Things change. People grow up. You see old friends less and less. Gas becomes more expensive and so does guacamole. Life just happens that way. So when your favorite band One Direction releases a new song, all you want is to sink into it, let the melodies of young boys, nay men, coast over and comfort you.
Wait. Hold on. Stop the music.Something is not right. Something is missing. Someone is missing. Fuck.
Of course.This is the first One Direction song released without the bad boy vocal stylings of Zayn Malik. Malik abruptly left the British boy band five months ago, breaking the hearts of young girls everywhere. His rockstar hairdo and numerous tattoos gained him the reputation as the delinquent of the crew. Also, it didn’t hurt that he was the only person of color (his father is Pakistani) in the group so of course it was an obvious choice to brand him as the naughty one, the “other” to the Western world, full of young tweens hungry for danger!
And without Zayn Malik pulling the glossy boy band image toward the wild side simply by being a shade darker than everyone else, I honestly don’t know if I can enjoy One Direction’s music. Suddenly there are no undertones of imperialism and that’s my favorite thing about pop ballads. Harry, Liam, Louis, and Niall just don’t have the edge that turns me on. “The edge” is my desire to frame my identity and innocence around what and who I am not. And when I look at those pale-ass mother fuckers, I just see myself. Yawn.
You know, I don’t know if I can call myself a Directioner anymore. In fact, I’m going to follow Zayn Malik’s new budding solo career and continue defining my own whiteness in comparison to his ethnic ambiguity!