It has been such a week. Zayn Malik left One Direction and some girl’s reactions to this (non) earth-shattering piece of news were the most over the top thing I’d seen since the last time I caught a glimpse of Perez Hilton (who overreacts about everything on an hourly basis).
I mean, I know teenagehood is a very hormonal and crazy time but, come on! The wails I saw on the net were hilarious at first, and then it all turned rather creepy. So one not very talented guy left a not very talented band – get over it! I can forgive a few tears because you’re young and don’t know any better and – overreacting is what you’re supposed to do at your age – but the sheer hysteria of some of the responses was ridiculous.
Would these girls react as strongly if they lost…..say, a grandmother? Or a puppy? Would they? Because I really don’t know if they would, and this tells me there’s something really wrong with the world.
Gosh, when I was a teenager I cried when a beloved character died in a book or a film. I remember that after reading “Jean De Florette”, my eyes were red and raw and I couldn’t speak to anyone for hours. Sure, I listened to boy bands too, I was pretty much normal in that regard. I had a couple of posters on my bedroom wall and lusted after some of the “hot” guys, but mainly I was aware even then that boy bands were “disposable”. You didn’t have to tell me that hardly any of those boys could sing and that they all had a different look to be sure to cater for every single girl out there. Basically, boy bands were assembled to tap into the hormonal teenager’s psyche and make a shitload of money in the process. I knew all this and didn’t care – they had some killer pop songs – and I was an hormonal teenager myself…..so I probably took it all a bit too seriously, but nothing that would even register on any scales compared to what I’ve seen this week.
I guess I got into boy bands rather late though, teenagers these days are so much more precocious than we were. And maybe that’s part of the problem, maybe that’s why an 11 year-old girl thinks about killing herself when a member of her favourite band leaves – because she’s just too young to handle feelings of that intensity. But then, the feelings shouldn’t be so intense in the first place. I don’t remember any of my boy bands imploding or anyone leaving in a great deal of publicity – but I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t have gone down on my knees and wailed to the heavens if it’d happened.
And that’s because I had other things besides boy bands to be passionate about – like books, films, writing, actual “real” music, etc….. I can’t help but think that the “woe is me” craziness is to do with the lack of anything else in those girl’s lives and I think that’s really sad.
To the thousands of teenagers who sighed, got upset and shed a few tears when they heard of Zayn’s departure, I kinda feel for you – but you and I both know you’ll get over it in a couple of days.
To the others, the hundreds of girls who started beating their chest in despair, pulling their hair out (I genuinely saw this – scary as fuck), howling like wolves at the full moon…..I want to go and find your parents and tell them to make more of an effort with you: to make sure you are encouraged to go to a museum just once, that you are told stories about Poseidon and Zeus, dragons and witches……and everything, taken for a walk in a forest full of old and awesome trees, pushed to get your fingers dirty with flour and chocolate in a kitchen for a fun baking session…..etc…….just so you can get a little perspective – and be fully-rounded individuals whose entire worlds don’t come crashing down when one guy in a band decides to walk.
Jeez, there is SO much more to life than One Direction and the Kardashians – it pains me that some people, teenagers and adults alike, don’t seem to be aware of it.