Pillbox

Zayn Malik's Mind of Mine Review

On the morning of March 25, I rolled over in a haze to turn off my alarm, and then proceeded to check email, Twitter, Facebook, texts, and Timehop. And on my Timehop, I was confronted with harsh flashbacks of Zayn’s announcement that he would leave One Direction. On March 25, 2015, I tweeted “NO ZAYN YOU DON’T MEAN IT COME BACK PLZ STAY I LOVE YOU.” And one year later, on March 25, 2016, Zayn released Mind of Mine.

As heartbroken as I was and continue to be over the dissolution of my favorite boy band since *NSYNC, I have to concede that I can’t stop listening and dancing to Mind of Mine. Zayn completely reinvented himself, a far cry from the catchy tween tunes from his 1D days. We now know what’s going on in that mind of his. And it’s sex.

Zayn is all grown up, whether or not his fans are.

When I watched the “Pillowtalk” music video for the first time, I nearly fell over. If it hadn’t been for the psychedelic video editing, it would have been softcore pornography. I shudder to think about the 14-year-old girls who are getting down to this, and their mothers who must feel horrified.

I’ve lived through this so many times. Britney Spears from “...Baby One More Time” to “If You Seek Amy.” Miley Cyrus from “The Best of Both Worlds” to “We Can’t Stop.” Nick Jonas from “Lovebug” to “Area Code.” The music industry turns generations of young artists into sex symbols, but markets them to tweens and young tweens. I’m generally the same age as the 1D members, but when I went to their concert in Philadelphia a couple years ago, I found more 13 year olds than 20 year olds.

When these artists inevitably grow up to explore their creativity and sexuality, as they should, these children are yanked along for the ride. I have no problem singing loudly in the car with Zayn about “fucking and fighting,” but I do have a problem imagining middle and high schoolers trying to relate.