related psychosis as the result of being constantly hateful, but few things make my blood boil more than watching them throw their tantrums at individuals who are simply trying to exercise their bodily autonomy.

5. ‘muh guns!’

in case you missed it, things did not end well

Overnight legal prodigies who take to social media the day after a school shooting to explain why gun control will never work. But please don’t stop there, guys! Okay sure Carly, we’ll also go ahead and mock people for even suggesting that any modifications to our gun policies would help at all. And then we’ll forget to spare a moment between our self-righteousness and our fear that it might be slightly more difficult to obtain and own inanimate objects that are specifically designed to kill to remember that some people lost their kids to violence yesterday.

6. Voluble Haters

short answer is ‘yes’

White people who complain about Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, or any celebrity of color who doesn’t live up to their expectations of what a person of color living in the spotlight should exemplify. There are soooo many things to deconstruct that, whoops, would you look at that? I simply can NOT. You’re mediocre. They’re not. Get over it.

can’t all day 2k16

If you hear me saying “Can’t” to you and you feel all bent out of shape about it, just try and be thankful that I decided to say that instead of slapping your face. Think positive!

I certainly do.