All hail an internet crisis is upon us! If you are of the age of fourteen or below and a One Direction fan, the chances are that you're either crying in a corner somewhere right now, or you're busy tearing up your concert tickets to their next gig. My final guess is that you're recording a YouTube video whilst simultaneously doing the above.
If you're unaware, a video surfaced on the internet in the early hours of Wednesday morning in which One Direction member Zayn Malik, 21, (all exhale) is seen smoking a marijuana joint in the back of a van. Another member of the band, Louis Tomlinson, 22, is heard recording the footage and narrating over it.
Obviously there is the concern that the boys are role models to a host of young girls (and boys?) who are easily influenced by their behaviour and will be shocked to learn that this is the type of pass-time that the boys engage in.
What I find concerning is that people (their fans) choose to believe that the boys are the squeaky clean teenagers that they once were. The boys shot to fame at the age of 15. The youngest one is now 21 years old. The boys deserve to grow up. Let's take a hint: Liam has grown a beard that nearly touches his belly button, Harry has covered his torso in tattoos, Zayn is rarely pictured without a cigarette in hand and is engaged to be married, Louis is looking like a bin man and the Irish one is...well, he's still boring. When fame begins at such a young age, you don't expect it to have longevity. But when it does, it's not necessarily up to you to continue the image you were once given before you hit puberty.
There's evidence of it happening everywhere: Bieber's covered himself in tattoos and drink-drives. Miley grabs her crotch and licks objects resembling penis', Britney shaved her hair off, Rihanna started instagramming photos of joints, Lindsay went gay, Take That disappeared for ten years, Macaulay grew a beard and took up heroin as a hobby. There's a theme here. These are people trying to prove a point.
What's wrong is not the boy's actions; it's the person who leaked the footage. They are to blame. Without them, their fans could carry on in their oblivious bubble of what really goes on behind closed doors.
It's important for people in the public eye to prove to the world that they're human. It's important for them to shed their skin. It's too much to ask for a human to maintain a squeaky clean image for their entire lives. Are they meant to remain asexual virgins forever?
Since when did anyone own them? This is the problem with fame today: fans need to understand that, other than buying their records, they have no ownership over their idols. Yes, they have you to thanks for their record sales and fame. But they don't owe you their right to adulthood.
I find it worrying that these young fans who have been tearing up their One Direction tickets and tweeting the boys messages of pure disgust and disapproval are so ignorant to think that in their spare time the boys sit around and twiddle their thumbs.
Here's a solution: how about teenagers today picked people close to them as their idols? People they know personally? Not figures in the public eye.
I feel sorry for the boys. I feel sorry for their constant attention. They've called their lawyers and I wish them luck. you can't quit fame. The world must be a continuous swarm of bees to them, following their every move.
...And by the way, Solange Knowles' record sales have gone up by 200% since the elevator incident. See? There's no such thing as bad press.