When One Direction broke up in 2015, they left space for another group of musical, handsome (and predominantly white) boys to fill their corner of a lucrative pop market—Directioners had broken hearts and no where to focus their attention (and wallets). No one has come close to reaching their success, though it’s safe to say many have tried.
Enter Why Don’t We, a quintet (much like One Direction when they started) who apparently just popped up one day on YouTube and have arrested the hearts of girls and boys everywhere since (1.5 million subscribers worth, to be exact). On Thursday, they released their latest single, “Trust Fund Baby,” about not wanting to date a woman with a trust fund, which is not a political gesture against the confines of capitalism but actually a diss at behaviors associated with teen excess. The heart of the song is not that these boys—let’s call them all Kyle, they all look like Kyles to me—don’t want to date someone wealthy. It’s that they don’t want girls who take selfies, or wear makeup, or go out, or have brains. They want girls who can fix them. Rich girls are mean to Kyle!
You can listen to “Trust Fund Baby” above, if you’d like, but it’s pretty infuriating stuff (and here I thought the worst boy band offense was One Direction championing a girl for not knowing she’s beautiful). Apparently all Why Don’t We songs are in this vein—boy expresses his desires about a girl (who is good) and not other girls (who are bad), all the while validating ass-backwards ideas of heterosexual love and romance. I raise you, “These Girls”:
Here, the Kyles are less picky in their choice of mate, but it’s still just as gross? Also: When did boy band songs become all about getting down? Doesn’t a state of sexual awakening happen after the group breaks up, a la Justin Timberlake or Harry Styles? Am I old now?
As an adult and One Direction stan, this group of guys worry me—at least 1D were harmless and in love (presumably)—these dudes are just down to clown. And if you’re not sold on them being the worst, allow me to inform you that at least a couple of these Kyles rap.
Why Don’t We...not.