(Photo by Selma Komisky)
All About Boy Bands
By Sarah Komisky
I have a confession to make: I like boy bands. Well, “like” would be an understatement. I really like boy bands. From the time I was introduced to the music of the original boy banders The Beatles and The Beach Boys as a toddler, I was a fan girl. Soon, I was doing the running man to New Kids, jumping up and down at N Sync concerts, and now as an adult, I’m having Why Don’t We’s “Something Different” shamelessly playing on repeat. Yes, those legit five-part-harmonies, poppy beats, and sick dance moves can’t be denied. Yet, as much as I rave about them, there is another part of their charm that can also be a target to our minds and hearts as girls if we aren’t careful.
ABC’s Boy Band was a great example of this. In the premiere episode, Backstreet Boy, Nick Carter continuously noted and gave praise to the guys that he thought were “The ones that the girls would go crazy over. Besides singing cheesy songs, each guy had one thing in common: the cuteness factor. Even Spice Girl, Emma Bunchon (41) blushed, got giggly and took a selfie with a good-looking-twenty-something! Yet, this is nothing new. Paul McCartney was dubbed the “cute” Beatle and since then, fans have screamed over their pick for the “cute” guy. But over time, looks have become even more of the focal point. Take a look at the trending band Why Don’t We, and you will see five very fashionable, very cute boys. Look at their YouTube videos and a new generation of girls are giggling, screaming and watching in awe. My point? The goal of marketing boy bands is to first catch our eyes and then our hearts.
I too fell into this trap in junior high. Can anyone say Justin Timberlake? Cuteness factor? Check! I fell for it and so did thousands of other tween’s and teens. Spending my money buying J-14 and Teen Beat, I’d wallpaper my room with N Sync posters. As innocent as that seems, it was actually causing me to drool over Mr. Timberlake. Secondly, it also caused me to fantasize. Note to girls: It is okay to think someone is “cute” but it is not okay to start day dreaming about becoming Mrs. __________. When your heart attaches to someone (even if they are famous), your mind does too and when you choose to perpetually fantasize, heart break is bound to happen. So while it is okay to acknowledge that that person is handsome, don’t get your eyes and heart set on them because you will definately get your hopes up. Instead, think in terms of reality. Also think about what you see. An episode of the recent TV show Boy Band featured shirtless guys singing by the pool. Also, one of the members of America’s Got Talent boy band, Five Alive opted to lift up his shirt in a performance. Girls, remember to guard your eyes.
Second point, obsession is also unhealthy. While it is okay to like a boy bands’ music, it is not okay to obsess about them. Knowing all about their life as if you know them personally and having to have all their merch is a red flag that you’re obsessing. Pretty soon, all you talk about to your friends to all about how awesome your favorite boy band is and there is not room for the real world. Instead of obsessing, think in reality. Enjoy their music. Have fun. Get your dance on, but don’t obsess. Obsession not only hurts your heart but steals your time away from true, real relationships that matter.
Thirdly, think about the lyrics. I used to bob up and down watching my favorite boy band sing on TV. While a lot of their songs were great, some were not-so-great. Example: “Digital Get Down.” Enough said. Note to girls: Watch out for lyrics with sexual content, profanity, or anything that does not align your heart and mind with God’s heart for you (as seen in His Word – the Bible). Philippians 4:8 gives a good checklist for this. Ask yourself if the song is pure? If not, skip it. For a healthy, encouraging alternative, try Christian boy band Anthem Lights or Royal Tailor. On the flipside, be careful not to get sucked into song lyrics that pull on your heart strings. Marketers are also looking for ways to reach their female audience and if they can make you sigh, they will generate more album sales. In the song “Nobody Gotta Know” by Why Don’t We, the lyric reads, “I’ve been missin’/ I’ve been crushin’ on ya all night/ I should take you to the moon/ That’s a long flight/ We should chill me and you it’s alright/ You should be my, you should be mine.” When a “cute” boy sings those lyrics, they can have your heart in a second. In fact, in the YouTube video, the boys serenade and give roses to several girls who were all flattered. The Bible says in Proverbs 31:30 says, “Charm is deceitful…”, so don’t be deceived! From The Beatles, Jackson 5, to 98 Degrees, to Jonas Brothers, to One Direction to Why Don’t We and everything in between, a qualification of a boy band is to have mushy lyrics. So, know what you can handle when it comes to your heart. If you can enjoy them in a healthy way, enjoy them. If not, don’t.
As boy band hype is resurfacing in music, know it’s okay to be a fan. Liking good music isn’t a bad thing. Just pay attention to how your heart, mind, and eyes work. Know your triggers and make good boundaries and above all else follow God when it comes to what’s trending.