Where Boy Bands Go When They Die

There’s only one place where you’ll see herds of girls (and the occasional boy) of all ages walking ferociously together as if they were zombies who have found where the living are hiding out and need nourishment pronto– a stadium or arena where a boy band is performing live.

I recently experienced this as I attended the One Direction concert in Cleveland just a few nights ago. Custom-made t-shirts, light-up signs that would blind an ordinary human if looked at too closely, temporary (at least I hope) tattoos that matched the body art of band members to a tee, and vocal warm-ups, because the screaming and singing that happens at these things will shatter ear drums. I’m guilty of only the vocal warm-ups because, well, I’m 25 and needed some shred of dignity to be left knowing that I was among the older demographic at this concert.

The show itself was remarkable; One Direction can certainly put on an entertaining, spunky, comedic, flawless performance. Everyone in the stadium could feel the ominous “elephant in the room” so to speak, however. Just a few days before One Direction came to Cleveland to perform, it was announced that the band would be taking a “one-year hiatus” once their fifth album is released. No tour for it, no promotion, nothing.

Rumors have been swirling ever since.

So, I asked myself a very important question after I finally regained my voice yesterday: Where do boy bands go when they die?

And who’s responsible for the upkeep of Chris Kirkpatrick’s hair?

A convincing face, but sorry Mr. Kirkpatrick, you didn't make the cut. Your look wasn't professional enough.
A convincing face, but sorry Mr. Kirkpatrick, you didn’t make the cut. Your look wasn’t professional enough.

I grew up in THE boy band generation. I’m not ashamed of it and in fact, I am kind of obsessed with it. Other generations may try to be like, “hey- we had The Beatles” or “NKOTB was like, the ultimate boy band.” Oh really? Try having to choose between Backstreet Boys, *NSYNC (wtf was the asterisk ever for?), 98 Degrees (if you were into the less popular, older guy thing), O-TOWN (yeah, don’t think I forgot, Diddy), AND One Direction. Don’t even try to prove me wrong on this one. I’m far too dedicated and have way too much time on my hands.

I imagine where dissolved and lost boy bands go is a curious place; one where velour jumpsuits line a never-ending closet and where waterfalls flow with hair gel. Ex-band members don’t walk places; they moonwalk poorly. Off in a distant meadow, those who still can’t accept their fate try to sing scales and scat, only to fall on deaf ears.

There’s a bell off in the distance that rings the tone of AJ McLean’s voice every time a new heart is broken by the dissolution of a boy band. In that same area is a screen to the real world, the world where some members didn’t die. It’s a sad and pathetic sight to see Howie Dorough and every member of O-TOWN and half of 98 Degrees cry in desperation every time Justin Timberlake wakes even more popular than the day before and where Zayn Malik’s withering stare makes passersby crumble to the ground.

The death of body rolling as we know, AJ.
The death of body rolling as we know, AJ.

In Boy Band Purgatory, failed band members get 50 cents every time a group of people my age play their music on a Throwback Thursday. Kevin Richardson whispers to Ashley Parker Angel in that incredibly deep voice of his, “A.P.A., get a load of this– Nick [Carter] just got selected to be on Dancing With the Stars.” Angel replies, “Damn, Kev. At least your members are still getting a glimpse of the spotlight. Jacob lost his damn mind and starting dreading everyone’s hair over in the meadow.”

Hi, I'm Jacob. Please let me dread your locks.
Hi, I’m Jacob. Please let me dread your locks.

Am I sad that One Direction is supposedly “breaking up?” YOU BET YOUR GODDAMN ASS I AM. Who else is going to tell me what makes me beautiful? I’m holding out hope for them, which yes, I agree is foolish and I need to let it go. But one thing a boy band generation gal like me will tell you, is that we don’t give up. We persevere and pretend as best we can to like some band members when they go solo and then wish the others best as they make their way to Boy Band Purgatory.



Not ‘Doing’ Social Media the Right Way? ‘Shake it Off’ & Learn from Taylor Swift

What can’t Taylor Swift do? Music aside, she is an incredible role model for children (and adults), she cares about others, she dons Calvin Harris on her right arm, and to top it all off, she KILLS it on social media.

Many businesses, even individuals, go day-to-day not knowing whether they’re ‘doing’ social media right. I would tell you to follow my own personal model of social media-ing because I like to think I do it just as good as Tay, except. She has over 62 million followers and I’m a questionable role model at best.

Here are five ways in which your organization or personal brand can improve on social media, as effortlessly taught by the red-lipped ‘Queen of Pop’ (sorry Britney) herself.

1. Leave no room for ‘Bad Blood’ in your social media interactions.

I guess you wouldn’t call Taylor Swift’s social media followers ‘customers,’ per se, but they definitely are buying into her brand, musically and personally. She responds to tweets at a pretty often rate for someone with over 62 million followers, and she gives those responses what they deserve. As an organization, it’s IMPERATIVE that you respond to current or potential customers in a timely fashion or else people will forget about you and think you don’t care about them. If Taylor can respond to any of her 62 mil, I’m pretty sure you can respond to your 1 mil. I’m talking to you, Pizza Hut. People don’t forget.

2. Everyone has ‘A Place in This World.’ Interact authentically.

As a brand, don’t just favorite a tweet someone mentions you in, unless there’s absolutely no way to respond. If a follower mentions you, it’s because they care enough to earn a response (whether they’re tweet is positive or negative). One of Taylor Swift’s followers reached out to the pop singer to share that her mother had passed away from cancer. Swift, who shared earlier this year that her own mother had been diagnosed with cancer, reached out and made this fan a priority. She even donated $50,000 to a fan who was diagnosed with cancer herself. I’m not saying go tell Taylor Swift you or someone you know has cancer in order to get a response. But when someone reaches out to your brand, make them feel important and that their issues matter.

3. ‘Jump Then Fall.’ Be true to who you are, even if your followers don’t always agree.

Chances are, your followers will respect your brand more if it sticks to what it knows and takes a firm stance. People may unfollow you, but those who stick with you, will respect you even more. Taylor did just this when she publicly announced she didn’t want her music on Spotify or Apple Music (although now that’s changed). She stood up for her peers in the music industry, and got A LOT of flack for it. Girl knows what she wants though, so all the respect to her.

4. ‘You’re Not Sorry’ is never an excuse. Always address and admit your wrongs on social media.

Recently, Taylor Swift got into it with Nicki Minaj on Twitter. While entertaining to the general public, Taylor Swift was quick to apologize and make things right. As a business, people will think you’re just trying to sweep negativity under the rug. We all make mistakes. Address it in one all-encompassing post on every social media channel you have, and move on. If I tell you your pizza was too saucy, PIZZA HUT, I expect a formal, public apology. Free breadsticks next time, ANYTHING.

5. Do it with ‘Style.’

No one knows how to keep it classy like you, Taylor. Donald Trump could learn a thing or hundred from you. As a brand, try not to offend people. I’m not kidding when I say you can look at every tweet on Donald Trump’s profile, then do the exact opposite. Empower everyone (especially the ladies)!

Say it With Your Chest

I don’t normally write blog posts like this, but last night’s ESPY’s have me feeling some type of way, which piggybacked onto feeling some type of way about how people handle themselves on social media, realizing…I HAVE SOME STUFF TO GET OFF MY CHEST.

One of my many endearing qualities is the enjoyment I get out of proving people wrong and putting them in their place and today, I’m really feeling it. I hope that many of you can relate and laugh along with me. If you don’t and can’t, I’m positive your name is Felicia and there’s a little “x” button at the top of your browser that you can see your way out of.

26550298The reason I don’t care about politics or next year’s election is because that one guy with all the opinions on social media ruins it for me.

I’ve never been super involved in politics. Maybe I should be, maybe I should start caring, but I’ve never really enjoyed leaders of the world and our country lie and embellish important topics through their newly-whitened teeth. It’s not a beat I want to get down to. *For those of you who feel the exact same way, I recommend subscribing to The Skimm. You can still be caught up on what’s happening in our country and get the shortened, much less opinionated versions of it.* What makes this process even more irritating for me, is the people who constantly share their thoughts about the upcoming election and its potential candidates (which, mind you, is more than a year away) on social media. Seventeen times a day. If you’re trying to rally people to like and share your status updates and believe the same things you do because you’re shoving them down their metaphorical newsfeed throats, it’s not going to work, Jack. Stand up for what you believe in, but not at the expense of ruining the daily glory that is my Facebook newsfeed. The last thing I need are your opinions on abortion and fracking, while I’m trying to find out what Disney movie will be next in the live-action sequence.

It’s fine if you personally do not and will not support the LGBT community. It’s NOT FINE to say they’re not courageous.

Think of the most courageous thing you’ve ever done in your life. I don’t know what you’re thinking because I’m not a mind reader and I’m not going to try and discount those moments, but. If you find yourself thinking that the most courageous thing you’ve done is the Cinnamon Challenge, then you’re probably the same toolbox who shares with everyone you know, including those LGBT, that being a person of that community is not courageous. I’m not a spokesperson for the LGBT community, but I can tell you that I support anyone who has the strength to be his or her own true selves. Those who can’t understand this might have the luxury of never having to deal with insecurities or have been bullied. But, do those kinds of people exist? If you’ve never had an insecurity in your life then I grant you permission to let me have it, but I can’t imagine that’s true. There’s a little story I heard once that resonates with me to this day. It’s so simple, yet so powerful and I think everyone can learn from it:

A college professor teaching a sociology class for the first time, wanted to make an impact on students’ lives. When they all sat down in their seats, the professor did not speak. He just held up a book. After a few minutes he asked the class, “What color is this book?” The class responded in unison, “black.” He looked at them, confused, and argued that the book was not black. “I’ll ask you all again. What color is this book?” Once again, the overwhelming response was that the book was black. Then, the professor turned the book around to reveal to his class that his side of the book was not black. It was red. “The lesson today, class, is not to judge a book by its cover. In fact, the bigger lesson here is not to assume things about someone or something until you’ve seen it from their point of view.”

Last night at the ESPY’s (the one sports award show of the year), Caitlyn Jenner was awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. Her speech was beautiful and moving, and you could see how the heartbreak from all those years of not living her true self had cracked her. Listening to her speak may or may not change your mind on these tolerance issues, but if you consider yourself any bit courageous, you’ll step out of your comfort zone and watch.

That wasn’t so bad, was it? I feel great about it, that’s for sure 😉

Now, you have permission to look forward to next week’s Bachelorette blog.

Nellster’s Favorite Things Today (Which Could Change Tomorrow)

I’ve had a lot of down time since I completed my graduate program back in December. Anyone who knows me well, knows I hate being bored. I’m always itching to do something; whether it’s being outside (too bad it’s been snowing since, like, yesterday in Cleveland), reading, watching sports, exploring new places in The Land, or forcing myself to peel my eyeballs away from the latest Netflix binge, something has to be happening.

I thought I’d share with you a few of my latest obsessions…because I’m generous like that.

Favorite Netflix Binge: The Fall

Forgive me for being obsessed with Jamie Dornan since Fifty Shades of Grey came out– no actually, don’t forgive me and continue to judge me so I can have him all to myself. However. If you are into suspenseful, serial killer, dominant female leads, and crazy plot twists, this show is for you. Not to mention, the show takes place in Ireland so everyone has a hot accent. Each episode is an hour long, but there are only 6 episodes per season so you will definitely fly through it. Seasons 1 & 2 are on Netflix now, and filming for season 3 begins at the end of this year.

Yes, that's the lady from X-Files.
Yes, that’s the lady from X-Files.

Favorite Book: Paper Towns by John Green

I sort of missed the whole, The Fault in Our Stars craze last summer, movie and book, but I had purchased a couple of John Green’s books a while ago when I heard they were amazing. This past Friday, life got really wild for me and I watched The Fault in Our Stars for the first time and sobbed like the barriers of the Hoover Dam had been busted. I was intrigued, to say the least. I’m not really a see-the-movie-before-I-read-the-book type of gal, but this one inspired me to dig through my John Green mini library the next day. I read Paper Towns in all of 48 hours. I laughed out loud, hung on every last word of the book’s protagonist, Quentin Jacobsen, and obsessed over what being like Margo Roth Spiegelman would really be like. It’s cute and thought-provoking all at once.


Favorite Blog: The Players’ Tribune

Headed up by Derek Jeter last year when he knew he was going to retire, The Players’ Tribune is a blog where athletes (yes, the actual athletes themselves) share stories of the past, present, and what they hope for the future of their sport, or the world of sports in general. It’s not like watching an interview where someone is asking a player asinine questions that don’t mean anything. You’re getting a glimpse into the minds of these men and women, at their best and worst times. Cleveland Indians’ stud-of-the-90’s, Kenny Lofton, writes one of the Tribune’s most recent posts about his career playing basketball. Yeah, I had no idea, either.

Favorite Local Social Media Profile: @BrewnutsCle

Who doesn’t love donuts? Who doesn’t love beer? If you answered “No, Nell. No I don’t like either of those things,” to that question, then stop reading my blog posts immediately from this point forward. I was introduced to Brewnuts when a co-worker of mine brought them in to work (thanks, Jared). Naturally, us savages at Rosenberg Advertising devoured the poor donuts in record time. The damned things didn’t even stand a chance. I loved them. Then I traveled to Tremont a couple more times because I was so intrigued by all the new flavors of beer/donut combos Brewnuts was posting on Instagram. For Easter, they made Carrot Cake donuts with Great Lakes Brewing Company’s Chillwave IPA icing. I MEAN COME ON.


50 Shades of STFU


These days, everyone is a critic. Give someone a social media platform and if you’re in the mood to piss yourself off, read about all of their opinions on the daily. “Why it’s like so nasty that girls wear yoga pants around,” “Why Republicans are better than Democrats,” and my current favorite:


Let’s all settle down for a second. This blog is not going to be about me pushing my opinions on what you think of this book-turned-movie (after all, if you read the book you shouldn’t be surprised at what happens in the movie). You can think whatever you want about this movie. I just want everyone to know what my opinion is, in general: everyone is way too sensitive nowadays and if you don’t want to argue on social media, don’t post controversial posts about stupid things like movies.

Here’s a few reasons why I thoroughly enjoyed Fifty Shades of Grey:

1. Jamie Dornan

I wouldn’t be doing my 24-year old self and my generation any justice if I didn’t come right out and say that Jamie Dornan plays a HOT Christian Grey. I held my breath every time he spoke because of the intensity in Dornan’s acting. I’m a big fan of not casting a Hollywood A-Lister, here. Oh, and the abs speak for themselves.


2. Dakota Johnson

Again, the choice to not cast a Hollywood A-Lister, was on point. Johnson and Dornan’s chemistry was electrifying. Played out on-screen, I felt like Johnson gave Ana more of a badass vibe than in the book, so I was real into that.


3. Other characters? Who cares?

I’m glad the screenplay writers and directors chose not to give a single shit about any of the other characters in the book. I think Taylor the driver got more screen time than Elliot Grey, Kate, and the helpless Jose. The film would have become way too cluttered if they chose to focus on any of the other characters. All anybody really wants to see is the sex, anyway.

4. The soundtrack

I liked the soundtrack before I even saw the movie and let me tell you, the music was ON POINT throughout the whole film. From the dramatic version of Beyonce’s “Crazy in Love” during the play room scene to Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do” during the intimate helicopter ride, the music made every scene that much better.

5. Oh yeah, it was all consensual.

I really tried taking a step back and going into the movie open-minded. I understand that a lot of people were offended by the dominant/submissive relationship between Ana and Christian and I’m not going to say you shouldn’t have been offended. Everyone has their own feelings toward certain situations for different personal reasons. This struck a chord with me in thinking I might be too naive or shallow, but I was so excited to see this movie for the hot bodies and sex and not to analyze how the production staff should have interpreted the S&M to meet everyone and their mothers’ (I saw you out there, horny moms of the universe) needs. Nothing in the movie was offensive to me because it was all consensual. I think a lot of people overlooked the fact that they love each other and Ana was simply trying to dig deeper (sexual pun intended) into Christian’s life.

I’m excited for the next two movies to come out and I hope everyone is aware no one is forcing you to go see them. If you didn’t like the first one, chances are you won’t like the rest of them, so prepare your social whining for something maybe a bit more important.