The Backstreet Boys "I Want It That Way" Taught Us These 11 Life Lessons
15 years ago, The Backstreet Boys released Millennium , an album that would take the pop world by the throat and say, “THIS IS WHAT POP MUSIC IS ALL ABOUT. NEVER FORGET IT. NEVER FORGET ME. NEVER FORGET LATE '90s POP. NEVER FORGET TOTAL REQUEST LIVE. NEVER FORGET CARSON DALY’S ACCENT NAILS. ACCENT NAILS WILL MAKE A COMEBACK. GIVE CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE: CARSON DALY.”
I have not forgotten.
I must admit something: Millennium is what made me a Backstreet Boys fan. Before Millennium, I was all ’N Sync, all of the time. I, like many of my peers, was convinced I had to choose one or the other, and I'd picked 'N Sync. I thought it was set in stone. I WAS WRONG.
Before Millennium, you couldn’t pay me to listen to the Backstreet Boys. Before Millennium, I could not be moved to do the "Rock your body right" choreo when "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" played at the water park. Before Millennium, 'N Sync and BSB were my Montagues/Capulets. My Jets/Sharks. I was ready to dance-fight anyone who challenged my team.
Millennium changed all of that. The first time I heard the undeniable ear candy that is “I Want It That Way," I was hooked. There was no turning back. I threw my convictions out the window, scrounged together my babysitting money, asked my mom to take me to Sam Goody, and bought a copy of Millennium. I loved the Backstreet Boys... and it did not affect how I felt about 'N Sync. I could love 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys. I could have it all. And I did.
I continue to love 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys. I can have it all. And I do.
But that isn't the only lesson the Backstreet Boys and Millennium taught me. Here are just a few of pearls of wisdom gleaned from the iconic TRL giant that was the "I Want It That Way" music video:
Never underestimate a good cuff on a pair of jeans
Look at that healthy cuff do serious work!
If you'd rather wear navy, wear navy
Don't be afraid to stand out.
Always be on the lookout for airport ghosts
You never know.
You can break the "no white after Labor Day" rule if you're going to the airport with four buddies in coordinating outfits
Glasses are cool
I'd just acquired my first pair of glasses when this video came out, so A.J. McLean's bespectacled confidence meant a lot to me.
If it's your friend's turn to sing, point at them
Show your support.
We all have different power stances
If you have to crouch, crouch. If you have to go arms wide open, that's cool too.
Accessories = everything
They can really take a look to the next level.
Embrace that middle part
Oh, that side part cowlick is acting up? Just comb your hair down the center. BOOM.
Pop music will make you feel feelings
Let 'em out.
Feel those feelings.
Go on that emotional roller coaster.
Those four photos are me at every concert I've ever attended.
And finally, whenever you board a plane, hum the first few bars of "I Want It That Way"
Especially if you have to walk across the tarmac. Just trust me on this one.