They come in different flavors and wrappers and — like Halloween candy — are best for certain age groups: boy bands.
But it seems fans have forgotten to read the labels. Younger kids eagerly reach for their older siblings’ treats while their own candy bag is being raided. Boy bands have the same effect of appealing to different audiences than they originally aimed for.
The Jonas Brothers have been popularly known for their kid-friendly past. They first came on the scene in early 2007, with fun songs such as “Kids of the Future” and appearances on the Disney Channel, such as episodes of “Hannah Montana” and “Camp Rock.”
Looking squeaky clean, it was natural that young kids, specifically in middle and elementary school, would become instant fans. Green Valley High School junior Megan Lomas, 16, can remember the Jonas Brothers as her childhood boy band in the fourth grade.
“When I went to my first (Jonas Brothers) concert, I got a lanyard with a fake VIP pass and their picture on it, and I wore it every day for a year,” Lomas said. “My walls in my bedroom were completely covered (with posters) — even with the little snippets from the magazines. A lot of my friends would make cards for my birthdays with pictures of (the Jonas Brothers), and I still have them.”
Lomas never lost her die-hard support for the brothers, but rather grew to appreciate them more through the years. She attended their concert last summer and was escorted away by security for trying to find the band’s tour bus at 2 a.m. Looking back on the show, she was surprised to see a variety of fans in the crowd.
“There were a lot of fans our (high school) age, but I didn’t expect the majority of them to be older girls. I did see a couple of younger girls, but they looked almost confused when (the Jonas Brothers’) older songs came on. (It) was more like a reunion for (the band) and their fans from throughout the years,” Lomas said.
Although the Jonas Brothers are now more appropriate for older crowds — a shift from Disney songs to singing about adult experiences such as relationships — recent boy bands for younger audiences have had similar results.
Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush has its roots in the TV network, closely identifying the group’s members with their self-titled TV show. Their age-appropriate songs and conservative appearances are perfect for preteens, as well as high school students. The band has been a guilty pleasure for Green Valley High School junior Raven Carson, 16, since seventh grade.
“I don’t really like them because of the quality of their music now, but more so because it gets me pumped up,” Carson said.
Carson said the boy band is more for younger kids because of their affiliation with Nickelodeon but that anyone from any age group can still like them.
“Even though they are for kids, they’re still older and they sing songs about making you feel beautiful; that’s something for every age,” Carson said.
Boy bands have no age limit or requirement and — contrary to popular belief — are not just for girls. Junior Carlos Quinonez, 16, stands out from One Direction’s sea of fan girls.
“Originally, I had to listen to their songs a couple of times to get used to them,” Quinonez said. “After a while, I thought, ‘What’s not to like?’ Their personalities are great, they’re good-looking, and their new album is perfect.”
Quinonez likes to stay updated on the band and gets a good laugh from their crazy fan girls. He would fall under the label of “One Directioner” — although not quite as enthusiastic.
“I follow (One Direction) on Twitter and some of the fans who are obsessed with them. It’s entertaining to see the crazy posts and funny pictures girls make. They are crazier fans than I am,” Quinonez said.
While Quinonez thinks One Direction’s provocative lyrics target an older crowd, he said the band is not off limits for a younger audience.
“I think anybody can listen to them,” Quinonez said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re a guy or you’re older. They’re a band who appeals to everyone.”