March 25, 2015

My Daughter's Heart Broke Today ~ Good Bye Zayn Malik

One of the roughest things a parents has to do is watch their child suffer.  It is even harder when you can't relate to their pain whatsoever.Chances are unless you have a female teenager in your life you have absolutely no clue the intense fandom One Direction has.  You probably know their songs as they're played EVERYWHERE. Possibly if pressed you could name one of the band members (there are 5).  
Today the world of Directioners (that's what their fans are called) was devastated with the announcement that Zayn Malik has left the band.  If the reaction of my daughter was the norm then there are a lot of households around the world with a very inconsolable,distraught, crying teenager. And Zayn wasn't even her favorite!!
While it absolutely kills me to see her so sad  and wish her tears would end ~ I cannot relate.  
The last band that caused this much hysteria was the Beatles.  Now before we go any further I am NOT comparing music styles, accomplishments or contributions to the music industry.  I am simply stating the last time a boy band had this type of effect on girls was back in the 1960's with the Beatles (Sorry NYSNC fans).  There has always been teen heart-throbs and rocks stars for years have had swooning fans.  This group,  fueled by social media, are undeniably a world-wide phenomenon.  The Beatles were a bit before my time so I have no reference point for when they broke up.  I remember friends of my parents being distraught when Elvis died, and honestly that's the closest I can come to a similar experience. While I was heart-broken when Karen Carpenter died comparing that to my daughter's anguish is comparable to calling a spring rain a hurricane.
What truly bothers me is the negativity that's swarming social media.  Zayn's fiance is already receiving hate mail from fans saying she's the reason why their world is ending. (Maybe Yoko could offer some advice here).  What amazes me is the personal attacks against the fans from their peers.  To mock or judge some one's pain because you can't relate is something teens do but thanks (read extremely sarcastically) to social media the mocking doesn't end when you leave school. Twitter and Facebook and Instagram and Messaging follow you EVERYWHERE  until you unplug. Then of course they're simply there waiting for you.
I think that those who become extreme fans, intense fans actually get to experience something those of us who don',t can't relate to.  With very little exception I can't imagine being this upset about the passing of a celebrity, never mind someone simply leaving a group.  There were many grown men who shed a tear last year when Derek Jeter retired from the Yankees that are going to possibly be a little misty when they take the field on opening day April 6 without him. I dare someone to mock one of those fans to their face! 
To be that emotionally invested in something/someone you have no true ties to takes a huge heart.  To say that the pain they feel when this special relationship changes or ends is bogus or immature I believe comes from a place of jealousy. Not many of us are able to be that devoted to something/someone without any immediate personal gratification.  Granted my memory is pretty horrible but aside from a few Shaun Cassidy or Donny and Marie moments I can't recall anything that touched my teen years the way One Direction has effected my daughter these last five years.
So, Zayn Malik I wish you much happiness and the peace you desperately seek.  I know that One Direction won't be the same without you and I wish them great luck as a quartet.  I also know that my daughter's tears will dry and someday, though not too soon, she'll be able to listen to your songs and not cry.  

Remember to Always Wear Your Invisible Crown
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