My Love for Harry Styles: Then and Now

I won’t say that my fixation with Harry Styles is concerning, I won’t say that it’s not a little weird that it’s still this strong, and I won’t say that I wouldn’t leave most men for him. What I will say is that I have no judgment for people who don’t like him, mostly because that ups my slim odds that he’ll find me one day.

Really, though, it’s cool to not like One Direction, and it’s cool to not still have a lot of feelings about the now totally separate individuals that made up the band. It’s not like I don’t like ZAYN, even though he is a traitor, but look, it’s fine, he’s knows it. I started loving One Direction freshman year of high school and only briefly looked back when I realized my obsession was getting out of control. I took a hiatus and eventually felt like I could handle being a fan again. I saw three out of their four tours and cried at all of them.  In all honesty, it made no sense. It never made any sense, none of it did. Which is why it was awesome and why it was perfect for a tightly wound adolescent like me.

Harry was always my favorite. I, of course, respected and cherished all of them, but something about Harry’s curls, voice, and attitude captured my heart. He was the hipster, the first one to get tattoos, and a vocal powerhouse He kind of looked like a frog and I loved him with every bone in my little body. Largely, I still do. In his 1D days, he transformed from a 16 year old with a smile too big for his face to a 21 with an affable charisma that earned him the title of “The Perfect Popstar.” It’s a youthful stardom cliche, but he really did grow up on the world stage, discovering who he was on stadium tours and within the bounds of a management contract. That was the buzzword in the One Direction fandom, management, and nowhere did we see it’s evil grasp more than on Harry. As he got older, he got more whimsical: refusing to cut his hair, skipping when he could walk, and wearing sheer shirts unbuttoned all the way down his chest, which was itself emblazoned with two swallows and a butterfly.

These days, Harry Styles is not as constantly in the public eye. To an old devotee like me, it seems like he’s just kind of roaming around and curating his new image. I like to imagine him floating a few inches above the ground in a sparkly headband, mumbling about love or loss or his album. And speaking of, two songs off of Harry’s upcoming self titled album have been released to the public. On April 15th, he performed on Saturday Night Live his single “Sign of the Times,” and debuted a new one, “Ever Since New York.” The most overwhelming impression I got from these performances, was that Harry Styles is now being exactly who Harry Styles wants to be. He never trash talked the music the band made, but he clearly had some alternate sensibilities that he was always looking to express. With his new music, his alt-folk-rock-indie brain child is born.

Overall, Harry has come into his own as a musician. Whether you like his style or not, he’s definitely exploring his own aesthetic, riding the wave of his One Direction following while still finding his own way. As an OG Harry fan, I’m satisfied with his transition. He is moving along the path he has chosen for himself, and I am in full support.   

 

Image credits: Feature, 1, 2