By Jessica Goodman, 22, reporting from Los Angeles, CA, on One Direction she's proud to follow
There was a time, before the common era of Justin Timberlake as solo act and movie star, when boy bands reigned. JT was the lead singer of N'Sync, and 98 Degrees, the Backstreet Boys, and so forth turned the century and lots of teen girl heads. Greet today's news depending on how you feel about this 1990s-into-2000s chapter in music history: Boy bands are back!
And a pack of artfully rumpled British-Irish cuties called One Direction—five of them, all under age 20—is reviving the trend with a global frenzy. In true this-century style, Liam, Harry, Niall, Zain, and Louis were brought into stardom after the boys had applied to appear individually on The X Factor in the UK and failed to qualify. Guest judge Nicole Scherzinger suggested they get together and perform as a group. One Direction placed third and signed to Simon Cowell's label.
Their first single and biggest hit to date is "What Makes You Beautiful," which recently won Best British Single at the Brit Awards. But its appeal is universal: If you watch the video or really listen to their lyrics you can for sure see why girls are going crazy over them!
Not to read too much into a message delivered via boy band, but the song makes you realize you don't have to be somebody else for a guy. It's about having the courage to not be shy about who you are—which is the real beauty females have. You don't need makeup and you don't need to be insecure. Just be proud to be someone strong and brave, and people will notice. Surely Justin Timberlake would agree.