Reasons Why I Love *NSYNC (or, Why It’s Okay to Love Boy Bands)

When I’m not talking about resisting the white supremacist capitalist patriarchy, I’m probably gushing over some pop culture darlings. More often than not, those darlings end up being the mid-to-late 90s boy band phenom *NSYNC.

If those previous two sentences were news to you, then we probably aren’t very close friends (but on the plus side, you now know everything you need to know about me, so now we can be really close friends).

Me in my *NSYNC shirt with a very messy bed in the background

In the two decades I’ve spent on this earth, I’ve been lucky enough to run into people who understand my profound loyalty to this pop group. There are people who have come into my life and understand why I proudly displayed my *NSYNC buttons on my messenger bag for a large part of my sophomore year of undergrad. There are people who have entered my room and smiled at my poster instead of laughing at it.

But still, others shrug off my love of *NSYNC as a strange mix of pathetic and endearingly eccentric, which makes me afraid that not everyone really, truly gets what this group of males means to me. If they did, they wouldn’t jump at the chance to say “The Backstreet Boys are better!” (debatable) or “Justin was the only talented one out of the group!” (he isn’t).

When those blasphemous phrases are uttered, I often find myself at a loss for words. In most cases I am able to swallow my protests, eager to uphold the relationship in spite of such poor judgement from my so-called “friend.” However, I can no longer bite my tongue. As 2012 comes to an end, I feel that I have maintained this silence long enough. I am coming in with trumpets sounding, declaring to all that will listen, “I am a strong, powerful woman of color and I will express my love for a 90s boy band as I please!”

With that image in mind, below the cut is a collection of blurbs and links outlining why I will always have a spot in my heart for a group that was once described as “the five dreamiest white boys on Earth,” and ultimately why discussion around pop groups matters. Continue reading “Reasons Why I Love *NSYNC (or, Why It’s Okay to Love Boy Bands)”

(Never) growing up

This past Tuesday, a couple of friends and I sat around a table in our neighborhood park and colored like we were in kindergarten.

It was all good fun, despite the crayons melting and our papers flying away. However, on my walk home, I couldn’t help but think about how easily my peers get nostalgic for years that really weren’t all that long ago. Granted I was the one who pushed to have the coloring get-together (largely because so many people in my residence hall turned to coloring as a form of stress relief), but I was surprised when my friends agreed to it.

This nostalgic feeling isn’t uncommon among the college-age students of today, however. TeenNick’s programming block “The 90’s Are All That” gave the channel a significant ratings boost, despite the block airing from 12am to 2am. Midnight society, indeed.

But what does this intense appreciation for the 90s mean for the young adults and twentysomethings of today? How can so many people show a desire to relive something so recent? A New York Times article states that this early nostalgia may have been set into place due to the internet, calling the web a “repository of cherished childhood memories.” This nostalgia may have some side effects, however – a Salon article posted this past Monday questions if bringing back these beloved programs may stunt the creativity of a generation.

I guess only time will tell.