HomeTilamsikvol. 8 no. 1 (2015)

I LOVE YOU, BRO: The [Mis]Representation of Male-Bonding in Boy Bands Through Their Music*

Mary Jane S. Camarador



The intricacies of defining a relationship between the same sex often yield to misperceptions of gender preference of that individual who is living in a heteronormative society. The so-called male-bond or ‘bromance’ which typically exists in boy bands allow members to have ample time to stay together and to get attached.   With this, an inevitable question has been raised about their sexual orientation and gender identity creating misrepresentations in public sphere. The paper aimed to analyze specifically the music of One Direction and how they represent male-bonding in terms of the lyrics of their songs and the nonverbal communication of their music videos.  It can be observed in their music that their songs suggest ‘bromance’ relationships particularly in their song “Little Things.” In order to get a deeper perspective, this paper traced the development of boy bands; when and how boy bands emerged and their representation of masculinity. Eve K. Sedgwick’s Theory of Homosociality was used to explain how this special kind of friendship among males exists without being coined as homosexuals. Sedgwick explained that the homosocial desires existing among males are not necessarily romantic. However, when an interpretative textual analysis was used to examine the lyrics of ‘Little Things’ and its music video, the study revealed that One Direction had set a different perception of ‘masculinity.’ Thus, it creates a new trend of boy bands.