– Me, in Grade 7, upon noticing my friend Erin had written “Julie Loves Justin Timberlake” on the back of my school-issued agenda.
Erin, being the pesty bestie that she was, knew just how push my buttons. As I was a sworn member of the Backstreet Boys alliance, she knew that nothing would annoy me more than the implication that I thought baby-faced JT was attractive. UGH! HIS HAIR LOOKS LIKE MR. NOODLES!
So, I scribbled it out, for fear anyone else would get ideas about which boy band ruled in my heart. Fast-forward a few short months to me in Grade 8. A group of us were heading to the mall (we probably had to refill our supply of tattoo choker necklaces), and the new N*SYNC song, “Bye Bye Bye” came on the radio. It was insanely catchy. That was the first crack in my resolve. The second crack came when I saw Justin’s gray and burgundy shirt in the video (it’s just doing really good things to his arms, OKAY?), and by the time the “it’s gunna be MAY” video came out, it had all but crumbled. The next thing you know, I’m saving up my pennies for No Strings Attached. It was with a mingled sense of shame and excitement that I made the purchase. I couldn’t even write about my betrayal in my journal journal, because Kevin’s disapproving eyebrows were more than I could stand. Of course, within a year, I’d enter high school and deny ever having loved any boy band at all.
Thinking back to my grade 7 self, I first thought she’d be horrified that I spent a big sum of money on the Jay Z and Justin Timberlake Legends of Summer concert two weeks ago. She’d wonder why I got all dressed up for that noodle-headed sissy (though that was a small sum: $8), and then she’d go back to dreaming about the day Brian Litrell would finally take her away. Or Nick Carter. Depended on the day, really.
However, any Backstreet Boy purist would eventually realize that Justin Timberlake’s success has at long last cemented BSB at the One True Boy Band. While BSB continues to tour and make music (I think?), N*SYNC, and their unnecessary asterisk, are forever relegated to the “we are never ever getting back together” category. The men of Backstreet are still making bank and selling out arenas, while the remaining members of N*SYNC probably meet up twice a month to brainstorm ways to finally get Justin to come to their Christmas Reunion party: “I’ll make taco dip this year! He loves taco dip!” – Chris Kirkpatrick.
Justin, on the other hand, has moved so far beyond the boy band days of his youth (and mine), it’s astounding. Perhaps the most significant thing I can say about the concert (that I thrifted this silvery blue dress for) is that he’s a performer worthy of sharing the stage with Jay Z. Justin’s on his way to legend status, but Jay’s been there for years. Seeing the two of them together was the best kind of collision, with no BSB guilt whatsoever. I can have my limo and eat it too. That doesn’t make a lick of sense, but you get the idea.
Dress: Salvation Army | $7.99
Necklace: Salvation Army | $4.99
Sandals: Talize | $4.99
Clutch: Clothing swap | $0.50