Just how fast the night changes: The evolution of One Direction

At this point in my life, I’m just a little too old to be within a boy band’s target demographic. Mostly, my life isn’t too affected by this; it’s not like I’m constantly seeking out a source of lighthearted pop music, soulfully crooned by a group of messy-haired rapscallions. But were such a group to come along, the sad truth is, young as I still am, the upcoming careers of those fresh-faced harmonizers wouldn’t be launched on the promise of my loyalty. In fact, record labels and PR firms might not even count on me becoming a fan at all. The sad truth is, as a twenty-two-year-old, I am officially too old for boy bands, if marketing and capitalism have anything to say about it.

On the flip side of this: I love One Direction. I love everything about One Direction. I am a massive One Direction fan.

I became a One Direction fan three years ago, a few months after “What Makes You Beautiful” was released. Back then, I was nineteen and finishing up my freshman year of college – maybe at the far end of the boy band demographic, but still represented. Over the last three years, I’ve been there for every new One Direction album, every single, every video. As I grew up and out of the key demographic for boy bands, a funny thing happened: One Direction stopped being a boy band.

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