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Treat People With Kindness: The New Year’s Treat We All Needed

As 2021 arrives, it’s difficult to see the positivity of moving into another year with the virus more prevalent than ever here in the UK. Despite getting to spend time with family, spending New Year’s Eve at home did leave me feeling rather deflated. However, Harry Styles releasing Treat People With Kindness on New Year’s Day was exactly what I needed to put me back in a positive mindset.


I’ve always adored Harry Styles (I mean, who doesn’t?), so when I heard about this surprise release from Twitter, I just had to watch! Harry’s album Fine Line was released in late 2019, and he’s been releasing singles from the album such as Golden and Lights Up ever since. In my opinion, releasing Treat People With Kindness on New Year’s Day was perfect timing, as a reminder that during the chaos and struggles of the pandemic currently, it’s important to look after those around us, as well as ourselves.


The TPWK ‘old-school Hollywood-inspired’ video wasn’t just brimming with positivity from its lyrics, but also the presence of none other than Phoebe Waller-Bridge! Who would’ve thought? Phoebe Waller Bridge, if you’re not familiar with her, is probably best known for her role on the show Fleabag (2016), which if you haven’t had the chance to watch I would highly recommend! Everything about Phoebe in this video was absolutely mesmerizing to watch; her outfit, her smile at the end of the video and her dancing. As she flips back the curtain and walks down the stairs holding a martini, you can absolutely tell she means business as she joins Harry on stage. As for the pair’s jackets and outfits, Harry’s consisted of a ‘white floral silk jacquard shirt with rhinestones, argyle knit V-neck vest with sequins and white wool twill wide leg flared trousers, a black grosgrain bowtie with all-over silver Swarovski crystals and a white silk satin cummerbund’, and Phoebe’s a ‘custom Gucci cream two button peak lapel suit with a white embroidered puff sleeve shirt with sequin cuff detail and the same sweater-vest with sequins’. They truly were the most aesthetically show-stopping looks to compliment their equally show-stopping dancing.


As for their dance routine, I was in complete awe! The pair’s dynamic just seems to work so well; despite them being a pair I would never have guessed! In fact, the idea for the two to dance together actually is due to the director, Gabe Turner. Apparently, he and Harry had been watching a variety of Hollywood dancers, and when he and Harry went to watch Fleabag in West End, Gabe proposed getting Phoebe on board to dance with Harry. Director Ben Turner says that ‘the atmosphere on screen reflects the dynamic’, as well as Gabe stating that he thinks ‘they were both big fans of each other’. Ben is definitely correct; the pair just appear to completely work on screen! Ben and Gabe also go on to discuss what it was like to work with the pair, as Gabe states, ‘from Phoebe buying cupcakes for the entire production crew, to Harry… On every single shoot I’ve ever been on, Harry has made every person, from the runners upwards, feel ten foot tall and a part of the process’. This seems so important to me, as their attitude just seems to fit so beautifully with the message of the song and video. To me, reading this was so reassuring, as I know that some celebrities tend to have quite negative reputations from fans or people they work with. So, the fact that the pair went above and beyond to make the staff and crew feel valued is such a wonderful thing to hear.


While it’s hard to find any fault in such a masterpiece of a video, admittedly I would love to see the video released in colour as well, rather than just black and white, and I saw a lot of people similarly desperate for this release on social media. Harry released a picture of him and Phoebe in colour to promote the new music video, and the pastel style is to die for! However, the black and white filter to the video does definitely work with the Hollywood theme, and it also makes Harry and Phoebe stand out that little bit more, with their white suits truly stealing the spotlight.


In such a difficult transition into 2021, this ray of light was certainly needed. Everything down to the stunning Hollywood setting and spotlights, the beautiful outfits, and of course the stars themselves, was just perfect. If you haven’t already, please check out the music video, and I promise it’ll put you in the best of moods; after all, Treat People With Kindness is definitely a motto we should all live by!


Words By: Ellen Churchyard

Edited By: Alice Colton 

Hi! I'm Ellen, a second year English Literature student aspiring to write fun and informative articles :)
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