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One Direction & Other Boy Bands

One Direction & Other Boy Bands

“I don’t know what it is, but I need that one thing. You’ve got that one thing.”_One Direction

First I’ll confess I’ve been listening to nothing but Four for the past two weeks because I love that album so much I can’t even. FACT: Harry Styles is such an effing rock star, period. EVERYTHING. His hella good hair, his dimples, his clothes, his voice. How he’s an adorable, kind person! The Haylor that was (and hopefully will be!) And Zayn is Zayn. Zayn has such a pretty voice and literally looks like an angel sent down from Heaven to remind us of the beauty in this world, when we forget. Look, if I’d had a kid when I was 13 or 14 or 15, I guess the One Direction boys could be young enough to be my sons, but I didn’t.

And they’re all in their early twenties now. And I promise I’m not being creepy about them although I can’t promise I won’t be writing another thing about Harry Styles’ rockstar-ishness and gorgeous hair soon. But for now I’m gonna talk about the band as a whole. As One. As ONE DIRECTION.

I JUST LOVE BOY BANDS. I actually love all of the 1D boys although Harry and Zayn are my favorites. The band needs all of them! All of their voices, all of their cute little rowboat dances, all of their perfect little outfits. They’re funny, they make me laugh and I legit love everysingle 1D song I’ve ever heard. If you don’t get it, that’s okay. But if you get it….I KNOW RIGHT?!?

LOOK at this video for BEST SONG EVER.


We were snowed in recently for about a week and then, a couple weeks later, another week. For whatever reason (because we are smart and love good things!), my family started watching this video every night. At least once. Usually twice or three times. (Okay, five.) We have to watch it over and over again because we have to focus on one boy at a time, usually. So we have to watch the whole thing once and watch Liam the whole time. And then we have to watch it again and watch Harry the whole time. At the end, Louis is my favorite dancer. I’ve watched them all and Louis is still my favorite. I do love Zayn’s arms up and crossing at the end. And Niall’s cheerleader face. Harry is my fave when he turns to the side and opens his mouth and smiles and does the hand motions.

AND the video for STEAL MY GIRL.


Zayn in the fake-rain doing his R+B runs and hitting the high notes. Harry in his animal-print coat and sunglasses leaning forward singing everybody wants to steal my girl, everybody wants to take her heart away. Louis hanging out with a sunglasses-wearing chimpanzee in the desert. And balloons! Multi-colored balloons against the blue sky and brown of the desert!

AND the video for YOU & I when they all keep turning into one another. Oh I love this song. And that grey sweater.

AND the video for KISS YOU when they’re all Jailhouse Rock and how Zayn kisses Harry at the end.

AND the video for NIGHT CHANGES when we go on dates with all of them and then everything takes a turn.

I love Harry’s voice in this song (and always) and would buy his solo album at midnight the day it came out. I’m here for Harry Styles. Here for Harry, here for Zayn and how he’s adorably shy and how he hates to dance. Here for Liam “Daddy Direction” Payne. Here for Niall’s Irish accent. Here for Louis’ tiny, sweet voice. I LOVE ONE DIRECTION. I JUST LOVE BOY BANDS.

They’re comforting to me. I used to go to NSYNC concerts. I have more than twenty VHS tapes in the garage of NSYNC interviews/concerts/anything because there was no YouTube back then. I have a Justin Timberlake doll I’ve never taken out of the box.

As far as Backstreet Boys vs. NSYNC? “I Want It That Way” by BSB is my favorite boy band song ever. But NSYNC had Justin Timberlake. So favorite, naturally. BUT ONE DIRECTION IS MY FAVORITE BOY BAND EVER. And I (even) like 98 Degrees and that song by BBMak and “Back For Good” by Take That and all of the New Edition and Boyz II Men and NKOTB songs I grew up listening to and the posters I put all over my walls and my little pink NKOTB sweatshirt. Jordan was my favorite. And I had a Jodeci poster on my bedroom door when I was in middle school.

I like that the 1D boys don’t do a lot of choreographed dance moves even though I did love watching NSYNC dance. I like that the 1D boys are different. I like that they have pop-y songs and I like that they have classic rock/rock sounding songs too. I like that it doesn’t seem like they’re pressured to have the classic bad boy/shy one/silly one thing that a lot of boy bands tend to have, although I’m sure many would argue me on that. Sure Niall is silly and Zayn is shy but it also seems like they’re a bit more allowed to be who they are than other boy bands were back in the day. 1D wears regular clothes and not like, matching outfits. Harry wears his skinny jeans and white shirts and Chelsea boots (he’s got that James Dean daydream look in his eye/long hair slicked back, white t-shirt.) This Harry Styles OOTD Tumblr exists. And The Stylish Harry Styles. Bless them. I love reading everything about their style.

Several of the boys have lots (lots!) of tattoos. They all seem cool enough to get their hair cut/styled by someone else everyday. The hair! The hella good hair! It’s like when I went to see Twilight at midnight and every girl in there screamed at Robert Pattinson when he finally showed up and I’m guessing 99% of those screams were about his hair because his beautiful hair was as much a star of that movie as he was.

At the American Music Awards a perfectly gorgeous black wispy-slip of Zayn’s hair comma-ed across his forehead and Twitter lit up all cray about it. One. Little. Wispy-slip. One girl tweeted she wanted to strangle herself to death with it and I get it. Fangirls get it. Zayn’s hair. Fangirls do NOT play around. Check out this VERY detailed resource list re: Larry Stylinson (the couple name given to Louis/Harry by people who ship them/believe they are secretly or not-secretly dating). Every look, every touch…analyzed to death. I have an opinion on this but I will not write it here. However, I will tell you that I’ve been known to be half-asleep and blurt out One Direction feels…asking my husband if he thinks this means that or that means this. (And he loves it because you guys, he loves One Direction too.)

Point is, I just love them no matter what. Forever and period. And there’s something to be said here about what’s for the fans and what’s for them only and there’s something to be said here for dudes being able to show lots of affection to one another without people immediately questioning their sexuality and there’s something to be said here about how sexuality is and can be a private thing and even when someone is “famous” they still have a right to privacy and there’s something to be said here about how comforting it is when a touchy-feely person finds another touch-feely person. I love the way the boys interact with one another because I find everything they do to be adorable. Every hug, every touch, every cute thing = seismic for a fangirl. CUTE AS A BUTTON EVERYSINGLEONE OF THEM.


Harry wears headbands and scarves and hats. Taylor Swift wrote songs about his shirts and necklaces and hair. When Harry’s hair is long, he has it up in that glorious man bun. (I’m a big fan of the man bun. The man bun gives me life.) How Harry holds his microphone, how Zayn touches his tummy when he sings. Also their jewelry and sunglasses! EVERYTHING. I love their documentary This Is Us. Also EVERYTHING.

Loving boy bands is one of those things you either get or you don’t and that’s okay. Me? I used to write NSYNC fanfic so yeah…I GET IT. I love them and wait for it…I feel like they love me. That’s a v. important part I’d be remiss not to mention. We love these boys and truly feel like they love us back. It’s a symbiotic relationship. How could they not love one billion cute girls and boys screaming their songs back at them and being driven to tears by the sight of them? DEAR BOY BANDS, WE LOVE YOU. And because we love you, we make some promises and you make us some promises back. This is how it works.

We promise to: squeal when anything happens, period, or like when we see new pictures of them or when their new videos/interviews come out and obsess over everylittlething they do.
They promise to: continue to make adorable new videos and do little inside joke-y things that only fans will get and make a huge deal out of.
They promise to: remain adorable.
We promise to: support and love and remain loyal to them.
They promise to: keep being who they are.
We promise to: keep being who we are.

And even when we inevitably break those promises and change and when they break those promises and change and/or break up, we still love them because they mean something to us even if we can’t explain how or what or why.

I’ll stop there. I don’t wanna overanalyze it too much, don’t wanna think about it too much because it ruins it. Don’t overthink, just let it go. Just accept the fact that when I bought my 1D concert tickets I cried into my hands because I love them so much.

They sing You and I, we don’t wanna be like them. We can make it ’til the end. No, nothing can come between you and I.


You should probably stay probably stay a couple more days, come on let me change your ticket home. Don’t go! It’s not the same when you’re gone so you should probably stay, be with me a couple more days.


So your friend’s been telling me you’ve been sleeping with my sweater.


I don’t know why I wanna be with every girl I meet. I can’t control it.


I have loved you since we were eighteen. Long before we both thought the same thing—to be loved, to be in love. And all I can do is say that these arms were made for holding you. I wanna love like you made me feel when we were eighteen.


She’s been my queen since we were sixteen, we want the same things we dream the same dreams, all right.


I won’t let these little things slip out of my mouth but if I do, it’s’s you they add up to. I’m in love with you and all these little things.


I’m listening, loving it…a grown woman. Boy bands! Boys! Yes!



Once someone makes it onto my refrigerator, it’s over. They bring me SUCH JOY! JOY! and nothing but. Drinking chamomile tea from my 1D mug I’m all like…I know, right? I know. (*screams*)

PS: I made a HI BOYS (like Liam as Leeroy in the “Best Song Ever” video) playlist for you because I love you.

Leesa Cross-Smith
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About The Author

Leesa Cross-Smith

Leesa Cross-Smith is a homemaker and writer from Kentucky. She is the author of Every Kiss a War and Whiskey & Ribbons. She is also the editor of WhiskeyPaper.

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