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The Impact One Direction Has Had On A Generation

November 11, 20187 min read

“But don’t burn out, even if you scream and shout, it’ll come back to you . . . and I’ll be here for you.”

— One Direction, “Through The Dark”

When boyband One Direction originated in 2010, they quickly proceeded to take the music world by storm. With yearly albums each on the charts and singles that were loved dearly by fans, the band managed to capture the hearts of millions of people all over the world, ultimately significantly impacting a generation, hiatus and solo careers aside.

Photograph taken by Jason Merritt

The five piece consists of the well-known members Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik and Niall Horan, each of whom originally auditioned for The UK X Factor in 2010. There, the boys were encouraged by judge Simon Cowell to come together as a group. Thus One Direction was born. Since then, the group has garnered one of the world’s largest fan bases with a combined following of nearly one billion on social media platforms including Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

In 2011, the boyband’s single “What Makes You Beautiful” was released, ultimately becoming one of One Direction’s greatest and most well known hits. The song — as many One Direction songs aim to do, including “Little Things” and “Night Changes” — promoted body positivity, positive self-esteem, and just simply encouraged listeners to feel good about themselves in general. The music video for “What Makes You Beautiful” was released in August of 2011 and surplussed a total of one billion views as of October 29.

Following “What Makes You Beautiful,” the band proceeded to release album after album — a total of five as of 2015 — each of which managed to excel on the charts. A few of their most popular songs including “Night Changes,” “Story Of My Life,” “Best Song Ever,” “Drag Me Down” and many more, also landed on the Billboard charts, ranging from numbers between two and ten. 

As One Direction continued to move up on the music chain, they started embarking on world tours, many of which sold out very quickly. The band performed in various locations including Australia, Europe, Japan and the USA, all of which fans filled stadiums and arenas to the brim.

However, One Direction do not just have a huge impact music-wise, despite their very obvious successful careers. The boyband have also created one of the largest and strongest fandoms, ultimately altering the view of fandoms entirely. In today’s world of stan Twitter, the term, which is often used to describe a specific group of people — usually fans — that favor a certain artist, band, or other well-known phenomena in pop culture, has been used heavily when it comes to describing fans of the boyband.

Though fans taking to Twitter to share their support for the band is certainly nothing new, in today’s world of social media-craze, fans of One Direction have definitely taken over social media. With countless pictures and videos of the band, fans continue to share their love and support for the boys through Twitter, as well as share fan fiction on some of the members through the popular writing website Wattpad. Countless fans continue to use Instagram to share videos of previous One Direction concerts and experiences in which they share their yearnings for the times long missed.

As a result of the boyband, millions of people around the world were able to come together — whether it be through social media or in real life — and share with one another this common love that they each held for the band. In most cases, fans of One Direction are teenagers that are wholly involved in today’s world. They fight for LGBTQ+ rights, endorse the Black Lives Matter Movement, encourage the #MeToo movement and much, much more. Whether their attempts are to be political or social, fans of One Direction prove that they are both aware and involved, ultimately working to better our society.

Photograph taken by David Livingston

Image taken from Comic Relief

From concerts to real life situations, the band is also known for the support that they have shown charity cases on various occasions. For instance, the band raised a surplus of two million euros for the widely-known organization Red Nose Day, which focuses on terminating child poverty. Members Liam Payne and Harry Styles also took the time to visit a hospital in Africa while supporting the cause. The boyband have also visited countless hospital patients and contributed to quite the number of wedding proposals at their shows.


To this day, One Direction remains extremely popular as they continue to inspire their fans who miss the band more and more each day as they continue their undetermined hiatus.

Ultimately, One Direction has acted as a beacon of light and hope to many people all over the world — whether it was because they were struggling with mental disorders or simply looking for a sign of hope and cheerfulness — by bringing them together and causing many smiles all over the world, as well as laughter and happiness. Despite the band having been on a hiatus since early 2016 and each of the members going their separate ways, millions of people all over the world can agree that One Direction have managed to shape them into the person that they are today, simply by way of their music and their contagious, encouraging personalities.

Image taken from The Telegraph


Featured Image via Noisey

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Kaycee Wilson

Kaycee has been passionate about writing from the moment she knew how. You can find her reading about witches and vampires, daydreaming about autumn, or brainstorming ideas for her next novel.


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