All About #HarryStylesIsOverParty

When I was 12 years old, One Direction had hit international radio waves with their first hit single, “What Makes You Beautiful.” Now, I don’t remember my first time listening to it or the first time looking up the boyband on Google, but I do remember the One Direction fever that hit me and how I quickly became a Directioner. I read so much fan fiction and actually wrote some myself, I bought their first two albums, they’re still in my iTunes library to this day and I had so much merchandise. 

After their second album, I slowly began to lose interest and my music taste developed further. I eventually just stopped caring about One Direction, even though I still used a lot of their songs as alarms. Years later, people want a reunion tour and many of the members of the boyband have been able to cultivate their own persona, fashion and music style. Ever so occasionally, something happens and they trend on Twitter.

I subscribe to a lot of different activists and left conceptualists on Twitter, and every few months I notice the hashtag “#HarryStylesIsOverParty” trending in these groups. It started trending again this weekend after Harry was featured on Saturday Night Live, so I decided to delve deeper into why this is a repeating trend.

One of the most common themes I’ve run across in this hashtag and the threads surrounding Harry Styles on Twitter is that many have concluded that Styles is a Zionist. It is Important to point out that Zionism does not equate Judaism, nor vice versa, although both are typically associated with each other. The best way I can define Zionism is that it is the support of the state of Israel regardless of what kind of harm that may cause indigenous inhabitants of the land (Palestinians). There’s footage of Styles at an interview with the rest of his bandmates looking uninterested until a fan introduces themself by saying they’re from Israel to which Harry responds by raising his fist

There are also lots of videos circulating the internet showing Styles at a concert gesturing to fans to hand him an inflatable hammer with Israeli flags on it and then joyfully holding it up. A lot of people find this action was in very poor taste as it occured in July of 2014, when the war on Gaza was taking place that claimed the lives of thousands of indigenous Palestinians. There were even celebrities at the time who were calling for an end to the war and in support of Palestine. Styles has repeatedly mentioned that he really wants to visit Israel through tweets, DMs and even interviews. To top it off, it doesn’t seem like Styles is completely clueless about this, as he’s friends with Ben Winston, who is a very staunch Zionist. Winston has sent out plenty of Zionist tweets and even the link for an article that plays neutral but is biased in favor of Zionism. When Winston tweeted this link, Styles promptly followed the author on Twitter.

Styles also became known for his support for marginalized groups like women and LGBT+ people. In 2017, many of his fans pushed to find out Styles’ views on Black Lives Matter, a movement against police brutality of black people. At a concert in London, many fans were holding up Blacks Lives Matter signs and one even threw a flag on the stage. However, Styles didn’t make a move to grab any of these items and hold them, as he did with the Zionist inflatable hammer. However, after much pressure, Styles posted a picture to his Instagram of Black Lives Matter signs at his concert, but captioned it “Love.” The very vague captioning has led many to feel like it was noncommittal and a form of damage control as many of Styles’ fans who were black and/or supporters of Black Lives Matter have felt left out in terms of support. Styles further caved in at a different concert and addressed the crowd saying, “If you are black, if you are white, if you are gay, if you are straight, if you are transgender, whoever you are… I love you all.” This again seems very noncommittal and many people on Twitter have commented saying that this is on par with saying “All Lives Matter,” which is a saying and movement created to undermine Black Lives Matter.

A lot of people also pushed to understand the meaning behind his hit song “Sign of the Times,” and in an interview, Styles was asked if it was related to Donald Trump’s presidency, Brexit or anything else that was going on politically. Styles gave a very vague answer saying it looked at “several different things.”

A little while ago, Styles hosted James Corden’s “The Late Late Show” because Corden’s wife was giving birth. In Styles’ introduction, he made the joke, “No, your eyes do not deceive you, I am not James Corden,” he quipped. “You may be wondering why I’m hosting tonight, and yes, you are right. Donald Trump finally got sick of James’ jokes and deported him back to England.” Many people felt that this joke was said in poor taste as Donald Trump has become well-known for deporting migrant families who have established lives here in the US. If I was in the crowd and I heard Styles say this, I wouldn’t be the least bit amused. Deportation is a very serious topic that affects real people, even if people like to make fun of it because they don’t think it could ever happen to them or people who look like them.

Most recently on Saturday Night Live, many felt that Styles mocked Zayn Malik, one of his old bandmates, by calling him Ringo. This was supposed to be a jest at how Ringo Starr left The Beatles prior to the band splitting up and how Malik had done the same with One Direction. In the case of Malik, this jest can be construed as inconsiderate as many believe that the reason Malik left One Direction was because of the racism he experienced as being the only person of color in the band. Malik even came out a year after and talked about how in being in One Direction there were lots of restrictions, like how he wasn’t allowed to have a beard (which he rebelled against and had one anyway). I remember when Azealia Banks, an American recording artist, went after Malik on Twitter calling his mom a refugee, him a p*ki, a token brown boy and so on. Although the Banks incident occurred after Malik had left One Direction, I wouldn’t be surprised at anything similar he had to deal with while being in the band and I would understand why he would want to leave such an environment.

These are all, of course, theories with no real confirmation but they have in the minimum convinced me to look deeper into the cancellations of celebrities and other public figures. Every so often, someone is “canceled” and a lot of people don’t know why. That either leads them to not caring or just blindly following. Neither of these outcomes are good, as you should be taking an active role in choosing who you don’t stan, and that’s why it’s important to know who you’re stanning.