Confessions of a One Direction Fangirl

Before any of you click away, being a One Direction fangirl isn’t always rainbows and sunshine; mentally, it has messed me up pretty badly. Like most of my YouTube addictions, I watched interviews and performances of theirs whenever I had the chance. However, I was also comparing myself to the band members’ girlfriends. Not that I wanted to date the members of One Direction myself, but I kept on thinking about how I wasn’t as tall, skinny, or as pretty as their significant others. I still have those thoughts, but I’m trying to break that habit and accept myself for who I am.

A picture of a One Direction poster that used to be on my wall.

First of all, let me explain how I became a fan of One Direction. I first heard “What Makes You Beautiful” on TV in the seventh grade, and I hated that song! But then, I guess after hearing it a billion times, it became engraved in my brain. I found the music video for “One Thing” on YouTube in 2012, and I liked it! I don’t remember when or why I decided to buy their first album, Up All Night (2011), but I did because it was sitting there at Walmart. Like most of the One Direction fanbase, my favorite member was Harry Styles because of that voice, and his looks also played a factor, haha. 

One Direction came in third place on the seventh series of The X Factor UK in 2010. Before discovering them, I watched clips of their performances and videos diaries from the show on YouTube, so I knew they looked familiar. It seems like it was destiny for me to discover One Direction! The members were Liam Payne, Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, and Louis Tomlinson. Other than Tomlinson’s outgoing personality shown through their video diaries, I had no memory of him because he never had solos during their time on The X Factor UK. Why do I bring up Tomlinson? I’ll explain later!

I made some friends in eighth grade because I was a fan of One Direction. While my love for the English-Irish boy band was growing, my love for Justin Bieber was declining because his high-pitched voice was long gone! Mentally, I was in a fine place, though, because I had people to talk to at school. Despite that, I still had confidence struggles in intermediate school. I was already comparing myself to the other girls, so my liking a boy band with a devoted female fanbase decreased my confidence and self-esteem quite a lot. I researched One Direction all the time, so of course, Google had to shove it in my face that the members had beautiful girlfriends (or friends that were girls).

Regardless of that, I still liked their music, saw their movie One Direction: This Is Us (2013), had posters of them on my wall, wore 1D shirts, and I bought their next two albums, which are bangers! Then high school came around, a weird time for me that I do not want to revisit; I told myself that I wanted to put my childish and fangirl ways aside. As a result, I stopped listening to One Direction in early 2014, during the second half of my freshman year of high school. The last song I heard of theirs before my “break” was “Steal My Girl,” and it was pretty catchy! I was sad to give them up, especially since I started liking Tomlinson out of nowhere, and he replaced Styles as being my favorite member of the band. But I thought, “they have loads of fans; they’re going to be fine!” Boy, was I wrong!

On March 25, 2015, the band announced that Malik would be leaving the group. I don’t think I was too affected by that. Nor was I affected by the band’s split in 2016 because I was listening to alternative rock bands instead, like Sleeping with Sirens and Pierce the Veil; I thought it was “cool”! 

My drawing of Louis Tomlinson from September 15, 2018

Suddenly during the summer of 2018, before my sophomore year of college, I started listening to One Direction again, and my fascination with Tomlinson increased to the max! Not only that, it was the first time I listened to the band’s last two albums, Four (2014) and Made in the A.M. (2015), which both featured a much more mature sound than their earlier days. After watching more recent interviews and performances of theirs, and Louis Tomlinson’s best vocals-type videos, I finally reacted to the band’s split, and I was devastated!

That’s not the worst part, though. Because I was fascinated with Tomlinson, I researched his past relationships. I knew he had a girlfriend and that I wasn’t in the right mindset, but I pictured Tomlinson as the perfect guy who’d never be interested in a girl like me. In a way, I used Tomlinson to represent all the guys in the world. He liked these girls with certain body types, long gorgeous hair, and were tall, etc. I kept on thinking, “Guys don’t like me because I don’t look like Louis’ girlfriends!” Then again, how am I supposed to know what types of girls he dates? I don’t know how his mind works.

Anyway, I got sadder and sadder looking at pictures of Tomlinson with his girlfriend(s), to a point where my self-confidence was gone. I follow his (current) girlfriend on Instagram, too; she’s a model and a fashion blogger. She seems nice, and this girl was a saint considering what she goes through because of the Larry Stylinson shippers (that’s for another time). I also tried to get Tomlinson to notice me on Twitter, and that’s when I realized, “ok, this is getting weird!”

Another downside to getting back into One Direction is knowing that times have changed. They weren’t the same innocent, young boys they once were. Instead, they’ve all grown up, got tattoos, and have solo careers of their own. Styles and Tomlinson were close friends in the early days of One Direction, but their interaction became minimal in the later years, to a point where they hardly hugged each other, let alone stood next to each other anymore. They still had their moments following Midnight Memories (2013), but not like The X Factor UK days. It was hard; actually, it’s still hard dealing with the fact that things change and that nothing stays the same forever.

I took another break from their music in early 2019, but then I go through phases where I watch One Direction videos and listen to their music still. That’s why I never got rid of their albums because I knew I would revisit them. I even bought their movie on DVD at the Book Off around mid to late 2019. Honestly, I regret giving up One Direction in high school because they were my happy place. I enjoyed listening to their music, and I should’ve supported the band when I had the chance because how was I supposed to know that they’d split up two years later?

Being a One Direction fangirl is one big rollercoaster ride, but I still love the band because they became a part of me; their funny compilation videos cheer me up, and Tomlinson’s solo music is incredible. I got caught up comparing myself to Tomlinson’s girlfriends that I forgot to only focus on him and his music. I enjoy Styles’ music too, but I connected with Tomlinson’s songs and how he struggled with confidence as well.

I keep on telling myself this, but everyone is different, and nobody is perfect. We should strive to be the best versions of ourselves, rather than comparing ourselves to others and focusing on what we don’t have. Yes, I have a disability, I can’t feel on the right side of my face, my hair is uncooperative most of the time, and I wear a lot of black, but I’m still me, and my appearance should not define who I am! So remember, be you and don’t try to be like other people!

Take care and see ya real soon!

Lana 

60 thoughts on “Confessions of a One Direction Fangirl

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  1. Not a band I know much about, but I understood your rollercoaster ride via this post. An excellent piece. And your message of self-acceptance transcends which band it was. You are beautiful for who you are, we all are. The internet and social media have made it easy to think everyone else has it together, why can’t I? when they’re probably just as insecure and worried as anyone else. I hope a lot of people (who surely need it) find this post.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Aaron! Exactly! It’s like people have two different personas: the one that has it together on social media and the one that feels lost off screen. I was worried that this post would be odd because I didn’t want to sound too dramatic, so it means a lot to me you enjoyed it!

      By the way, I hardly go on instagram nowadays and I feel great!

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      1. Not too dramatic, Lana. It’s real. It’s you. Social media has its good uses but more often it becomes a time suck. Check out Jaron Lanier on YouTube (I know, I know), an insider who has some interesting things to say about curbing its use.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Awww again, thank you so much Aaron for supporting my mental health posts like this. I agree, that’s why I don’t spend much time on my phone nowadays. I recognize Jaron because he was featured in ‘The Social Dilemma’ documentary on Netflix. It’s about the downsides to social media and how it can screw you up. Good stuff!

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      3. I will always support mental health posts, and every effort to improve and better yourself. My lovely wife is a therapist, which in no way makes me an expert, but I’ve been learning more about it for over 20 years now, through her. I am definitely empathetic and, I think/hope I’m just smart enough to know that the struggle is real, and it takes strength to get out there like that. Full support from here, anyway. You are awesome, never lose that.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I still think it’s cool that your wife is a therapist. You don’t have to be in the field of mental health to know that the struggle is real, that comes with experience. With you and everyone else’s support on my blog as well as other circumstances, I’m starting to believe I’m awesome myself. Talking to you has been helpful too, so thank you!

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      5. Hey you’re welcome! I know it’s tough out there, but if you believe in yourself, not much of that can bug you too much.

        Yeah my lovely wife is so good at her job. I’m biased, of course. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Yeah I knew that, long ago. 🙂 She’s always had an interest in helping people (and is an excellent artist), and was basically a straight-A student. Probably it was a natural progression, took psych and art history and it all lead to an MA in Art Therapy, and now 20 years in the field.

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Oh art therapy nice! I love hearing about how these different art forms (like music, dance, and art) can better one’s mental health or help diagnose patients. Ah 20 years and going strong!

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      8. Yeah it’s a serious thing, the creative arts therapies. Most people think it’s arts and crafts to make people feel better, it’s pretty dismissive. I mean, she has an MA and is a certified Canadian counsellor and intensive case manager. If they only knew the work – actually it’s double, because it’s usual therapy AND creation.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expressive_therapies

        Actually, 21 years in the field, now I think about it…

        Liked by 1 person

      9. I agree and creativity is a hard skill to have; it doesn’t come naturally. Some people just assume things without really knowing the facts. Thanks for providing the wiki page for expressive therapies. I didn’t even know that was a thing.

        Woah 21 years, nice!

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      10. You can train yourself to be more creative, I think, though it may seem easier if you just have it, naturally. I think the trick is to never stop practicing, never stop learning, never stop challenging.

        People assume a lot. Too much. And they miss beautiful, strong, helpful things because of it.

        I’m glad you found out about what that all is, it’s really incredible. People respond in so many different ways, traditional ‘sit and talk about it’ therapy isn’t possible for everyone – so it’s good there are viable, effective alternatives.

        Liked by 1 person

      11. Exactly! And that’s what’s great about Disney too. It allows people to be creative and imaginative, and it opens your eyes to new things.

        Unfortunately, people like that will never go away.

        Especially because everyone is different and like you said, the traditional methods don’t work with everyone. When I went to therapy, I couldn’t speak about my feelings, so I came up with the idea to play a song that described my mood. Music was a way to get my thoughts out.

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      12. I honestly don’t even remember. There was always music. The radio, and swing/big band and country at my grandparents. My whole life, probably, in some way. I started making music (beyond kid noise) around 12, in band.

        Liked by 1 person

      13. That’s cool you started playing at age 12. My dad used to blast his music in the house at night. It was so loud that I though the house was going to explode lol! He doesn’t do that anymore. He mostly plays music when he’s working on the house or cooking on the grill now.

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      14. My Mom was the music source, the one with the jukebox. My Dad will listen to whatever but doesn’t go out of his way to put it on.

        Yeah, we started instrumental band practices at about 12 years old, grade 7, we called it. I started on trumpet, then me and another guy switched so I had an alto saxophone, but we both disliked what we had and switched back. I still have my trumpet, in the other room. I can still play scales. Talk about muscle memory.

        Liked by 1 person

      15. Oh cool your mom was the music source! Again I’m jealous because my mom just plays whatever is on the radio and she doesn’t care for rock much.

        Oh yeah I think you mentioned trumpet before. Did your school have an intermediate band class where you perform pieces and you have a concert every semester?

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      16. Yup, my Mom fed us a steady diet of Beatles and Elvis (and Beach Boys, etc). It was her jukebox.

        Yes we had a concert band, played for the school, and travelled to other schools to play for the kids. We also did massed-bands concerts with other schools combined with ours. I also was part of a side jazz band we started and we used to go play in the high school a town over. They didn’t have a band, just vocal music, so we were like rock stars lol.

        When I got to high school myself I was in the concert and stage/jazz bands. We played in international music festivals (Boston and Chicago) as well as Toronto a bunch of times (even the infamous Teenage Head stage at Ontario Place). We also played on the Parliament steps in Ottawa. None of it was a big deal, but when you’re young it seems like it is.

        Liked by 1 person

      17. Wow, Elvis and Beach Boys, all the good stuff!

        Yeah my middle school concert band went to Maui I believe. I don’t think my school did a mass-band concept. But we got to visit the high school marching band and see what all the fuss was about. It was cool because I met a new friend, who was a junior, and she remembered me when I got to high school! That was epic! Did you guys get girls like rock stars do? Lol

        Sounds like you played all over Toronto, which is cool. You got to go to Chicago and Boston, nice! Playing at international music festivals is a big deal. I got to go to Chicago for marching band and we watched a symphony doing Disney music I believe. So Chicago was fun, despite eating deep dish pizza and getting sick of cheese for months lol! You were in concert band, did you play trumpet for that in high school? I forgot if I asked you about that.

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      18. Yeah a real steady diet of the classics, for sure. Burned me out on the Beatles, though. No girls like rock stars. I mean, we were 12 years old. Yeah I played trumpet in every band I was in. The concert band did classical and contemporary arrangements, the stage band did jazz combo stuff (e.g. Sweet Georgia Brown, etc). It was fun.

        Liked by 1 person

      19. Yeah not a Beatles person, don’t think I ever will be. I thought girls liked rock stars, isn’t that why Bon Jovi, Poison, and Def Leppard got a lot of girls? Classical and contemporary, I’m guessing no Disney? For some reason, my concert band played a Frozen medley and Wind I (the top concert band at my high school) did an Up (Disney Pixar movie) medley. Never really dug jazz, but it is soothing!

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  2. Great post Lana. I can’t add anything better than Aaron wrote above! As far as their music, my favorite is Same Mistake. I have all their songs engrained in my head and not by choice. I have two daughters who were fans and when in the car, I had little choice as I was outnumbered by the women in the car 3 to 1.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post John! Thanks so much! “Same Mistakes,” wow that one is a deep cut. Yeah sorry to hear you were forced to listen to 1D haha! So even your wife liked them? I don’t know how many daughters you have.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I agree with the above, great post. You aren’t the only one who became obsessed with a band and I’ve heard of instances where people became even more so, to the point of stalking. You knew when to reign it in. While I’ve never gone full obsession over any artist or band, there are songs which are forever engrained in my memory while there are some which hide in the “Saved Folder” inside my head, ready to come forth when needed so, we’re all quite similar in this regards.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for sharing that 80smetalman! Yes, not everyone can relate to the boybands portion, but I knew people would relate to having songs engrained in your brain and became a part of you. I like that you brought up songs in the “Saved Folder” because I have some of those as well! I’m glad you enjoyed the post too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. One thing I’ve discovered is you’ll never leave a band forever. Maybe for a while, but you’ll always eventually come back to them. I had not listened to Pantera for 20 years, then last year I went on a tear and don’t know why I stopped listening to them, lol.

    It is hard for most to come to terms with how others will have an easier or “better” life just for the way they look. But it is just a fact of life. You either live with it or let it eat you up.

    100% guarantee there is a pile of guys for you to choose from out there. Any guy would be lucky to have you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OMG THAT IS SO TRUE!!! That explains why I cannot get over One Direction. I remember when you brought up Pantera in Mike’s show last year, so it’s interesting you brought that up.

      Yeah or people just make it seem like they have a better life because of their appearance, but they are struggling offscreen. I’ve also learned that people want what they don’t have, so there’s that!

      Thank you so much Kevin! That means a lot to me. Hopefully I’ll find someone. I’m not in a rush thankfully because I have school and my blog. If it happens, it happens! Can I ask you though how old you were when you met Sarah?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was extremely lucky to meet her when I was 21. But that should not be a timeline for you. People in their 20s tend to think they need to have it all figured out. I’m in my 40s and I’m still thinking about what I want to do when I grow up, lol. You got a lifetime ahead of you, kid.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks Kevin! I know it was a weird question to ask because everyone is different, but I was just curious. I’m glad you found happiness with Sarah in your 20s. I guess I’ll just go with the flow. I forgot what your job is btw, what do you do? I think you mentioned it on Mike’s show a few times.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, that’s quite a journey! I appreciate how authentic you were here. Self-love and acceptance are such major aspects of life. And I absolutely agree with what everyone else said above!!
    I remember when What’s Make you Beautiful, was released, it was playing everywhere; school, stores and in my house too. I came to know of 1D a year or so after they split and I honestly like post-1D songs more. Louis Tomlinson is my favourite too!
    Heartfelt write!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post D and thank you for your support! Absolutely, self-love needs to be talked about more.

      Omg I love Louis’ solo work, his first solo album is amazing and so worth the wait! To bad he can’t go on tour supporting it! 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Baby you light up my world like nobody else
    The way the you flip your hair gets me overwhelmed
    But when you smile at the ground it ain’t hard to tell
    You don’t know ohh ohh
    You don’t know you’re beautiful oh ohh
    And that’s what makes you beautiful
    Your blog is just amazing lana..and the lyrics really suit(:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Omg thank you so much hamnagafoor! I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I didn’t think about the positive message of WMYB, now that I think about it! I just thought the lyrics were catchy lol! What’s your favorite song by 1D?

      Like

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