by Helen Holmes
It’s been a tumultuous year for One Direction, the British band that’s been inspiring fainting spells, fan videos, and unchecked worship since they were formed in the primordial fires of TV’s The X Factor. In March, after years of releasing perfect pop hits as a quintet, actual human vessel of divine perfection Zayn Malik decided to leave the band. This was bad.
On July 29th, after months of laying low with his maybe-friend maybe-producer Naughty Boy, Zayn announced on Twitter that he’d signed a solo deal with RCA, and crowed about how excited he was to start making “#realmusic.” Two days later, post-Zayn One Direction released their latest single, “Drag Me Down.” A sample lyric: “ All my life you stood by me when no one else was ever behind me / All these lights that can’t blind me /With your love, nobody can drag me down.”
As it turns out, Vine is the perfect platform for One Direction devotees. I’ve found clips of the band fist pumping wildly to crazily remixed horns, snatches of Harry on Jimmy Kimmel spliced with scenes from 50 Shades of Grey, and of course, rampant speculation in the comment section about which members of 1D are secretly in love with one another. For fans of such a popular corner of pop culture, Vine acts as a salad spinner for millions of slices of content. Honestly, given the evidence, Larry Stylinson seems really plausible.
I’m very blessed to have been able to speak to 1D patron saint trill tarah, who also happens to be Vine’s funniest teen, over the phone last weekend.
What does One Direction mean to you personally? Why do you like them so much, in so many words?
Well, I started liking them my freshman year [of high school], and I was in a really bad place. I was not really in the popular group, and I didn’t feel like I belonged in the group of friends that I had. I had this other group of friends that I wasn’t really close with yet who were obsessed with One Direction, and they really got me into it. They became my best friends. Andrea was in that group, and she’s my best friend.
It was kind of like we just isolated ourselves, but like, not in a bad way, and we became really, really close because of them. When I made my account, I met so many different people, and I got to talk to different people. It’s not solely just because of the band that we like, but all the similarities that we have and everything. I don’t know, they just really brought me to this new…like, I wouldn’t have anything that I have now if it wasn’t for them. I wouldn’t even have a Vine. I wouldn’t have all these people looking up to me for…I don’t really know what reason [laughs]. I’m really thankful for them and they’ve just done a lot for me in helping me meet people and making it fun.
So would you say you made your Vine account because of One Direction?
When I made the Vine account, I made it because I had my One Direction Twitter account, and Vine became big in, like, 2013 when everyone was just making vines not because of how big [Vine] is — because no one knew how big it was going to get. I think it was at the end of 2013 when Midnight Memories came out and I made a bunch of vines, and I started getting re-vined by big accounts, so then my vines started exploding. And ever since then I’ve just vined about everything.
How did you feel when Zayn left, and how do you feel about his signing a record deal?
Well, no one really thinks about March 18th, which is when he went on his break when they were about to go to South Africa and Dubai and all these places. (Well, I think he had already left by Dubai.) They were saying he was going to come back for the South African shows, and all this stuff. I was at my best friend’s birthday dinner on March 19th, and I was just in the most depressing mood, because I had this gut instinct that he wasn’t gonna come back. Then on March 25th, I was actually looking for college apartments, so I was in the apartment complex doing a tour when I found out. My best friend Andrea was with me and she was freaking out, and I was trying to calm her down, which doesn’t make any sense, but I was trying to calm her down. I didn’t really process it until I left the apartment, and I kind of just like fell to the ground and started crying, and I was screaming…it was just dramatic, I’m so dramatic all the time. That day was just pretty much me crying. The next couple days, until like April something, I missed a week of school because I couldn’t get out of my bed. Obviously, it’s not as important as other things happening, but it was just so bad for me, because he was the only constant in my life.
Everything’s changing in my life, and I have really tough things that I go through, so when he left, I felt like, oh my God, I don’t have anything anymore. People were crying and stuff for attention and notifications, but I was actually in agonizing pain. I deactivated [my Vine account] and then I tried this thing on my personal: I tried not liking them anymore, but that didn’t work out. In like May, I didn’t accept it because I still don’t accept it, but I kind of just stopped… No, ok, that’s wrong. I convinced myself that he was gonna come back from March 25th until the day he posted a picture of him signing the RCA papers. I completely convinced myself that he was gonna come back.
You know, he might.
Why do you say that?
Because it all seems too perfect to me. Like, as soon as he signs a record deal, One Direction drops this single about nobody being able to drag them down in the face of adversity. It seems shady.
Oh yeah, the whole situation is shady. I liked the single, obviously, but I couldn’t really allow myself to genuinely be happy and freak out about it, because when you look at iTunes it says that the song is supposed to be released on August 7th. The day after Zayn signs the record deal they release the song. It just made me really angry, because it’s kind of an indirect way for One Direction to say, “Oh, you signed the record deal and all the attention’s on you, but we want the attention on us.” I don’t really understand how he could just get out of a contract and just sign to a new label in the span of four months. I don’t really know the legal aspect of it. I still have that 0.1 percent chance feeling that he might come back, and now I’m just trying to accept it. I mean, I’m still going to On The Road Again.
There’s a missing ingredient.
Yes, thank you! And everyone still likes the four of them. It’s just hard to be online, because I still feel really, really depressed about the situation, and when people make fun of him, like when Naughty Boy released the No Type video — I don’t even know, I didn’t even watch it, I didn’t need to watch it — that night, everyone was like, attacking Zayn, and I just started crying. The next day, when he tweeted Naughty Boy again, everyone was like, “Oh my God, I love you so much, you’re my everything.” It’s just so fake. People either didn’t like him when he was in the band, or they just hate anyone that would have left the band. If Harry left the band, oh my God, fuckin’ shit would blow up, the world would stop rotating, everyone would die, but then when Zayn leaves, everyone’s like, “Oh no, but they’re gonna do great things, the four of them are gonna be the best they’ve ever been.” It’s just funny how [Drag Me Down] is their best sounding single now that Zayn’s left, and I’m just kind of bitter. I’m gonna admit it, I’m really bitter about it. But I’ll get over it.
No, I do love Niall, I get that a lot. A lot of people genuinely think that I don’t like him when he was — ok, I don’t want to say that he was my favorite, but he was like literally next to Zayn during Up All Night, like he was definitely my favorite. But I just like fucking with him. I don’t know what it is, but I think people genuinely think — like, if I ever met him I’d probably cry. I just find it funny. When I talk about loving him, everyone’s like, “Tarah, are you ok? Are you alright? Are you sick? Did someone hack your account?” I can’t even make fun of it. I don’t even get hate for making fun of him. People are like, “Oh, that’s just Tarah.” I don’t really understand the concept at all, but whatever: I don’t hate him and I don’t dislike him.
I totally get what you mean. He looks like someone that you could fuck with. He’s got a face that is just begging to get an egg thrown at it.
He does! He really does. He’s funny. He’s a funny guy.