The fab four: John, Paul, George, and Ringo. Responsible for some of the biggest hits in music history, influencing thousands of future hitmakers, wannabe rock stars, and garage bands alike. When you type in 'Beatles Live' into the YouTube search bar, grainy black and white videos pop up, depicting stationary men who bop their heads along to their own melodic tunes.
The concept of ‘Beatlemania’, a craze from less than 60 years ago, is somewhat foreign to our generation. The old footage of crowds filled with screaming fans seems miles away from the present-day. Streets that were filled with people just trying to get a glimpse of a car that sped down the road, supposedly holding pop stars, their crying drowning out any noise that the four Liverpudlian musicians had plans to make. It seems like an alternative universe to all of us.
Why all the fuss?
Amber Fares knows why. Amber is a part of a niche but growing social media movement as a proud owner of multiple social media accounts. Full of nostalgia, this almost 21st Century counterculture community dedicates themselves to the music of the past — the type of music that, as children, we would complain about our parents blasting over the car stereo. The followers of this new-age 60s social media movement range in age from those who very well could have been in the crowds at Shea Stadium to new fans that are middle and high school students.
For Amber, her love of The Beatles started at a young age, "My grandma was a huge Beatlemaniac. I grew up with her blasting Beatles. Then, I rediscovered The Beatles as I got older and became obsessed." This rediscovery led to her creating a Beatles fan page where she posts Beatles related content for people with similar interests. The page eventually expanded into her personal accounts on Instagram and Tik Tok, where she makes content related to 60s and 70s fashion looks. Her page exploded on Tik Tok, amassing a following of around 250k, and continuing to grow. Creating her content can take "quite long, two hours getting dressed, filming, and editing," and her videos range from 'day to day' looks to more detailed looks such as her 'Beatles albums as People' videos.
However, Amber's confidence to share her outfits on Tik Tok did not come naturally. In fact, it was the followers on her first Beatles Instagram account that suggested she create a Beatles related Tik Tok account. "I really have a connection with them. Without them, I wouldn't have the confidence to dress vintage. It's now what I dress like every day. Usually, I take photos randomly of the outfit I wore that day.” As for how she comes up with her content? "I just do what I love. If people want to follow me, that's amazing, and it makes me feel really good. Also, to know that people are interested in what I love is great. I would never stop."
With 250K+ Tik Tok followers, posting what she loves is not always enough. "Sometimes it feels really impersonal, to be honest, because it's Tik Tok. All those people know who I am, but I don't know who they are. Ever since the bigger account blew up, it's kinda scary, and it feels informal. On the one hand, the pressure is motivating. On the other hand, it's like I kind of want to back out now. So many people see my stuff and send me messages; so many people expect something from me. Although it's motivating at times, it also makes you want to just delete everything. I feel really guilty not answering all the dms right away, but I get so many you can't respond to all of them immediately. I just put my phone away, and I just go take a walk or something that is anything but looking at my phone. It's hard, but I try to."
Although Amber, thankfully, has never received any hate online, she feels some judgement towards the idea of running a Beatles fan page or creating her 60s and 70s content. In a world dominated by a culture that is the polar opposite to the one present while the Beatles were in their musical prime, judgement from peers is common in Amber's life. "At my school, when you do something you love, whether it's playing the guitar or whatever, you could literally be Jimi Hendrix, and people would go 'Ew you play guitar?' Since they are all young, instead of being supportive, they will judge you and make anything you do look bad."
While sometimes this judgement is "just because they don't like The Beatles," sometimes it can feel like it comes out of nowhere. Amber reasons that "It isn't just about my content with the 60s and the 70s, I think as soon as you are labelled 'alt' or 'indie' if you dare to express yourself, people can be jealous. Not necessarily about you and what you have, but that you dare to do it. That you dare to have the confidence to dress a certain way and to act a certain way. I think that is the main reason people don't like what you do. They want to create content like you, but they are afraid just to go out and do it."
Her advice for those who are afraid to express themselves? "If you love a certain thing, or want to do a certain thing, just go for it. Don't be scared to be judged or if people will absolutely hate what you do. In the end, it's supposed to make you happy. You need to be able to do what you want to do. If you just go for it, and you don't care what other people think, you will just be so much happier. I know that it's hard to do that in the beginning, especially when you are younger, since you know people will judge you. Once you get past that fear, it's just getting better from there because you really won't care what other people think if you are doing what you love."
In an age of social media where access to different parts of history and culture is always at our fingertips, many movements like the one Amber is a part of are starting to take off within our generation. Although there is some judgement for freely and outwardly expressing your interests, those like Amber who dare to do so are happy being able to be themselves without worrying about what others will think. I think there are two main things we can all learn from accounts like Amber's. The first is to have the confidence to be authentic with yourself and outwardly express how you internally feel.
The other is to look into ourselves and think about the times that we judged others for how they looked. The danger of quickly stereotyping people based on how they look, are the labels given to those we have never met. These labels only hold us back from getting to know others and from being a part of loving, positive communities. Only when we open ourselves up to those who are different from us, can we all get along.
Amber leads by example with her unwavering confidence in expressing herself according to what she loves. By weathering the judgement of others, being open to all types of representation, and having a positive outlook, she can continue to create and inspire others to do the same. It's no wonder why she has gained such a massive following; however, at the end of the day, it's safe to say that no matter how many followers she had, she would still be posting what she loved.