It has been eight years, and I still love One Direction

Image credit: One Direction

Image credit: One Direction

Missing the days of One Direction? Natalie Fornasier writes a love letter to the band that changed her life.

The month was November; the year was 2011. I was sitting on my bed neglecting HSC study when I came across a suggestion on YouTube called ‘One Direction’s Funniest Moments’. I saw five boys in the thumbnail dressed in bizarre onesies sitting on stairs. I clicked the link and eight years later, here I am. Did I know then; I’d be a social media slave to everything and anything 1D? Did I know I would find profound joy in my love for an X-Factor boyband that reached global success? No, I didn’t. But boy, did I enjoy the ride.

Harry Styles is my personal kryptonite. I had always loved British accents, sea-green eyes and curly, unruly hair - ever since I was little. I fell in love with all of them (but Harry was the favourite by miles), their personalities, their silliness. I fell in love with the way they would make me feel. I fell in love with the community around the band, so I followed their movements from the small X Factor stage to the biggest arenas in the world with heart emoji eyes. They struck a chord with me, a girl whose parents had just gotten divorced and desperately needed a smile.

The best way I can describe the feeling of being so incredibly, head over heels, down the rabbit hole in love with a boyband is this: it's like when you’re at a concert of someone you love dearly, and the lights suddenly shut off. You know they’re about to come out and suddenly, like a spark of lighting, there’s such an intense feeling of anticipation. There’s a rush of adrenaline pumping around your body and so much joy, and then, the band walks out and you just can’t help but scream or jump up or wave your arms above your head like you’re signalling a plane to land. It’s the kind of feeling I wish I could bottle forever. It’s a universal feeling of excitement in the purest form.

Being a fan of a boyband is a lot of fun. Some of the best memories of my life I can attribute to One Direction. I was lucky enough to see the band every year they toured Australia, and once in Spain. I saw them perform back-to-back nights, and that happened to be one of the last concerts as a five-piece as and their last tour. I have been that girl who is criticised for her music taste, but I’ve also been the girl who makes lifelong friends with complete strangers at the back of the mosh pit because of our mutual love. I have been at the other end of Harry Styles’ obsession with throwing water bottles into the crowd, copping a water bottle to the chest and being soaked to skin (talk about a sign!).

It’s been three years since their hiatus and they’re still with me in my car when I drive to work. They’re with me when I have an anxiety attack and I need a distraction to re-centre. A piece of them is with me, and it will always be with me, whether or not the band ever ends their hiatus. I grew up with them, they’re responsible for my teenage years and my early twenties.

Being ‘obsessed’ isn’t the right way to describe it, I’d ultimately call it ‘passionate’. The love you have for a celebrity is hard to put into words. It isn’t the same love I have for my family, or the love I have for my best friends. It’s a different kind of love, and I know it’s there because I can feel it. Love is an abstract term that can fit almost anywhere you apply it, and I know when I listen to them, or see them in an article, or a video of their solo-journey – I’ll always love them in my way, and they will always be a group of five badly dressed boys sitting on the stairs. I can’t put into words how to thank them, but I will only say this: if the Jonas Brothers can come back, so can One Direction.

Natalie Fornasier describes herself as a raconteur who is quietly quirky with a passion for fashion and writing. She considers herself a digital native with an unhealthy love for mood-boards.