Thought Catalog
April 20, 2017

This Is How Harry Styles Converted Me From An Open Hater To A Secret Fan

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Youtube / HarryStylesVEVO

Today I’m coming out about something I never thought I’d admit: I think I like Harry Styles.

OK, so maybe you’re disgusted with me. Don’t worry, that’s OK! Just a few measly weeks ago, I would’ve been disgusted with me too! Or maybe you’re thinking, “WHAT’S THIS BITCH’S ADDRESS WHAT DOES SHE MEAN SHE WOULD’VE BEEN DISGUSTED WITH HERSELF HARRY IS LIFE.” And that’s fair too! But before you show up at my house and break down my door, hear me out.

The thing is, I was never a huge fan of One Direction. Sure, I laughed when my roommate used the lyrics to “What Makes You Beautiful” to pump me up for a first date. Yeah, I sang drunkenly at the top of my lungs to “Kiss You,” and I would do it again. But for the most part, 1D’s music didn’t really speak to me. It all seemed really #basic, and Harry was the embodiment of it all. Plus I kinda hated his hair.

And then something happened. One Direction broke up. It was the shot heard ’round the world.

I was fine with leaving One Direction a distant college memory, just like all those embarrassing drunken nights I like to pretend I don’t remember. (Except Zayn — he’s like the drunken night story I tell at every party at least twice, depending how intoxicated I am.) But then something happened: Harry came out of hiding after a few months. He had cut his terrible long hair. And the craziest part of all was he released a new song — and I liked it???

This was no One Direction rip off. This was something completely new, like glam rock had a love child with the Top 40. The first time I heard it on the radio, I turned it off. The second time it came on, I gave in and let it play through. And after that, I actually willingly found it on Spotify. It’s just so cool. There’s something mature about the song — it’s a little over-the-top and dramatic, but that’s OK, so am I.

But it’s more than his new song that has me feelin’ something for the teen idol (can I still call him that?). He recently had an interview with the Rolling Stone and as it turns out, he’s surprisingly down-to-Earth and — dare I say it — admirable.

In the interview, he manages to talk about his ex Taylor Swift without a shred of ill-intent. In fact, he praised her.

“She doesn’t need me to tell her they’re great. They’re great songs … It’s the most amazing unspoken dialogue ever.”

Youtube / HarryStylesVEVO

He also kept it classy about Zayn, who was the first to leave the boyband. When asked about the comments Zayn made about not really liking One Direction’s music, Harry wasn’t about shit talking his former bandmate.

“I think it’s a shame he felt that way,” he says, threading the needle of diplomacy, “but I never wish anything but luck to anyone doing what they love. If you’re not enjoying something and need to do something else, you absolutely should do that. I’m glad he’s doing what he likes, and good luck to him.”

Why can’t everyone have this kind of chill?

The topping on the cake was that he didn’t even bash his teen girl fans — in fact, he praised them.

“Who’s to say that young girls who like pop music – short for popular, right? – have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy? That’s not up to you to say. Music is something that’s always changing. There’s no goal posts. Young girls like the Beatles. You gonna tell me they’re not serious? How can you say young girls don’t get it? 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. Which is sick.

Was he always this cool, or has he emerged from his post-1D cocoon a new man? I don’t know, but I’m diggin’ it.

Harry hasn’t released his full album yet, but I’ll finally admit to both myself and others that I’m kind of looking forward to it. This is the dawn of the Harry Styles age. At least, it is in my heart. TC mark

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