From The Guardian:
ike grief and the ages of man, boybands exist in seven stages, and One Direction are now already at the third. This week, Harry Styles has unveiled his latest tattoo, while Zayn Malik has been pictured – fag in hand – sporting a Nirvana T-shirt. Where’s your favourite boyband right now?
1 The honeymoon period
Everyone is smiling. Photoshoots usually involve primary colours, larks and some sort of trampette. For their first Christmas as teen sensations, the band seem only too happy to pose in Santa outfits for festive photo shoots.
See: Gary Barlow’s naked bottom covered in red jelly.
2 The suit phase
By album two, boybandism has become a job, and it’s not so much fun. Santa suits are a no-go; instead the lads – let’s call them Antony, Lee, Duncan and Simon – show how mature they are by ram-raiding Dolce & Gabbana.
See: Westlife, whose second suit phase was prompted by the existence in 2004 of stupendously titled rat-pack covers album Allow Us To Be Frank.
3 That inking feeling
Boyband members react to the fact that their lives are no longer their own by lashing out with a “risky” new haircut – such as Liam from One Direction’s recent ill-advised buzz cut – while public smoking, indie allegiances and tattoos are the next step. Harry Styles has already reached the tattoo stage, unveiling his latest effort in the same week that Ed Sheeran received a tattoo of a cup of tea. (Sheeran’s not a boyband member, but he has supplied songs for One Direction and at a time when tattoos are increasingly x-rated, trust Sheeran to be so resolutely PG.)
See: Boyzone “wildman” Shane Lynch.
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