One Direction? Give me a break

All this adulation is a bit much, reckons Eleanor Doughty

If you had asked me a year ago which celebrities I fancied, I wouldn’t have been able to tell you. A recent development means that actor Eddie Redmayne is now the sole occupant of this list.

But ‘fancy’ is still too strong a word; I have not sat up all night plotting kidnap scenarios. I have not stalked his significant other. In fact, I don’t even know if he has one. I have not, reassuringly, found out what shoe size he is for my personal interest. Even if I knew where to find it.

I am not a very good member of the youth. I don’t get my celebrity fi’ fortnightly with Grazia and I don’t peruse the Sidebar of Shame. I ‘don’t do’ celebrity culture. Call me a philistine, but it is a consistent demonstration of everything I dislike about modern life, all mangled together in a hair-gelled web of disgust. I don’t give a monkey’s right hand that Beyoncé had her hair cut, or that she stuck it back on with extensions because clearly she had nothing better to do than eating Essex out of Nandos and being late for V-Fest. But Queen B is not the problem. The fans have lost sight of the squirrel.

Seeing the terrified expression on Eleanor Calder’s face – girlfriend of One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson – at the premiere of the band’s film This Is Us reignited my faded interest in Si-Co’s freakishly popular gang of scientifically engineered lab rats.

I will admit to having a One Direction sesh now and again. My flatmate and I used to cook and sing to them – mostly to annoy upstairs who preferred earlier boyband disasters NSync*. A choice few tracks are good for the gym – they’re upbeat. And because you’ll be dying to get as far away from them as possible, they’re helpful for personal bests. There’s no sadness with One Direction. Except, I guess, if you’re a fan.

And like everything else, there’s a name for them: ‘directioners’. I am not going to dignify that without inverted commas. They’ve had some bad press lately: first, GQ’s September issue awarded a cover for each band member, lighting the match for an online bushfire that had the editorial team threatened with mutilation. And then Channel Four’s Crazy About One Direction glorified their very existence: girls as old as 19 sat cross-legged on their childhood beds spelling out their (increasingly bizarre) fantasies. Good luck to them in five years when Harry Styles has completed his Pete Doherty metamorphosis.

Modern life has dealt teenage fan bases a dodgy hand. We’ve all been there: songs on repeat, blue-tacking posters up, obligatory gig souvenir queues, and singing into a hairbrush. But in 2013, for a select breed of fans, there’s less of the stage door activity and more of a ‘stalk ‘em until they’re your manservant’ type attitude. And that seems to be A Thing. Eugh.

From what I can deduce of my mum’s still-captured (but healthy) enthusiasm for David Essex and the newsletter she used to get, there was no section that stated in any detail the measurements of his you-know-what. Pardon my surprise, for this is just one of the vital nuggets you might get from being a fan of Harry Styles. Or perhaps superfan, for the presence of their two albums on one’s iPod does not prohibit access to such information. Clearly these girls have a thing for penises.

But it comes full circle. At the end of it all, celebrities still have belly button fluff, snot and – sadly – reproductive organs. Fingers too, in my book the defining factor when deciding that someone is in fact human. If in doubt, look at the hands. If their hands look like yours – see the identical hand twin Friends episode for clarification – then they’re probably human. And if not, then we’ve got more than just celebrity culture to deal with.

Life & Style
Sampling wine in Turin
food + drink...and abstaining may be worse than drinking too much, says scientist
Arts & Entertainment
Kingdom Tower
architecture
Sport
Jose Mourinho restrains his assistant manager Rui Faria, Fabio Borini celebrates his winning penalty and Connor Wickham equalises for Sunderland
sportChelsea 1 Sunderland 2: Deafeat is extra bitter as former Chelsea player Fabio Borini scores late penalty to seal victory
Arts & Entertainment
Game of Thrones writer George R.R. Martin has been working on the novels since the mid-Nineties
books
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Easter a dangerous time for dogs
these are the new ones. Old ones are below them... news
News
Brand said he
people
Sport
Roger Federer celebrates his victory over Novak Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Masters
sport
Voices
Actor Zac Efron
voicesTopless men? It's as bad as Page 3, says Howard Jacobson
Arts & Entertainment
The monster rears its head as it roars into the sky
film
Voices
For the Love of God (2007) The diamond-encrusted skull that divided the art world failed to sell for
its $100m asking price. It was eventually bought by a consortium
which included the artist himself.
voicesYou can shove it, Mr Webb – I'll be having fun until the day I die, says Janet Street-Porter
Extras
indybestFake it with 10 best self-tanners
Arts & Entertainment
Madonna in her music video for 'Like A Virgin'
music... and other misheard song lyrics
News
Much of the colleges’ land is off-limits to locals in Cambridge, with tight security
educationAnd has the Cambridge I knew turned its back on me?
News
peopleOrlando Bloom the pin-up hero is making a fresh start
News
Who makes you happy?
happy listSend your nominations now for the Independent on Sunday Happy List
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Primary Teacher

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: KS1 KS2 Crewe Teacher Perm Ch...

Primary Teacher

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education is the lea...

Primary Teacher

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: KS1 KS2 Teaching Cheshire

Primary Teacher

£85 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Long term position in large p...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit