The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Susannigans: boy bands must not say bye-bye-bye yet

3 min read


A robbery took place in Great Hall on Saturday night.

At PRISM’s annual Drag Show, Diktation, a group of five girls in spot-on Boy Band drag, were robbed of the first place prize.

With bandanas, faux dreadlocks, Sharpied facial hair and taped down breasts, Dikation brought the cross-dressed crowd back to the turn of the Millennium; a time where 18-year olds wearing pleather ruled the world. They even had the pop-n-lock choreography.

So what ever happened to Boy Bands? Or perhaps the question we should all really be  asking, is what ever happened to bubble gum pop?

With the birth of digital music came the death of the Top 40. The iTunes Top 10 is dominated by Kanye West, Lady Gaga, and the latest whiney-indie-band-you’ve-probably-never-heard-of. Our culture has abandoned the teeny-boppers.

Justin Timberlake now owns two restaurants and “Sweet as Candy” Mandy Moore is engaged to alt-country crooner Ryan Adams. Even Britney Spears, once the body-glittered queen of bubble gum, has reverted to a more mature, R&B infused sound.

But just because the pop stars have grown up, does that mean we have to?

Back in the day, I was a devoted ‘N Sync fan, and not a Backstreet Boys one. You were one or the other; it was impossible to be both.

My favorite ‘N Syncer was J.C. Chasez, the sensitive artsy one. I even bought a “J.C.” bracelet from Claire’s accessories, which my agnostic mother made me throw away because she thought the initials “J.C.” stood for a different worshipped superstar.

I dragged my father not to one, but two ‘N Sync concerts, where he proceeded to lose half his eyesight from staring at pyrotechnics and half his hearing from explosive pre-teen screeching.

While as a sixth grader I could not pinpoint where the appeal came from, looking back now, I seem to have a better understanding of why I filled my head with such simpleton lyrics and idiotic synthesized hooks; Boy Bands were a proxy for my ideal boyfriends.

The competition between the oodles of Boy Bands in the late 90s was fierce, because they all had the same formula: five guys; one ultra-hunk, one bad boy, one-you-could-take-home-to-Mom, one foreigner, and one obvious homosexual.

My pre-teen perspective on romance was uncomplicated and drama-free.

I had never been kissed, but I had faith that every boy in my class could be reduced to these five Bop magazine-approved categories. It was just a matter of picking which one looked best pinned up in my locker.

In terms of my perspective on college dating, besides now having been kissed, not much has changed.

While most of my generation has now placed Boy Bands in the “guilty pleasure” playlist of their iPods, I urge them to bust out the O-town with pride.

Nothing can bring a group of 20 year old females together like a jam session to the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want it That Way.” You know you love it too.

Why should I feel “guilty” for enjoying rocking out to “Tearin’ Up My Heart?” It’s not like I’m kicking puppies.

Rumor has it that Dikation will be reuniting at next year’s Drag Show. Hopefully ‘N Sync will follow suit. If only Justin Timberlake would stop making those “Saturday Night Live” digital shorts.