The perfectly styled hair, the slightly too-tight jeans, the choreographed dance moves and the harmonies don’t even get me started on the harmonies. A cultural phenomenon that sucks you in, makes you fall in love and leaves you heartbroken when they decide to break up.

Boy bands. I’m talking about boy bands. We all had that one great boy band we loved when we were teens. Or maybe you’re just discovering them now. Before we go back in time, here’s a little fact sheet in case your memory needed to be jolted.

*NSYNC: Chris Kirkpatrick, Lance Bass, Justin Timberlake, JC Chasez, and Joey Fatone

  • Glory Days: 1995-2002.
  • 4 albums (including a Christmas album).
  • 4 headlining tours.
  • Sold over 55 million records worldwide.
  • As of now, still broken up. (Though we still hold out hope.)

Backstreet Boys: A.J. McLean, Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell and Howie Dorough

  • Glory Days: 1993-2002.
  • A.J. checked into rehab in 2001, Kevin left in 2006 (to come back in 2012) and we all know they’ve been trying to make a comeback since 2009. But nothing beats the 90s.
  • 4 albums during Glory Days, 7 albums total.
  • 6 tours during Glory Days, about to begin their 12th overall (new tour starting in May 2013).
  • 130 million records worldwide making them the best selling boy band of all time.

Jonas Brothers: Nick Jonas, Joe Jonas and Kevin Jonas

  • Glory Days: 2007-2009 (currently attempting a comeback).
  • Nick did his solo album and Broadway in 2010/2011, Joe did his solo album in 2011 and Kevin got married sometime in between and signed up for the terrible reality show Married To Jonas that aired on E!.
  • 4 albums (currently recording a 5th).
  • 7 tours (possibly an 8th underway).
  • 20 million records sold worldwide.

One Direction: Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles

  • Glory Days: 2010-present.
  • 2 albums (currently working on 3rd).
  • 2 tours (currently in the “Take Me Home” tour).
  • Currently over 14 million singles and 8 millions albums worldwide.

I think it’s safe to say that most of us here were children of the 90s, meaning we grew up with *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys as the two big boy bands of the time. I would include New Kids On The Block, but they were more dominant in the 80s and frankly, a little before my time.

Remember the days when you couldn’t be both a Backstreet Boys and a *NSYNC girl? There was no way you could have a poster of Justin Timberlake next to Nick Carter. Where was your loyalty if you did that?

Justin dated Britney Spears in the late 90s, which means they were basically the equivalent of modern day William and Kate. Who could forget the matching denim outfits they wore to the AMAs in 2001?

Also during this time, we had a few other boy bands who didn’t hit it as big, but were still loved and adored. Boy bands like 98 Degrees, Boyz II Men, LFO, BBMak and Hanson. They were there to tell you “Hey girl, I Do (Cherish You) and I’ll Make Love To You because you’re my Summer Girl and I won’t stop until you’re Back Here baby. Mmmmbop.”

Then came the dark period. For a few years in the 2000s we lost our boy bands. Backstreet Boys went on hiatus when A.J. checked into rehab. *NSYNC stopped recording and lost Justin Timberlake who went on to bring sexy back (much appreciated JT). We were left to rely solely on the #1 albums they had given us in the 90s to get us through most of the decade (thank god for YouTube music videos).

Fast forward to 2007. Enter: Jonas Brothers. Three boys who yes, were actually brothers. They somewhat filled the void in our hearts while *NSYNC and BSB were on hiatus (I refused to believe it was really over).

I did go to a few JoBro shows in my day, but let me make one thing clear — if *NSYNC had been touring at the same time it would have been a no brainer. I obviously would have thrown down money to see my 90s boys strut it out to Bye Bye Bye (I still know the choreography).

Coming into present day, something miraculous has happened. The heavens have heard our cries. Put away the Ben & Jerry’s and dry your eyes ladies because BOY BANDS ARE BACK.

Some are calling it the British Invasion. There are fangirls falling all over the place just to catch a glimpse of their perfect hair or to get a photo to post on Instagram. They have hundreds of Twitter accounts dedicated to tracking their every move. They even have entire stores dedicated to their merch. Welcome to the One Direction era.

1D have single handedly dominated the boy band market. Sure, The Wanted (also British) had that one song that was fun to dance to, but they don’t have the army — I mean fan base — that One Direction has built. While 1D doesn’t have the choreographed dance moves that our beloved *NSYNC and BSB had, they have another X-Factor — see what I did there? Because 1D came from the X-Factor show? — the Internet.

The world wide web has opened up another door for boy bands in this day and age. In our tweens, boy bands had to do loads of promo to get people to notice them. Today, One Direction was known worldwide largely in thanks to Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.

Let’s not forget the fact that they are British. Yes ladies, British. In all my years of living I’ve never seen one human being able to resist a British accent. This band gives you four British accents and one Irish (the blonde one Niall), so go ahead and choose your cup of tea. I’m convinced they’re out to break girl’s hearts worldwide. To top it all off, they just signed a three-year extension contract with Simon Cowell, which means at least through 2016 we have our British boys. Enjoy the time while you can.

There is no shame in loving the present day boy bands even though most of us would be considered cougars to go after any of them. (In case you were wondering, the oldest member of One Direction is 21 while the youngest just turned 19. They’re all legal.) This is our chance, ladies — our chance to have them fall in love with us. Seize the moment during the boy band resurgence.

As if they couldn’t get any more adorable, One Direction just made this video for charity. Watch it and try not to fall in love with them. I dare you.

One last thing just for a good laugh. I give you “in sink.”

Image Credit | 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Anyone planning on going to a BSB reunion show? Or a One Direction concert?  Let us know in the comments below!