IDGAF: A Life Lesson From A Fed Up Twenty-Something

“I want to be around people that do things. I don’t want to be around people anymore that judge or talk about what people do. I want to be around people that dream and support and do things.” – our patron saint Amy Poehler {x}

In about two weeks, I will be flying off to Miami, boarding a Carnival cruise, and shipping off to the Bahamas.

Oh, and BTW, it’s a cruise with the Backstreet Boys. Yes, you read that right. It’s one of those cruises that celebrities do to engage with their fans in a different way. these things are becoming more and more common, with everything from a Dancing with the Stars cruise to a Broadway Legends cruise, all going to some island in the Caribbean with hundreds of people willing to pay money to hang out with their favorite celebrities.

Top Chef stars were actually on the boat, not floating around it…

If you’ve been a reader of this blog for a while or even know me irl you know that my love for BSB isn’t new. This has been an interest of mine for the past 18 years. But it’s only been over the past year or so that I’ve really owned up to it.

I basically attribute this to the fact that as I get older, I just don’t give a fuck what people think anymore. I mean that in the not caring about the negatives way, not in the constructive criticism way. I appreciate the latter. As I was growing up, I wouldn’t say I necessarily touted the fact I was a huge BSB/pop music fan, but I also wasn’t hiding it. I felt that if I showed it off too much, there would inevitably be that one person to make fun of me and my teenage self confidence would be forever broken. Obviously, to this day, it’s still not considered “cool” to like BSB, boy bands or even pop music in general, especially years after their height of fame.

But now I don’t care anymore. What it really comes down to for me now is why do we judge people’s interest in the first place?

Think of it this way: what is your guilty pleasure? Honey Boo Boo? Housewives? That one song by Katy Perry?

Now ask yourself: why is this “guilty” at all?

Because the professional critics pan it? Because it may be popular but it’s not contributing anything to society? Because it’s simply not “cool” to like it?

Why do we even care? Why are we even judging others in the first place? We spend too much time worrying about others when all we really need to do is worry about ourselves and how we’re living our best lives. Why keep apologizing or living with shame when we could be more confident and comfortable with who we really are? Why does it matter if your neighbor is a One Direction fan – I mean it would matter if they’re a 50 year old woman who’s legit stalking them and collecting enough memorabilia to be on an episode of Hoarders, in which case you should probably call the police or something.

We should never feel guilty over something that brings us joy to our lives. Just because I like the Backstreet Boys and obsess over Pretty Little Liars theories, it doesn’t mean I don’t know the correct way to pronounce John “Boehner” or what country Bashar Al-Assad is the President of.

A couple of my friends and I were talking about this the other day, and I brought up how my boss at work found out that I was going on this cruise, and the first time he asked me about it, there was this sense of ‘I’m judging you right now’ in his voice. This is a 40-something year old man who is mainly into punk rock. But because my boss and I aren’t really friends and hang out and have deep conversations with each other, me liking BSB is really the only thing he knows about me. He was writing a story about Nick Carter and his fiancee and asked me if I “had a voodoo doll of her in my room”…. The answer is no, for all those wondering. But his comment really irked me. Of course I don’t have a voodoo doll of this celebrity’s fiancee because I am not crazy nor a delusional 12 year old who thinks that I still have a chance at romancing him. Plus I’m an AJ girl anyways.

There’s a scene in Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts who doesn’t have a favorite way to take her eggs. Richard Gere’s character points out that with all her past boyfriends/fiances, she’s always deemed her favorite type of egg with whatever her significant other liked. Priest Brian liked scrambled, so she did too. Bug Guy liked poached and poached was her fave too. And spoiler alert: towards the end of the movie she ventures off to find out which one she likes the best because she likes it- not because she’s influenced by someone else.

As I get older, I have a greater sense of what I like, what kind of people I want to surround myself with -exactly how I like my eggs. Life’s too short to focus on the negative or live a life fearing what others think of you. If it’s not helping others, it’s certainly not helping you, so just distance yourself from the negative bullshit, the peer pressure, the crowd mentality. Think for yourself and no one else.

Because, you know, YOLO.

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Battle of the Boy Bands: 90s vs. Now

I’d like to consider myself a connoisseur of boy bands. While the height of my knowledge was reached somewhere between the years of 1998-2004, I’ve tried to keep abreast of the young artists these days and their teenybopper fans.

As a self-professed Backstreet Boys fan, I know what it’s like first hand to be in the ‘fandom’, and in just 10 years, the way boy bands and fans themselves has changed drastically. While at their core, boy bands in 2013 still aim to titilate tweens the same way they did in 2003, here are some main differences between the fans of today and the fans of yore. Also, it’s a handy guide to feel old/in the know when you talk to someone under the age of 18.

Fashion

One thing that has stayed the same throughout the years is a group’s stylist’s need to coordinate every member’s outfit with the others. For some reason, in the 90s, this meant getting the absolute most ridiculous clothes and fabrics and forcing the guys to wear them in photo shoots. Bless.

Then

You know what’s tearin’ up my heart? The fact that *Nsync is wear short sleeved lycra shirts and no one questioned Lance Bass’ sexuality from this picture alone.

“Hey girl. We know the way to your heart. Hockey. And just to cover our bases, we’re reppin five different teams. Quack Quack, baby.”

The only thing that could make this more 90s is if 98 Degrees was covered in slime. Matching red jumpsuits, sitting on a big orange couch at Nickelodeon’s The Big Help? I can smell the gak now…

Now

These days, boy bands stray away from the themed photo shoots, and go for more of a coordinated look, like One Direction.

The Wanted’s jacket, jeans, sneaks look is so much better than the lycra shirts.

By boy band rules, the Jonas Brothers are technically just a band of boys, but they’ll suffice for this post.

Girlfriends/Love Lives

Then

With the exception of this epic couple, boy band members in the 90s had to hide their relationships. Britney + Justin were the exception because they were perfect and then B had to go and ruin it with her cheating. Oh what could have been. ~*NVR 4GET*~

“When they first started out, “Managers were like, ‘Everybody’s single,'” recalls Brian Littrell. Adds Richardson’s wife Kristin: “I had to say I was his sister!” – People Magazine Interview September 2013 (Please note the source of this picture – the Angelfire page is STILL UP.)

Now

While there are still jealous girls out there screaming ‘OMFG ZAYN AND PERRIE ARE ENGAGED MY LIFE IS OFFICIALLY OVER’, I feel like there is a large majority that are “Zerrie shippers” and appreciate the 1D and Little Mix members’ love like we did with Britney and Justin.

IDK if it’s because Kevin is the least adored Jo Bro, but it seems like every fan was on board with his relationship with Danielle since it started. The two even have their own reality TV show, for goodness sake.

Dedication

Then

At the height of the 90s boy band days, the internet was a fairly new thing. Everyone’s e-mail was @AOL.com, AIM was for stalking your crush and talking to SmarterChild, and Geocities and Angelfire were web hosting sites for your favorite bands. The fact that we could even get pictures and talk to fellow fans seemed incredible, and it was our way of showing our dedication to the world.

I used to live by this site, since they updated it so frequently (like twice a day), and it legit has looked the same ever since 1998.

Now

  • Tumblr Directioners: Holy shit, a Larry Stylinson sex tape better leak soon or I will light myself on fucking fire
  • Twitter Directioners: Omg, Follow me xx I love you so much
  • Youtube Directioners: This is like the best song ever, partyin harrdd
  • Facebook Directioners: Haha oh my goodness look at this, you are like my like bff for eva Harry. Omgomg I love you sooooooooooooo muchhh :))))) lololol rofl

Today’s kids turn to all forms of social media, and I feel like it’s reached a whole new level of obsession. Because you can now reach out to your idol – and even possibly get a reply – fans think they form this bond with the celebrities, which ultimately makes them even more devoted and obsessed. I was going to find examples on Twitter and Tumblr, but honestly, it’s a scary, scary place, and I want no part of that.

Rivalries

Pop Quiz:

BSB : *NSync :: One Direction : ???

Then

I admit, I was totally a *Nsync hater – or as I used to call them, *NSTINK. My “hatred” for them ran deep. So much so that I refused to listen to their songs (save for like maybe 5 of their hits). I’ve probably only heard Bye Bye Bye all the way through less than 10 times in my life. One time in dance class, my teacher put on the new *Nsync cd during warmup and I was SO pissed. Like so mad that my teacher could tell that I wasn’t happy about it, and continued to remind me of it until the day I graduated high school. Get a grip.

But the more I think about it, it was never because I hated the group itself. In fact I agree that they were good singers, were probably the better dancers of the two groups, and of course, like any grown ass woman, my love runs deep for Justin Timberlake. My hatred for ‘*NSTINK’ was for their fans. I loathed the annoying way that they always thought BSB sucked and *Nsync was better – and they wanted to prove it. Constantly. I’m sure you can say the same for BSB fans, but obviously I’m picking sides here. And as an adult, I think we can all recognize that it was totally spurred on by the media. If that one journalist didn’t pit the two bands together, there probably wouldn’t be an entire generation of girls who judge each other in their 20s by which boy band they liked better.

The best example of the fan rivalry is in the video clip from TRL below. I remember watching this live, and being so pissed off at the *Nsync team that I was almost as mad as Tiffany. Creeper alert: I somehow got a hold of Tiffany’s AOL SN and stalked her on AIM, in awe of her BSB dedication.


Now

I suppose the correct answer to the analogy above is Justin Bieber. Which might not make complete sense, since he’s not a boy band. Today’s kids are more fandom vs. fandom, rather boy band vs. boy band (or artist in this case). And since kids don’t have the luxury of having TRL, they take to social media yet again, specifically on Twitter. Case in point:

The second thing you need to know is that Directioners don’t like Beliebers. The conflict began (where else?) on Twitter. “The Beliebers trended #HitDirectionersWithAShovelDay” for no reason explains Holly, a 16-year-old 1D fan from Chicago. She says the war has raged on ever since. “When they won at the TCAs instead of Justin Beiber, they started making fun of Harry’s acne. They’re just trying to make us angry.” {x}

Of course Biebs had to say something to stop the madness and the the constant Twitter trends, but that didn’t really stop the fans from being cray online…

 

So whose side are you on? BSB or *Nsync? One Direction or Justin Bieber? Do you even care? Do you just want to reclaim your youth now? Yeah, probably the latter.