Is there anything better than a teen heartthrob who doesn’t take himself too seriously? For years we suffered through Miley’s wet T-shirt MySpace pics, Justin Bieber’s “I’m the Kurt Cobain of my generation” announcement, and more recently, Zac Efron’s “YOLO” tattoo. Srsly, brah?
As boy bands miraculously make their way back into the world of relevant pop culture, I can’t help but fall madly, deeply in fangirl love with the kids of One Direction. Sure, they might be the age of my youngest brother, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be adorable, not to mention cheeky as hell. First example: Harry Styles (whose swoop is surely as famous at the Biebs’ by now) dates a woman twice his age until he decides he’s “over older women.” The boy is 18-years-old. He was born in 1994. He likes being naked because it’s “very liberating” and he “feels so free.” He also came up with the band name “One Direction.” Absorb that for a second. Harry Styles is to One Direction as Justin Timberlake was to *NSync, but let’s get real: the swoop > bleached baby curls.
And then there’s Niall Horan. As the Tumblr account states, he simply gives no fucks when it comes to his pop star presence. Melissa from Chicago, who has curated the blog with the help of other 1D fans, says she “finds Niall Horan to be a flawless individual who does not let fame dictate his life.” She thanks “the amazing group of peppers for contributing to and supporting the academic exploration of Niall’s emotional depth.” Do you not find this endearing, let alone hilarious?
I posted a link to the Tumblr on my Facebook page, and my father messaged me shortly after saying one thing: “I do not know who Niall Horan is but I like it. Dad.” See? You don’t even have to enjoy, understand, or know about One Direction to think Horan is a funny kid. He tells fans they smell funny, makes goofy faces for the press and picks at his skin during interviews. He plays with food, gets drunk, and tells his Twitter followers how it is.
And while I realize that American pop princesses have gotten in trouble for similar stuff in the past, I justify it with this: the One Direction boys are legal to drink in their home countries (UK and Ireland). If we were talking about a boy band made up of five Justin Biebers, they’d be in deep shit, no question.
Judd Apatow’s teenage daughter, Maude, agrees. Though she may have been a toddler when *NSync and the Backstreet Boys ruled the Billboard Hot 100, I value her opinion, because her dad produces some of the funniest films of our generation. Maude is a big One Direction fan (I know this because I follow her on Twitter, duh). She tweeted a photo of her fangirl bracelets (below) earlier this week.
Allison Berger is a Philadelphia-based writer and a pop music columnist for Reverb. Check out more of her writing here.