SHE WANTS THE 1D

January 29, 2014

Alex Mooney

I am a teenaged girl, and I am angry. What a joke! Why are you angry? (I hear you say with a tone of amused placation). I am angry, because Twilight (and f*ck you, by the way).

I’m not angry about the content of the books or movies, (although it does usually inspire a deep seated rage inside me) at the moment what’s pissing me off is the way that people mock the naiveté of the ‘Twi-hards’. This article is to say “F*ck you” to you, reader. Not for demonizing (lol) Twilight, but for the way you ridiculed girls (like me) for liking it.

When I was younger, I used to read voraciously – I could devour an entire series in under a week. My loving grandmother would go to bookshops and buy me stacks of novels. This is how I first became acquainted with the Twilight franchise. The owner of a bookshop gave them to my grandmother when she asked for young adult fiction.

The Twilight series is pretty vile as far as books go, promoting unhealthy relationships through a female protagonist defined entirely through her relationships with men. Disgusting stuff to give young girls, really. But there it was, in my hands, passed to me from the condescending hands of the bookshop owner and the affectionate ones of my grandmother. Not only this, but there were also the movies, marketed directly at me; the broody vampires with perfect windswept hair, clutching each-other and speaking about the kind of love I had been taught to want. The books, the movies, the t-shirts, all sold to me (the teenage girl).

Amongst teenaged girls, there was a certain disdain for the attitude of their peers. I’m sure you’ve all seen it many times. Even during the peak of its popularity, you’d hear girls saying, “I like Twilight, but I’m not one of those fans,” and after the hysterical wave had passed girls were very quick to dissociate themselves from the franchise; “Haha, Twilight is sooo stupid, who would like that?” Well girls, you would like that, because it was basically tailored to your ‘interests’ and then shoved in your faces with a marketing campaign. Don’t feel bad – it wasn’t your fault.

Although the hatred of Twilight is symptomatic of a pattern in society as a whole – wherein trends are taken up, discarded and then mocked – much of the ridicule of the franchise was not based on the books or movies themselves but on the fangirls- teenaged girls who were taught to like them by the media, and then aggressively made fun of because they did.

I mean, it’s common knowledge that the things teenaged girls like are stupid: boy bands, lip-gloss, social media, and celebrities. The assumption that underlies this is that teenaged girls themselves lack both taste and good sense.

In November of 2013, Dave Dimartino reviewed One Direction’s new album ‘Midnight Memories’ for the Rolling Stone magazine; he conceded that it is “as plausible a pop/rock album as nearly everything you’d ever want to hear!” After this admission, he spent the rest of the article apologizing for and justifying this decision. Why couldn’t Dimartino just say that it was good? If he liked it, if it was good music, then why did he spend most of the article cringing and trying to convince us that he was “not the world’s biggest fan of One Direction,” as if there is something embarrassing about liking them.  He couldn’t just admit that they were good, because that would align him with the fangirls. Poor Dimartino didn’t want to do that because (obviously) fangirls are hysterical and crazy, no one would take him seriously if he liked 1D! (Poor thing, I wonder what that’s like).

All the things that teenaged girls are excited about isn’t necessarily valueless; it’s all devalued BECAUSE teenaged girls like it.

But does it matter? Who cares if people ridicule One Direction, or Robert Pattinson? Well, youth, did you know that one of the easiest ways to dis-empower someone is to laugh at them? Why have governments always been so afraid of comedians and writers? When you laugh at teenage girls, when you devalue the things that are important to them, you silence them. What you are subtly doing is telling them that their feelings and opinions are unimportant. Importantly, teenaged girls who have been devalued and silenced grow into women who are devalued and silenced, and who often regain their power by mocking the teenage girls that they used to be like.

I guess what I’m saying (aside from f*ck you) is that you shouldn’t hate on teenaged girls for liking ‘stupid’ stuff. Instead ask yourself why they like it. Was it marketed to them or, just maybe, is it actually pretty good? You shouldn’t dismiss things just because they’re girly. If you like something, be proud of it; if you don’t, then shut the hell up. It’s no-one’s place to make fun of girls just because they love stuff – loving stuff is great.

So, next time you put on a valley-girl voice, post an ironic selfie, or laugh at a boy-band, remember that you’re participating in the harmful systematic repression of teenage girls. Also know that you’re tacky and I hate you.

Power to teenage girls, yo!

 -Alex Mooney

BIBLIOGRAPHY

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/one-direction-new-album-release-shock-20131126

 

, , , , , , ,

5 Responses to “SHE WANTS THE 1D”

  1. Carllum Says:

    As a young teenage boy I can really agree with this article. I used to be highly insecure (and I don’t know “what for”) even though I was apparently turning heads when I walked through the “door-o-or” (my crippling stutter contributed to this as you can see).
    I was unfortunately using makeup to cover “uh-uhh-up” (there’s that damn stutter again! OMG)

    One day my good friend Harry (or Styles as we all called him) gave me some profound encouragement. He said that everybody could see something that I couldn’t. Everyone else but me. (I thought he was mocking my thick ’80s glasses. But he wasn’t. LOL. AWKS)
    Our man to man chat got pretty strange at this point but it was all part of this greater 1D enlightenment. He started telling me that I lit up his world like no one else. Now this was actually quite flattering for little old me someone who has been so shy I sometimes smile at the ground.

    Thanks to Harry’s rather elaborate but heartwarming compliment session I realised that while I didn’t know I’m beautiful that was what indeed made me beautiful. Since then I have probably been Harry’s biggest fan. I’m a bigger fan than all the H8r’s.

    Reply

  2. Rose Says:

    Read this article – http://www.mamamia.com.au/celebrities/i-hate-taylor-swift-says-the-internet/ – and I was thinking that hatred of Taylor Swift could be related to how we ridicule things that are sold to us as ‘feminine’? Compared to universally loved JLaw who has a bit of an “I’m not like other girls” vibe. Seems like we have to separate ourselves from the things teen girls are ‘supposed’ to like in order to be taken seriously/liked. Why am i not surprised haha

    Reply

  3. Me Says:

    Warning-These are opinions, not objective reality

    I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with the conclusion. Things teenage girls like are often devalued, but it’s not because those things are liked by teenage girls. It is because we as a society mock anything with a somewhat vocal rabid portion of its fanbase. Look at things like the Console Wars, in which owning a console now makes you look incompetent and childish to most “hardcore” gamers. Look at how if you are a fan of the “Big Three” Anime, those being Naruto, One Piece and Bleach, you will be mocked by people who feel that they have superior taste.

    You could argue that these examples show a small microcosm, a subculture mocking its own, while most popstars are mocked internet wide, but this is just because not everyone considers themselves well informed on videogames or well educated in anime, but lots and lots of people listen to music and read books, which means people feel better equipped and qualified to mock someone whose taste they disagree with or find childish.
    There is also the nature of the way these things are marketed, boy bands and teenage romantic novels are so heavily loved by fans because they are designed to appeal emotionally, they are designed to create an incredible emotional bond with the listener or reader, which does lead to vastly increasing the population of overly dedicated and obsessive fans.

    In response to the article above linked by Rose, with Taylor Swift being mocked by a large portion of the internet and your belief that this is based off a hatred of things considered feminine, it stems more from the fact that she is in the minds of people today, she is considered marginal as a musician by many because many feel that her music lacks depth and complexity and she legitimately did something stupid, and it was funny. Now then people found this funny thing and decided to be cruel and troll. In the article it says that this trolling is unjustified, but that is the very nature of trolling, its arbitrary thoughtless hatred brought about from a bad day, perceived wit and online anonymity.

    Also I don’t feel that there is as much of a need to be unfeminine as much as there is a desire for many to distance themselves from fanbases that have vocal and often misguidedly invested elements.

    Jennifer Lawrence has recently entered the collective minds of the internet, and she has already found some flack, the only difference between her and Taylor Swift is that she hasn’t been big enough for long enough to offend a large enough group, has said things that people really want to hear and hasn’t attracted many rabid diehard fans that come off as borderline insane to paint her entire fanbase in a negative light.

    In response to Carllum, I honestly empathize with you because you were mocked by showing nonstandard behaviour in a society that often, near constantly, demands conformity. It is the sad state of the world we live in.

    If there is one thing I agree with here, it is that this obsession that some fans exhibit is bought about by insidious marketing, designed to market teenage girls a relationship and a fried, instead of music, the same with Twilight, it is all about creating that rabid fan population, and the book lent itself to that with a bland protagonist that many people could project onto.

    I also can’t really go with the idea that we should all curb our criticisms of anyone who we disagree with on aspects of popular culture, politics and religion. People need to accept that there is someone who disagrees with you, and they will do it vocally, we can’t bubble wrap our children from emotional pain, we need to help them adapt to what the world is going to throw at them,

    Do we really want to be a world full of deaf mutes so desperate to make sure that no one is offended that we will resort to saying that because someone is emotionally invested into something it is immune from any kind of criticism.

    Reply

  4. Me Says:

    I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with the conclusion. Things teenage girls like are often devalued, but it’s not because those things are liked by teenage girls. It is because we as a society mock anything with a somewhat vocal rabid portion of its fanbase. Look at things like the Console Wars, in which owning a console now makes you look incompetent and childish to most “hardcore” gamers. Look at how if you are a fan of the “Big Three” Anime, those being Naruto, One Piece and Bleach, you will be mocked by people who feel that they have superior taste.

    You could argue that these examples show a small microcosm, a subculture mocking its own, while most popstars are mocked internet wide, but this is just because not everyone considers themselves well informed on videogames or well educated in anime, but lots and lots of people listen to music and read books, which means people feel better equipped and qualified to mock someone whose taste they disagree with or find childish.

    There is also the nature of the way these things are marketed, boy bands and teenage romantic novels is because they are designed to appeal emotionally, they are designed to create an incredible emotional bond with the listener or reader, which does lead to vastly increasing the population of overly dedicated and obsessive fans. In response to the article above linked by Rose, with Taylor Swift being mocked by a large portion of the internet and your belief that this is based off a hatred of things considered feminine, it stems more from the fact that she is in the minds of people today, she is considered marginal as a musician by many because many feel that her music lacks depth and complexity and she legitimately did something stupid, and it was funny. Now then people found this funny thing and decided to be cruel and troll. In the article it says that this trolling is unjustified, but that is the very nature of trolling, its arbitrary thoughtless hatred brought about from a bad day, perceived wit and online anonymity.

    Also I don’t feel that there is as much of a need to be unfeminine as much as there is a desire for many to distance themselves from fanbases that have vocal and often misguidedly invested elements. Jennifer Lawrence has recently entered the collective minds of the internet, and she has already found some flack, the only difference between here and Taylor Swift is that she hasn’t been big enough long enough to offend a large enough group, has said things that people really want to hear and hasn’t attracted many rabid diehard fans that come off as borderline insane to paint her entire fanbase in a negative light.

    In response to Carllum, I honestly empathize with you because you were mocked by showing nonstandard behavior in a society that often, near constantly, demands conformity. It is the sad state of the world we live in.
    If there is one thing I agree with here, it is that this obsession is bought about by insidious marketing, designed to market teenage girls a relationship and a fried, instead of music, the same with Twilight, it is all about creating that rabid fan population, and the book lent itself to that with a bland protagonist that many people could project onto.

    I also can’t really go with the idea that we should all curb our criticisms of anyone who we disagree with on aspects of popular culture, politics and religion. People need to accept that there is someone who disagrees with you, and they will do it vocally, we can’t bubble wrap our children from emotional pain, we need to help them adapt to what the world is going to throw at them, and that will sometimes be a painful experience.

    Do we really want to be a world full of deaf mutes so desperate to make sure that no one is offended that we will resort to saying that because someone is emotionally invested into something it is immune from any kind of criticism.

    Reply

Leave a Reply