When your teen heartthrobs grow up

When your teen heartthrobs grow up

December 19, 2018

When I think back on the moments this year which changed me, it is hard to look past the morning of July 9, when Justin Bieber announced his engagement.

"He's so young!" I exclaimed.

I read the next line.

"Oh. He's 24."

Twenty-four is younger than average to be getting married, sure. But it's not concerningly young. No authorities need to be alerted. Justin Bieber is (now) a 25-year-old man; five years away from 30. He's an adult (even though it was recently reported that he and his new wife both have nits).

The next month came another blow.

Nick Jonas engaged to Priyanka Chopra, my Twitter feed informed me.

Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas celebrate during their mehendi ceremony, a day before their wedding.Credit:AP

Nick Jonas? Nick Jonas? The baby of the Jonas Brothers?

"But, he's, like, 19 isn't he? He couldn't be more than…"



For me, 2018 will be remembered as the year when a generation of teen heartthrobs got old.

They're not super old – they do not have bald patches and they aren't building Scientology schools for their children in suburban Los Angeles – but they, like everyone else, are commuters on the linear timeline.

There is a point at which every teen heartthrob must thus be referred to as a "former teen heartthrob" (although some seem to still be hanging onto it *cough* Leonardo DiCaprio *cough*). And, with their recent weddings, this year Justin Bieber and Nick Jonas were welcomed into the club.

They would have been welcomed well. Chad Michael Murray would have held the door open for them, as Aaron Carter and the Hanson boys led the initiation chants. That British guy from the Hilary Duff movies would have shaken their hands as he handed out their membership badges, while, down the hall, Liam Payne from One Direction made use of the parents' room.

We often use other's life progressions as benchmarks for our own. It's the changing waves of one's Facebook feed – 21sts, to graduations, to engagements, to weddings, then babies – which constantly remind us of where we should be at.

The lives of celebrities, when followed, are no different. Sure, it's probably a dumb exercise to measure your wealth against them, but life stages are an available point of comparison.

If Justin Bieber is getting married, maybe those women who once obsessed over him in a time of mutual teenageness should also be doing proper adult things. Maybe we should put all of our super into the one account, or something.

And I am not even sure if the "our" I just wrote is justified. The Bieber and Jonas weddings rattled me most, I think, because I was around two years too old for them to have even been my teen idols.

The teen idols I thought I was too old for are now old. What does that make me?

Old, it seems. And probably still in need of sorting out her super.

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