Meet Katia, Nicole, Michelle and Margaret – four high school seniors from Westchester, New York, who have one goal: to take the faces of boy band resurgence, UK sensation One Direction, to their prom. It’s been about sixteen years, nearly their whole lives, since I remember my sister plastering her walls with glossy images of Justin Timberlake and Nick Carter. The boy band trend has come full circle for the fourth or fifth time and it’s no surprise. What’s not to like from the point of view of a teenage girl? They’re attractive young men with good intentions and romantic hearts they wear proudly on their sleeves. Did I mention these dudes can sing? And dance? It’s a teen dream.
I asked these four ‘Directioners’ (which I assume is the moniker their masses of fans have taken on) some questions about what it’s like to campaign for a boy band to take them to their prom and what it’s like to be in high school (I forgot!). We even listened to each other’s favorite bands.
What’s your high school like? If it’s all girls, do you still have a prom in which you can bring male escorts? Or is the prom located somewhere else?
“We go to an all girls school. It’s not just a high school though, it goes from grades 6-12. And even though it’s all girls, we can still bring dates to our prom that way we get the typical high school prom experience. It isn’t held at school though, it’s somewhere else.”
What do your parents think about your love for One Direction? Your classmates? Teachers? Are you getting a lot of support for this endeavor?
Margaret: “Our parents are really supportive about what we’re doing. They’re very encouraging about it and think it’s great that we’re going after our dream!”
Katia: “Yeah, I’d agree that our parents are very supportive. My dad tries to pretend he isn’t a One Direction fan, but I catch him humming their songs. You could say he’s a closet Directioner, but don’t tell him I told you that.”
Nicole: “And about our classmates, they are also really supportive! At our lunch table when we told them we wanted to do this they were all like ‘Go for it!’ They even helped brainstorm ideas and rattled off things we should do, people we should contact. They all wanted to help, it’s great!”
Are you all single? Do your parents let you date? If you’re not single, are your boyfriends fine with you taking superstars to the prom?
“We can all say we are single, so no need to worry about jealous boyfriends. We are allowed to date, though.”
Is anyone worried that One Direction will make a move on any of you during/after prom? Or should we expect them to be perfect gentlemen?
“I think we can expect them to be on their best behavior and act like perfect gentlemen, especially since two of them have girlfriends! And of course we respect their girlfriends, they seem like great girls and even seem like the girls we’d be friends with!”
How do you feel about boy bands in general? Is this love for One Direction out of nowhere or have you always been into this sort of stuff? How do you feel about Justin Bieber?
Nicole: “What girl doesn’t love a boy band? But One Direction just has everything! I mean the British & Irish accents, the hair, plus they’re absolutely hilarious.”
Michelle: “And I think Justin Bieber is a pretty cool dude if I do say so myself.”
Previous boy bands like *NSYNC and Backstreet Boys came out when you were just being born. How does that make you feel? Did you ever listen to those groups? As a child or when you got older and started actively searching out music?
Katia: “I still have Backstreet Boys songs on my iPod! And I will proudly admit to having a crush on Nick Carter when I was younger. It’s pretty cool to see boy bands starting to become popular again.”
Margaret: “I was actually more of an *NSYNC girl. Always thought I’d end up as Justin’s girlfriend but clearly things didn’t pan out as I’d hoped…”
Michelle: “Yea, my older sister was really into *NSYNC in the ’90s so I tried to impress her by listening to them too. I actually really do like them though. This I promise you!…get it?”
What other music do you like?
Michelle: “I like Big Time Rush, Jason Mraz, Taylor Swift, the Rizzle Kicks, Foster the People…I listen to everything!”
Nicole: “I really like country. Sugarland, Lady Antebellum, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Swift. But I listen to other music too, like I’m currently obsessed with Olly Murs.”
Katia: “I pretty much like everything but a few favorites are Taylor Swift, Coldplay, Oasis and Jason Mraz. Lately I’ve been listening to Ed Sheeran’s new album, though – he’s a god when it comes to lyrics!”
Margaret: “I pretty much want to be Taylor Swift. Also really love Ingrid Michaelson, Hilary Duff and Train.”
Have you ever heard of Grimes? If so, do you like her? Or are you more of a ‘Jepfriend’?
Katia: “Can’t say we’ve ever heard of Grimes, but I’m gonna take a wild guess and say a Jepfriend is a fan of Carly Rae Jepsen. Fingers crossed I’m right!”
Margaret: “If she is right, I’d like to take this moment to dedicate the song ‘Call Me Maybe’ to Harry, Niall, Louis, Zayn and Liam. We want to take you boys to our prom, so call us maybe!”
In Taylor Swift’s video for ‘You Belong With Me’, she plays two different characters. Which one of you sides closest with the nerd and which side closest with the cheerleader?
Michelle: “I think we all side closer with her nerdy character. Her character is just more relateable and down to earth.”
Nicole: “We’re quirky and weird, and we don’t really take ourselves too seriously. We’re always fooling around and laughing!”
Katia: “Especially the scene when she’s dancing around singing in her room – that’s definitely us.”
Would you honestly consider yourselves popular? Are there cliques in your school? Would you say people in the less popular cliques care and/or know about your One Direction prom campaign?
Katia: “I wouldn’t say we’re popular, and just like any other high school there’s going to be some cliques. We get along with a lot of people, though.”
Margaret: “The four of us are each other’s best friends, but we have other friends from other groups, classes and grades.”
Nicole: “Other people in our class know about our One Direction prom campaign, they’ve seen the picture of us at the Today show with our signs and always hear us talk about it. I’m not sure if they’ve all realized how serious we are about it, but they sure will now!”
Do you think Rebecca Black is real?
Katia: “I think she’s a myth, like the Lochness monster.”
Have you heard of the boy band called Odd Future? What do you think of them? They call their collective ‘Wolf Gang’. If you had to name you and your friends as a group what would it be (other than Directioners)?
Nicole: “Don’t really listen to Odd Future – we’ve heard of them, though.”
Margaret: “And to answer the other question, we’d name ourselves ‘anyz’!”
Even though we have very different tastes, I wanted to get these Directioners’ take on the kind of stuff I listened to when I was their age. I sent them a list of songs for them to comment on and they did the same for me. I told them they could rip into it, but these girls are just too nice.
Neutral Milk Hotel, ‘Holland, 1945′
Michelle: “I like this song, it’s fun to listen to. Kind of reminds me of a song I know, but I can’t really put my finger on it.”
LFO, ‘Summer Girls’
Katia: “I actually already know this song, love it! Ugh now I really wish it was summer though.”
Margaret: “Me too! I always listen to this during the summer.”
Elliott Smith, ‘Miss Misery’
Katia: “Not that big of a fan of this one, but it’s not bad.”
Nicole: “Yeah, I like the other two better, but this one’s still cool.”
Michelle: “I like her sound, it’s really different but interesting!”
The Strokes, ‘Last Nite’
Margaret: “I’ve never really listened to The Strokes to be honest but this is a pretty cool song.:
And for me, songs of their choosing:
Weezer, ‘If You’re Wondering If I Want You To’
This is funny to me because late in middle school, I was actually OBSESSED with Weezer. Probably close to your obsession with One Direction. I lived and breathed The Blue Album and Pinkerton. But I’m gonna be an old grump and be honest with you: Weezer took a nose dive when Matt Sharp left. Not into this.
Lady Antebellum, ‘I Run To You’
Oh, these guys are really popular between the coasts, huh? I think I saw them on the Grammy’s or something a year ago. It’s a bit sentimental for me.
Mumm-ra, ‘She’s Got You High’
This was on the (500) Days of Summer soundtrack, right? Good for movies, good for commercials. Would never listen to it myself. What is this guy’s accent? Is he pretending? I think this is supposed to make me feel something but I don’t know what. I think I’m hungry.
One Direction, ‘I Wish’
This is the catchiest thing you sent me by far. I could get down to this alone in my car. I wouldn’t tell anyone about it. But, sure, I could drive down a freeway and get weird to this. Da-da-da-da-da.
Visit the girls’ website for more information on their campaign and learn how you can help get One Direction to take them to prom. And if they don’t make it to upstate New York, I’m sure some dapper young gentleman would love to take them. Leave all elaborate prom proposals in the comment section.