Inside the Weird World of One Direction Fans

We delve into the mysterious minds of the self-proclaimed 'One Directioners'.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

A teenage girl's mind is a strange place. Not that I have any factual evidence to prove this, of course, as I've never experienced life inside of one on account of my penis, but from an outsider's perspective at least, a teenage girl's mind is a strange place. Whereas male teenagers tend to go through adolescence with bottoms, nipples and vaginas flashing through their brain at random, frequent intervals, female teenagers instead focus on one member of the opposite sex at a time (or, in this case, five members of the opposite sex who have morphed into one) and, rather than simply wanting to touch their genitalia, they seem to express an inordinate amount of affection for them that is far more complex than that which inspires a pubescent erection.

Back in 2007, The Jonas Brothers captured many a 13-year-old heart with their "we're so sexy we don't even have sex" shtick. After that there was Bieber, with his big floppy fringe, hi-tops, "swag" and precociousness. Now there's One Direction: young, British and of varying degrees of handsomeness. 

Let's make snap judgements of them based upon their appearance. From left to right we have Louis Tomlinson, the "kooky" one on account of him sometimes wearing suspenders; Zayn Malik, who isn't smiling in the above photograph and has a tattoo so I can only assume will be the first to exit the group due to excessive drug use; Niall Horan, who is Irish and therefore a closeted alcoholic; Harry Styles, the "fuckable" one with hair that looks like Davy Crockett's hat; and Liam Payne, who is about as forgettable as a particularly unenthusiastic sneeze.

These five 18-20 year-old lads, who were X Factor runners-up no less than two years ago, are making young girls the world over cross their legs uncomfortably as they swoosh their hair and frolick around like a bunch of wealthy, sexually potent puppies. These girls, who refer to themselves as "One Directioners", each seem to favour one member of the band, publicising their admiration via Twitter.

But it's not just @ForeverPeazer's tweets that venture into Misery-esque territory. A quick search of each of the boys' names reveals the seedy underbelly of Twitter, where usernames are nothing more than a proclamation of love for "1D" (the shorthand name for the band so that fans can make best use of the 140 characters they are given), and profile pictures that range from homoerotic photoshopped images of the boys engaging in romantic clinches, to .gifs of Niall Horan blinking.

If I was a social psychologist, which I'm not but for the benefit of this article let's just pretend that I am, I would say that One Direction fans have a collective consciousness. As previously displayed in their treatment of The Jonas Brothers, they will fall out of love with their idols almost as quickly as they fall in love with them. This leads me to believe that the subjects of their admiration are inconsequential and, rather than these young girls actually falling in love with people whom they know they are unlikely to ever meet, they are instead adopting a form of swarm intelligence more commonly associated with ants and bees; in other words, they are communicating and acting in unison in order to achieve a common goal. But what is this common goal?

If you watch the above video you could be forgiven for thinking that the common goal is to break the sound barrier, but look closely; each one of those girls is probably shy and insecure like most teenagers, desperately trying to be noticed by their peers.This is where One Direction come in. Rather than Sarah being an average 14-year-old with acne and a negative body image, she can now become Sarah, a 14-year-old with 10,000 Twitter followers and a Harry Styles collage on her bedroom ceiling. Likewise, Tracey can transform from a 13-year-old with a debilitating lack of self-esteem into Tracey, that girl who has an aerial view of Zayn Malik's house as her Facebook profile picture.

I can relate to their desperate need for attention, as when I was younger I utilised my love of Batman for superficial gain. I collected hundreds of the toys, I watched the TV shows, I bought the comic books; my love for Batman was so clear that, when it came to Christmas Day, even distant relatives would send me action figures. I enjoyed the direct link between me and my hobby as it made me feel like I had a "thing" which people would remember me by. It gave me a pre-adolescent sense of importance.

But there is one thing that separates my hobby from that of the One Directioners, and that is this:

I didn't want to fuck Batman.


Header: Getty Images