Something you should know about me is that I’m a huge Harry Styles fan. Except “fan” sounds like the biggest understatement in the world. Basically, I’ve idolized him and everything he does since he was in that band… what was it called… oh yeah, One Direction! During those days, I was one of those borderline obsessive fans, watching every single video they released and crying excessively. What was so special about them is that they were incredibly humble and gracious, and still are to this day as they embark on their solo careers. However, one of them has always stuck out to me as being one of the most genuine artists/humans I’ve ever witnessed (not to mention unimaginably handsome) and that my friends is Harry Styles.
You know. The Gucci wearing, unmistakably charming curly haired British man who still doesn’t realize the immensity of his fame. He strides around meeting fans as if it’s still a new experience, taking the time to shake their hands and remember their names. There’s just something about him that leaves people speechless.
I think Harry is an incredible role model for people, and men could certainly learn a thing or two from him.
- Treating people and animals with kindness
First of all, “Treat people with kindness” is literally his motto, which really speaks to who he is and how he wants to be remembered as. Not only does he treat people with kindness, but animals too, which is a plus and just as important. There is a lack of kindness in this world; it is something we need more than anything. There is also a difference between acting kind and actually being kind, which I think a lot of people don’t understand fully. Being kind involves what you say and what you do. Harry consistently spreads kindness through his words and through his actions. He donated all $1.2 million dollars he earned from his tour to 59 different charities involving gun control, workplace harassment, education, migration issues, and plenty more worthy causes.
He doesn’t take his fame for granted and truly wants to use his earnings in a meaningful way. A lot of celebrities have been known to be rude towards fans or shoo them away when they want to meet them or get a picture. But Harry always makes an effort to meet them and give them some of his time. Even when his bodyguards say no, he will still reach out to shake someone’s hand and make their day. He has even helped a girl up who was trampled by other fans. He once gave a group of fans his leftovers from dinner. The other day, he facetimed a girl in the hospital who’s wish it was to talk to him and he sang to her. These small acts of kindness goes to show just how big a heart he has, and that he’s thankful for each and every person who supports him. He even helped give a gender reveal for a pregnant woman at his concert and helped a girl come out to her parents, things I have never seen another artist take the time to do.
- Respecting women
If there’s one thing that’s most important as a male role model, it would be this. The ability to respect women is something a lot of men in this world lack entirely. Whether it stems from not being raised right and being taught the wrong lessons, or using fame to take advantage of others, there is no excuse for disrespecting a woman. Harry is an example of a man who was raised to treat people with respect, especially women.
Since he was 16 years old on the X-Factor, he has stayed true to this. He has made statements such as, “we don’t objectify women” and responded “it’s not a game” to being asked by an interviewer “who has the most game with girls”. He’s worn a t-shirt that read “women are smarter”. He has continually supported all of his female fans who range from young teenagers to 40 year old moms, and even made this statement in a rolling stone interview in defense of his fans: “How can you say young girls don’t get it?” he added. “They’re our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans — they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you” (Whimn). He also showed support for Emma Watson’s #HeforShe feminist campaign and is always in support of women striving to make a difference. Respecting women and believing in them the way Harry does should inspire all men to love, support and cherish the women in their lives and treat them as equals.
- Challenging masculine norms
When it comes to fashion and expression, Harry knows no bounds. His style has evolved over the years but he’s always been willing to do things that may go against the norm. If I could describe his style now, I’d say it’s beautifully fluid. He isn’t afraid to express his feminine side and often blurs the lines between masculine and feminine in his style. His tour suits speak for themselves… I think it’s admirable that he can wear such a variety of things and wear them proudly, and he doesn’t feel the need to “define” himself.
I also think it’s astonishing how he can literally pull off anything. Many outfits he’s worn would not work on others, but somehow he magically pulls them off in the most elegant way. He could pull off a damn potato sac. I think a lot of men could benefit from getting more in touch with their feminine side, or at least not be afraid or ashamed of it. Harry walks around with his nails painted because he sees nothing wrong with that, and he doesn’t pay any attention to what people think he should be doing or wearing. He stays true to himself, which is something we should all do.
- Expressing emotions
Another reason men, in particular, should look to Harry as a role model is because of how easily he is able to express emotion without shame. He isn’t afraid of being vulnerable. It’s so important to be able to show your emotions in an honest way, and that’s something a lot of men don’t or can’t do. They learn from a young age that expressing their emotions might make them weak or less of a man, so they avoid showing any signs of weakness. This can unfortunately affect their relationships with other people and especially themselves. Harry is very much in touch with his emotions and pours his entire heart and soul into his song lyrics and into the words he speaks. He gets emotional on stage when people are singing his songs back to him. He’s a man of few words, but whenever he speaks it’s always genuine and thoughtful. He never worries about appearing less “manly” or showing “too much emotion” because that’s not real. In order to connect with yourself and in order to connect with other people, you have to be willing to express your emotions wholeheartedly. That’s what will make you stronger, not weaker.
- Spreading love to all
When I went to Harry’s first concert in San Francisco, someone threw a pride flag onto the stage and he immediately picked it up and started waving it around proudly for the rest of the concert. This became a tradition, so at every concert of his tour someone brought the pride flag and he would wave it around. Harry has always shown acceptance for loving whoever you want to love, and being whoever you want to be. He just wants to spread love and kindness to everyone. People keep trying to figure out what his sexual identity is because he shows affection towards just about anyone and his gender expression can be pretty fluid, but I don’t think that’s any of our business. The fact is that he’s supportive of equality and love for all, and that’s important as a role model these days. At my concert he told us: “Feel free to do whatever you want to do and feel free to be whoever you want to be here”, and that’s why people love him and being at his concerts. It’s a safe space for people who identify under the LGBTQ+ umbrella. The atmosphere is full of love, and I swear if he could meet and hug every single person at his concerts he would.
- Remaining humble
Lastly, through all of his immense fame Harry has remained just as humble as he was in the beginning. It’s extremely hard as a celebrity to stay grounded and remember where you came from, but Harry could literally go back to working in a bakery without a problem. He continues to express his gratitude any chance he gets, he contributes most of his money to charities that he passionately cares about, he takes time out of his day to greet fans or help someone out, he spends a lot of time with family… etc. He still introduces himself as “Harry” at his sold out concerts, as if we don’t know. He has never lost himself amidst the glamour of fame. Because of social media, a lot of people seem to become arrogant when they receive a lot of attention or success, and that isn’t an attractive trait. It’s important not to take those things for granted, because when they aren’t there anymore, you’ll have to have a strong and humble heart to lay back on. I don’t think Harry even understands the impact he has on so many people. He thanks everyone as if it may not happen again and you can tell that it’s coming from a truly genuine place. I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed someone so sincere and so thoughtful that has the amount of fame he does.
People are continually amazed by the way Harry carries himself, and the way that he treats other people and I think he’s a rarity in this world. We could all learn some important lessons from him, but men in particular should be paying attention. They’ll ask, “why do girls love Harry Styles so much?” and we’ll pull out this whole list. Not only is he a wonderful human being, but he’s also incredibly talented and puts on a killer performance. I’ve never been so transfixed by someone on stage. His voice his unlike any other and more people should be listening. I think Harry has the ability to influence millions of people and he uses that power for the best things. So in summary, Harry Styles is king and if anyone disagrees, I simply do not care. Actually that’s fine and you’re entitled to your own opinion but also you’re wrong.
Just kidding… maybe. But in all seriousness, Harry has been an enormous light in my life as silly as that may sound to some people and I’m grateful to him for keeping me sane during many low points. I hope other people can appreciate just how extraordinary he is as a person and an artist, and if you haven’t listened to his album yet DO IT NOW. RIGHT. NOW.
Image via Giphy
And remember, treat people with kindness.