Have you ever walked down the street and glanced into a window seeing a middle aged woman dancing about the living room. Or crossed the road and bumped into a similar woman with head phones plugged in slightly shaking her hips. Do you wonder ‘What are they listening to? Could it be Michael Buble or a little bit of retro Kylie Minogue?’ Would you ever think ‘Look at her getting down to The Vamps?’ Probably not, right? I mean that mum of four probably likes a bit Mariah Carey, or throws on her Adele playlist so she can mourn lost loves and her lost life.
Do you want to know a secret? I don’t listen to Adele. You can see me with my pink headphones on heading to the supermarket, and you can also get a look of me whilst I am dancing around tidying up at home. But I have been stuck in this little closet. I have been swishing and whooping all by myself in there. I am thirty nine years old and I have a confession. I am a Directioner. That’s right, I love One Direction and in the last year, I have grown to love Little Mix just as much.
One Direction and Little Mix have in excess of 8 million fans each. There songs and albums are hitting the four corners of the globe and they are touring all those places to cement their status as ‘Pop Warriors.’ Long gone are the days when kids (and adults in the closet,) have to put with ‘Steps’ or ‘SClub7.’ The next generation have invented their very own genre ‘The pop super group.’
I have a claim to fame with One Direction actually. My eldest son went to school with Harry Styles and even sat next to him in English lessons. He also went to a party when they were 14 and playing spin the bottle, he saw Harry having to kiss a boy. He could probably sell that story, but he won’t. He sees Harry as just another lad he went to school with. I asked him nicely one day, ‘What do you think kid? Do you think it’s strange seeing Harry’s picture all over the place?’ He replied in his typical style ‘I couldn’t give a shit to be honest Mum.’ I have also used Harry’s success in times of despair, especially as my son has a penchant for not so wholesome women. One conversation went like ‘Great, you’re bringing home girls that have no problem getting dirty in our home and Harry Styles is at The Hollywood Bowl with Taylor Swift!’ He shot back with ‘Get over it Mum, I can’t sing and Harry’s gay anyway’ So I think it’s safe to say that in terms of a parental relationship, being a die-hard Directioner might not be a positive.
But for the rest of the time I love keeping up with the boys. I loved them on the X Factor and when they released their first song I was so proud. I looked at these boys like they were little projects. It was going to be nice to see them grow up in to men and watch their talent grow with them. I had guessed quite early on I was going to be a fan because I love a good pop song and ‘What makes you beautiful’ is a classic example of a good pop song. Simon Cowell was setting these boys up for global domination and I watched with happiness as they started to blossom.
It was about this time that I realized whilst I loved their punchy little tunes, I had developed a motherly concern for these five young men. I guessed that it was in connection with my own two eldest boys being at the same age and stage in their lives as Harry and Co. Whilst I was having troubles steering my eldest toward the nicest girls, Liam and Louis were maintaining relationships with their innocent childhood friends. It was lovely and I followed the newspaper reports and I said ‘arr look’ at all the pictures. Zayn and ‘Little Mix’s’ Perri were developing their own little power couple future and Harry, well he never let me down with his choices. Aside from the icky mistake he made with a certain MS Flack, his other choices such as Kendall Jenner were sublime, the real cream of the crop. It made me completely Mummy proud.
On the subject of mummies, I also liked to watch the way the boys involved their parents in their success. When Zayn bought his single mother and sister a house, I nearly shed a tear. Harry bought his mum several cars. Niall in the typical Irish way took care of his whole family and Louis nearly went as far too buy his hometown football club in Doncaster. What an example these lads would set for our children. I just couldn’t help feeling a restored faith in today’s youth.
However, like with any happy story there always has to be a downside. When Louis and Zayn were caught on camera smoking ‘Dope.’ I was more than a little disappointed. I mean if they couldn’t keep it clean, then what chance did my boys have? But, I eat my thoughts now because as far as my knowledge goes, my boys haven’t had a toke on a ‘spliff’ just yet, and my eldest is now under the watchful eye of The British Army, so his crazy days are over.
But the gossip, the newspapers, the fact that Niall got up close and personal with poison pixie Louise from E4’s Made in Chelsea still doesn’t distract from my love of their songs. If I ever feel wistful I can pop on ‘Little Things’ and if I ever want to jump about with my six year old little boy, we can do it to ‘Best Song Ever.’ So yes. I love One Direction and you can bet your own mother, as soon as I can afford a concert ticket, I will be there dancing away. But make no mistake, I will be taking my little boy as camouflage, just in case.
Now onto my little ladies, Little Mix. Remember back in the 1990’s when Girl Power was all the rage? Well I was at a Spice Girls concert in Paris. Yes I was a mother of two. Yes, I was in a relationship with a man seven years older than me and yes I had two Spice Girls posters on my bedroom wall. I adored the Spice Girls. I loved there open, go get it attitude and I loved to sing along word for word to every song.
Fast forward to 2012 and I was presented with Little Mix. Do you know what? I think I love them even more than the Spice Girls. The only problem is that now I am nearly forty and can hardly carry off having their posters on my walls and telling people I want to be Perri (like I did when I wanted to be Geri.)
Little Mix are like a new breed of young ladies coming through and reigning terror over the reality TV bimbo we have been used to in the last ten years. They are smart, sassy and talented. They each rock their own style and don’t even try to conform to the body stereotypes young women are force fed. These young women embody what every women should, uniqueness. They are strong girls that always bring their best game face to the table.
Aside from their image, the tunes are just fabulous. They sing great pop songs. They have beat, and they have a little soul. Plus they can smash out a rap or two. How can you not like Little Mix? You don’t see them hanging out of there dresses and I have yet to see one of them photographed hammered with their knickers round their ankles (take note Helen Flanaghan).
As I mentioned before, Perri has got her engagement with Zayn. They are carving out the next Beckham franchise. Whilst the other girls tend to shy away from the celeb men and stick to boys they have always known. You can see the similarity between these girls and their male counterparts 1D. For the most part they set a good example, and you can happily let your ten year old little girl (or boy) emulate them as role models.
When I go shopping I take my playlist and let Little Mix guide me around the clothes choices I make. With a smidgen of ‘DNA’ (my favorite song,) I find myself looking away from the floral print and going for the graffiti mash up t-shirt. You will see me in lots of denim and my hair won’t be coiffured in a blow wave, it will be pinned up in a hot mess. ‘Hey how ya doin’ (with Missy Elliot) guides me round the cleaning product aisle in Tesco and I am literally strutting to the freezer’s for my frozen chips.
When my husband and kids are out, I am pelting out Perri’s lines in the songs because she has the best voice and SO DO I. You see, that’s how Little Mix help get me through the day. Again, I would be dancing all the way to the concert and I wouldn’t be hiding behind my little boy this time. I’ll be rocking it all on my own.
So in future people, if you see that mum dressed up in her denim jeggers, graffiti print top, rucksack and pink headphones (this is me by the way.) If she has her blackberry out tweeting furiously, and taking random pictures to post on Facebook (also me.) If she is embarrassing her teenagers and spoof gigging with her six year old. If she is dancing on the front lawn with her lawn mower and handheld garden trowel. Stop! Ask her what she is listening too. Go home and listen to it yourself. You might find that there is a young girl still their inside you. Maybe that girl believes in girl power and thinks that 1D’s ‘Little Things’ was written just for her. If she is there you will love seeing her again, I can guarantee it.
Just don’t compare your son to Harry Styles, he won’t like it and you probably wouldn’t even want Taylor Swift as a daughter-in-law anyway.
Love Keels xx