August 17, 2013

“They call us…Directioners”

One-Direction-GQ1

My initial thought after watching the recent documentary Crazy About One Direction last night was “Simon Cowell, what have you done?!”

Back in 2010, Cowell plucked 5 fairly average teenagers away from their fairly normal lives and pumped millions into their lifestyles (and sorted their hairstyles out). The boys were put together as a group as Cowell wasn’t convinced they’d be strong enough individually. It was the year that Matt Cardle (who?) won the competition hands down, yet these 5 boys have rocketed to the top.

In roughly 3 years since the X Factor days, it is an understatement to say they have gone global. They have stormed America. They have own merchandise shops (One Direction World), global tours, and even a box office film coming out this year called This is Us. This is an alarmingly similar name to Michael Jackson’s film This Is It, but that can only be a coincidence. It is likely that even Martians know these boys names. In my eyes, if you have a cushion with your face on it, you’ve made it. And these guys have plenty.

The one very unique thing about this band is the fan base: the One-Directioners or 1D-ers or simply ‘Directioners’. First of all, we had the Caroline Flack haters who could not stand the fact that Harry Styles may or may not have a ‘close relationship’ with the 35 year old. Then, most recently, GQ decided to have 5 different front covers with each band member starring on each one. Harry’s tagline on his cover was ‘he’s up all night to get lucky’. Styles fans were NOT happy about this indication that he might be getting jiggy with girl(s). Specifically, they were upset at the suggestion that he might be a “man whore’. Cue tens of thousands angry, aggressive tweets.

After the documentary, Directioners then took to Twitter to defend their behaviour. It seemed as though the Channel 4 documentary had offended the fans, because they don’t all want to be tarred with the same brush. To them, this behaviour is not crazy (which is pretty worrying).

In a statement, the broadcaster at Channel 4 released this statement:

“Whilst not suggesting that the girls featured represent all 1D fans, it examined the impact social media has had on teenage fandom and how it has developed a new form of idol worship for many teenage girls.”

Look, I totally understand what it’s like to be obsessed with a band. We all go through it. But this seems like it has gone way too far – especially the tweets. Oh dear lord, the tweets. If you’d like a concise recap on what sort of themes crop up regularly on poor Harry Styles’ Twitter feed, please do read this BuzzFeed article by Luke Lewis. It’s one of his best.

A lot of people have been comparing this fan mayhem to the days of Take That. Or maybe even the swarming crowds at Elvis concerts? or Johnny Cash?

I’m just glad that my band ‘obsession’ was the Spice Girls, and my dedication went only as far as wearing awful platform shoes, dodgy shades of lipstick and doing the girl power ‘peace’ sign in every single photo taken during the 90’s.

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