Bad direction

15 May

We’ve all heard of them. If you haven’t, I’m wondering what cave you’ve been hiding in and if there’s any more room? No, in all seriousness, since being on the X Factor One Direction, have become one of the biggest selling boybands of all time. Their ‘Directioners’ are nothing but supportive and will certainly not let their beloved boys receive any insult without strongly defending them.

The group originally started out as five separate boys auditioning for the show, but the judges decided to put them all together as a group, believing that they would work better this way. They were right! Louis, Zayn, Harry, Liam and Niall have been booted to stardom since winning third place. I have one gripe with this band however and that’s not Harry’s continued publicity with present/ex/who the fuck cares what the tabloids make up, girlfriend, Taylor Swift; it is in fact their songs.

Their first song, in my opinion is amazing. What Makes you Beautiful, is a brilliant message to send to their legions of young female fans worldwide. This song talks about how a girl is beautiful but she doesn’t realise it. This is a lovely message to send. In a way, this could be saying that all of you girls out there who think you are ugly or are struggling with self-esteem issues, you are still beautiful no matter what you think and there is someone who realises this even if you are unsure of it yourself. I believed that this band really had potential and they did. They really had potential to show young women how to feel about themselves, which is what Yellow Bunting aims to do. For such a major emerging popular band, this is such a breakthrough. However they ruined this with another song…

‘Let’s go crazy, crazy, crazy til we see the sun’, ‘hey girl, it’s now or never’ and ‘if we get together, don’t let the pictures leave your phone’ are just some of the examples of lyrics of Live while we’re young. In fact the chorus of the song is ‘tonight let’s get some and live while we’re young’. With a catchy beat, I even find myself nodding along to this song on the radio and can quite imagine plenty of teenage girls dancing around in their bedrooms to quite frankly these disgusting lyrics. Now I’m not one for these scapegoats for how society acts. I don’t agree that the Columbine shooting had anything to do with Marilyn Manson or his music but maybe a lot to do with the lax gun laws in America. However for such a publicised fashionable band to like, I cannot believe that they are allowed to release this kind of material. Especially when it is quite common for pictures to get out of girls by their male counterparts, telling girls not to let ‘the pictures leave your phone’ can only end badly. This isn’t my main gripe with the song however. The lyrics, ‘I know we only met but pretend its love’. In other words, we’ve just met but let’s pretend we’re in love so we can fuck all night.

However with five young boys in the band, is this the right publicity stunt to give them? Aren’t they meant to come across as clean cut? Now I’m not saying that younger girls are easily influenced but for their record company to release this song sends feminism back a number of years and teenage pregnancies up higher. Not because the target audience is influential but because this song makes it seem that there is nothing wrong with just sleeping around. And also some of the audience may be easily influenced: is it their duty as they are in the limelight to send out the right message?

Sending a bad message out is however not a new thing. Popular 90’s band, The Spice Girls, released many songs with titles and lyrics that were meant to connote different things that young ears should maybe not hear. (The age group for the Spice Girls was probably a tad younger than for One Direction). But with modern culture seeming to decline in any morale and kindness for others, is this then more reason to promote good feeling about yourself and not sleeping around? Like in What Makes you Beautiful, did they have it right the first time?

But is it the band’s right to influence their fans? Or should they just be able to go on and live their lives?  Although they don’t have to bring it into their music. Whatever artists say is forever recorded in papers and in the press and can be brought back at any moment. If JK Rowling, in the height of Harry Potter, had said pretend you’re in love so that you can fuck around, there would have been outrage because of her younger readers. However because these are five young boys, it seems to have been ignored. So do these boys owe something to their fans to be somewhat of a good influence? Or is this just modern culture and we need to get used to it? Or is it in fact just a catchy tune that no one listens to the lyrics of? Well let me just ask you this, do you not find it easier to sing along to your favourite song rather than revise maths? The lyrics stick in your head. I for one can admit to listening to sad songs, trying to make them fit to my situation at hand. So what do you think Yellow Bunting readers? Do One Direction owe it to their fans and modern culture to send a good message out or can they simply go in a bad direction?

About the Writer: Becky has just finished a degree in English and Creative Writing and is very happy with her 2:1. She is friendly, bubbly and just so happens to be the co-creator of Yellow Bunting. She hopes you enjoy it and that you get involved!

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