The boy band obsession is back


We’ve been infected with Bieber Fever, “we know why we’re beautiful,” “we want it that way” and “there are no strings attached.”

Yes, that’s right. Boy bands were all the rage in the ’90s, and those boyish good looks and sweet voices are charming their way back into mainstream popular culture.

Summer Merrell, a junior studying psychology, definitely had the Bieber Fever long before “Never Say Never,” but the movie did strengthen the love affair she shares with JB.

“He is just so cute and entertaining,” Merrell said. “The way the movie portrayed him, he seems so humble. You can tell he really appreciates his fans.”

Merrell’s love of boy bands was encouraged by her older sister and has stuck with her.

“There’s something fun about the nostalgia these bands bring back,” Merrell said. “We see fashion trends making their way back, and now we see the boy band obsession coming back. The throwback is cool.”

Haleigh Smith, a junior from Houston, Texas, has been a boy band fan since her childhood. She owns action figures, the *NSYNC marionettes, all the albums, posters and T-shirts.

“*NSYNC was the first cassette I ever had, and I’ve loved them ever since,” Smith said. “I just love them all. Boy bands are pleasing to the eye and the ear. There’s something irresistible about them.”

Both Merrell and Smith were “*NSYNC girls” growing up, but they agree they can’t pick an allegiance to the boy bands of today.

“First it was the Jackson 5, then the Osmonds, then *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys,” Smith said. “Now it’s Justin Bieber and One Direction. For each generation, a new one comes along. I think it’s because as girls, we like that. They’re entertaining, and they’re easy to love.”

Matt Shaw, also from Houston, Texas, wasn’t a diehard fan from the start. For him, it took some time before the Bieber Fever stole his heart.

“Justin Bieber was so popular to hate,” Shaw said. “When I actually listened, I liked him. But it was the movie that converted me. The guy’s the bomb, and now I’m a proud owner of a purple hoodie.”

Shaw believes that boy bands are making their way back into popular culture because people get tired of the pop, rap and other popular forms of music that have been the rage this past decade.

“It’s a natural cycle,” Shaw said. “There’s a whole culture around boy bands, and I’m glad people are finally getting back into ‘real’ music. It’s normal and harmless to love a dreamy guy.”

Stephen Micklesen, from Kinnewick, Wash., says his love story with Bieber also happened after he saw “Never Say Never.”

“If I could, I would totally choose to be the Biebs,” Micklesen said. “He has great hair, he landed an older woman and he rides around on a Segway. Though, I do love the 90s boy bands better — I have a playlist just for boy bands.”

Micklesen believes the resurging trend of loving boy bands is easily explainable.

“They sing about love,” Micklesen said. “Everyone can relate to that. New love, heartbreak, any love, it always goes straight to the heart.”

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