We laughed, we cried — we made one too many parodies of “What Makes You Beautiful.”
But the time has finally come: the slow deterioration of the popular boy band One Direction, with the recent departure of one of its members, Zayn Malik.
On March 25, Malik announced his decision to leave the band on his official Facebook, with his desire to be a “normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time outside of the spotlight.”
The news broke the hearts of millions of teenage girls across the world as they were forced to accept Malik’s choice with deep devastation.
Or maybe “devastation” is a bit of an understatement. Fans lamented Malik’s exit with not only disappointment, but with large dosages of tears, breakdowns, and declarations of “giving up on life” — cheap mascara streaming down their cheeks and all.
As someone who doesn’t know much about One Direction, I will admit that I believe that the reaction is a bit ridiculous and over exaggerated. But yet, I believe a lot of things are ridiculous and over exaggerated, another one of those things being the shaming of these teenage girls for their feelings.
And if you just so happen to be one of those people who has criticized these young girls, I have to ask, do you also criticize middle-aged men for their reactions to their sports teams losing?
I’m not talking about the actual athletes; I mean those who sit in the stands or on their couch at home screaming at the television as if the actual players can hear them. Those people, who are made up largely of armchair quarterbacks, react to the 49ers losing with more than just tears and breakdowns, but with red-faced tantrums and destruction of public and private property.
So where is the criticism for that sort of behavior? Maybe it’s justified due to the notion that sports teams matter and boy bands don’t.
You might believe that, but not everyone does and not everyone has to. We can’t say what place One Direction has in a young girl’s life, just like how we can’t say what place a sports team has in a sports fan’s life. Keep in mind that these girls still have developing brains and personalities, so it isn’t much of a surprise that they’re a bit more reactive to seemingly trivial situations.
And come on, we’re comparing the behavior of grown men to the behavior of growing, hormonal teenage girls: whose behavior would seem a little more ridiculous?
The fact is that it is a double standard to judge teenage girls for their meltdowns over Zayn Malik but not judge men for their meltdowns over sport teams, especially if you just so happen to be one of those men.
In essence, there are people who will break down over situations that don’t necessarily have an important effect on their lives. If you aren’t one of those people, just hope that one day you won’t be the parent or spouse of someone who does.