April 1, 2022 | LIFE | By Carlee Castillo | Illustration by Kira Schulist

From their boyband days to their newfound solo careers, the boys of One Direction inspired sisterhood. On March 26 of this year, Summit Denver hosted Club 90’s: Midnight Memories One Direction Night. The catalog of songs ranged from the band’s first to last album, inspiring an abundance of nostalgia in those who were lucky enough to attend.

Prior to the night, I was apprehensive about walking the streets of Denver. Yet, my friends and I were met with welcoming faces and smiles. Summit Denver is nestled within the downtown Dairy Block. Within walking distance from Denver’s infamous Milk Market, the area offered both safety and an abundance of fun opportunities. The Milk Market cafeteria-style restaurant boasts a myriad of assorted eateries, from pizza to gelato.

This range was also reflected inside the doors of Summit Denver. As One Direction’s “Steal My Girl” weaved through the fluorescent lights, the band’s voices were accompanied by screaming 18 to 50 year olds. Age does not limit adoration.

The fangirl phenomenon is something that is often invalidated. When women express an intense love for boy bands or celebrities, we are belittled or categorized as hysterical. Yet, when men gather in support of their favorite sports team donning garish face paint and wailing deafening cheers, they are esteemed for their loyalty.

The adamant allegiance of fangirls was best displayed on the dreaded day of March 25, 2015 – when Zayn Malik officially left One Direction. “Everybody was crying at school. My friend found out in the locker room and was so upset that she couldn’t go to her 7th grade gym class,” said Alexis Kaer ’24.

Such devoted fans filled the halls of One Direction night, and the event was better for it. Our most successful artists are made famous by the ardent support of teenage girls. As Harry Styles said in an interview with Vogue, “Music is something that’s always changing. There’s no goal posts. Young girls like The Beatles. You gonna tell me they’re not serious?”

In addition to the intensity fangirls offer, we also build community. One Direction has earned dozens of awards, over 6.6 million album sales, and 4 platinum records. However, their true impact is found in the lives they have touched.

Tara Seigel, 18, of Castle Rock, Colo. is a lifelong self-proclaimed fangirl. From the age of 8, Seigel has attended concerts, stayed up late for new singles, and housed multiple cardboard cutouts of the members. In reference to the community-building of One Direction Night, Seigel said, “the opportunity to celebrate the band was so special and fulfilling, especially for us older [fans].”

Unfortunately, the DJ didn’t play all of One Direction’s hits. She also interspersed some questionable dubstep remixes (alongside the projection of a problematic Euphoria edit). However, the night was still thoroughly enjoyable.

The celebration of One Direction, in turn, allowed for the celebration of boyband superfans. Styles continues in his interview with Vogue, “[fangirls] are our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans – they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’” 

Although the band has gone in different directions, they still have a whole lot of history to celebrate.

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