My Personal Feud with the Boy Band One Direction
I’m admittedly not as hip to the boy band scene as I was ten years ago. I only recently become aware of the boy band One Direction and their song “What Makes you Beautiful.” The catchiness of the song was fine enough. It was reminiscent of all the other Justin Biebers and Backstreet Boys and ‘N Syncs and whatever comparable boy band you wish to use as your launching pad to compare all other boy teen sensations with. When I heard it, I thought it was nothing special really, just a song that would undoubtedly be played over and over on the radio until every listener was forced to sing along and brainwashed think that they actually liked it.
It was probably around the fifth listening of this song, while I began mouthing along with the lyrics, that I realized the eye rolling, exasperated-sigh giving message these young boys were portraying. That’s when I decided to launch my personal attack on these heartthrobs. You see, I can’t believe it’s 2012 and I still have to hear songs about how girls have to underestimate their looks in order to attract a guy. The whole “play it coy girl, and pretend you don’t think you’re beautiful” role a girl has to play is so trite and overused and I’m just really tired of hearing it.
It’s frustrating to hear a song being played on the radio telling young girls to that in order to be beautiful they can’t be confident, they can’t be in on the secret of their own beauty, because that would ruin everything! In this world, the boy is there to show the girl how beautiful and worthy of attention she is. If a girl comes to this conclusion herself, the boy’s role is no longer needed, and in turn, the boy has no interest in teaching the girl about the importance of how she should never underestimate her own beauty.
In this particular song I’m talking about (although clearly this is not the only one with this message), One Direction sings, “If you only saw what I can see/You’ll understand why I want you so desperately/Right now I’m looking at you and I can’t believe/You don’t know . . ./You don’t know you’re beautiful . . ./That’s what makes you beautiful.” Clever rhyming aside, these lyrics are all about telling a girl how to feel about herself. The message here is unambiguous, a guy will like you when you shyly “smile at the ground” indicating you lack any confidence in yourself.
This is also a troublesome message for young boys. Now, we have yet another generation of young men searching for the girl who is “secretly beautiful.” Here, the “secret beauty” is the girl whose charm and good looks are hidden beneath her awkwardness. Only one guy can see past this and uncover her desirability before all other boys can.
But listen up, boys. This scenario is a lie. This situation does not exist. The pretty girl who trips over her own feet or snorts when she laughs is still the pretty girl. You are not the only one who can unearth that secret.
What I want to know is, where are the hit songs proclaiming that you know you’re beautiful and that’s why you’re beautiful? It’s time to step up your song game, One Direction. I realize I’m way older than your targeted demographic and I don’t really have much clout to start any sort of feud with you, but still, you should know this, I’m on to your terrible lyrical content. I can see past your adorable haircuts and skillful choreography. It’s time to stop sending these awful messages through your songs. I’m not above waging a feud with a bunch of 15-year-olds. One Direction, you’ve been warned.
Image from http://www.hotnewsonglyrics.com/one-direction-what-makes-you-beautiful-lyrics.html