Boybands create a culture of fandom that appears to be unrivaled in society. With roots that stem back to The Beatles, new bands have appeared and with the rise of social media the involvement fans have has been able to take on a new level of involvement. I Used To Be Normal focuses on four women who connected powerfully with specific boybands during their formative years and how this love has continued on, especially in the case of three women in the documentary.
I Used To Be Normal starts with Elif, a teenager in America who love One Direction. We see clips of her experiences seeing their concerts and the boys. We also learn that she briefly went viral in connection to the band she loves. This video is actually what inspired the title of the documentary. While she now lives in America she was born in Turkey and the culture divide that stems from her parents not understanding her love for One Direction. She has had to sneak out and continuously try and explain her connection to this group. Dara is presented next and her boyband focus is Take That, a group from the 1990’s. She strongly connected with the group after living a more isolated life in Australia. This was the first group that she had found for herself and prior to them she had primarily listened to only music that her parents listened to. She still has her memorabilia and even a guitar that she customized with images of each of the members.
Sadia is the next person we meet and she adored The Backstreet Boys. Her love led her to create a website and online newsletter that updated fans all about the television appearances and other elements of what the members of the band were doing. She grew this love into a writing career and believes that it is what helped her to be who she is today. The fourth woman is Susan and she is the viewer’s connection to The Beatles. Like Dara she is from Australia, but she actually has memories of camping out and going to see The Beatles in a massive swarm of people. She even insists that during that trip John looked directly at her. Each of the four subjects of this documentary share deeply of themselves and even delve into their fantasies and what they wish they could interact with the members of the boybands. Dara also contributes the idea of boybands being a specific marketing technique, which is actually very intriguing. It makes a lot of sense and is very curious to think about. If you have ever fangirled about anything this movie is an intriguing watch. It shows a deep love for elements of popular culture that appear to be unrivaled in their staying power. You can find out more about the movie on the official I Used To Be Normal website.