I’m going to try to make this post short and sweet, but it is something that has been on my mind since yesterday and I feel I should address it.
There’s this thing people like to do called ‘invalidating someone’s feelings.’ As many of you probably know, a member from One Direction left the band yesterday and it was a big deal for a lot of people, including myself.
I’ve seen too many people mocking, judging, and essentially just being rude to those of us who are genuinely upset over the situation. The most common claim is that “teenage girls are crying over nothing,” which is problematic in multiple ways. First, to negatively label everyone as “emotional teenage girls” is disgusting-why is it so easy to invalidate a “teenage girls” feelings because of her age and her gender? This is definitely linked to the way young girls are treated in our society: as if they’re shallow, unintelligent, hormone driven people who are apparently a tumor to the intellectual world. But let me just say this: I have never known more compassionate, smart, dedicated and kind people than the teenage girls that have been in my life. Although I am now 21, I have been a teenage girl once and I will always take offense when you belittle someone like that.
Next, people tend to see this entire situation as childish and shallow, but those are the people who have literally no idea what this band means to its fans. It’s deeper than just attractive boys and catchy music, and for a lot of us it is personal. This band has been a big part of our lives for four or five years and when you become invested in something for that long, when you create bonds because of it and you grow up alongside it, it obviously means more than what’s at the surface. I was going through a strange time in my life when I discovered this band, but because of it I met some of my closest friends, I have learned things that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned, I have become a better person, and I have felt like I’ve really belonged. For many of us it has been a constant in our lives, something to always go to whenever we needed because we knew it would always be there. So excuse us for hurting and excuse us for having legitimate feelings.
Of course there are always going to be “bigger and more important” things happening in the world, but that doesn’t mean your personal issues and emotions aren’t worth anything. If you see someone who is clearly affected by something, no matter how insignificant you deem it to be, just respect their feelings. Show some sympathy. Life isn’t about making people feel ashamed for what they love just so you can feel superior for the time being. People can hurt in ways that you might not understand, but that doesn’t mean they’re not hurting.