Be nice to nice.
— Harry Styles. (@Harry_Styles) August 13, 2014
If you’re a fan of One Direction, Harry Styles, or if you keep up with the media/current celeb news at all, you’ve seen Harry Styles name.
He has been called everything in the media from a lethario (which is one hundred percent untrue) to a man with a heart of gold (which is one hundred percent factual) and a lot of things in between. One thing I see Harry called frequently, is nice. One adjective he uses a lot, is nice. One thing I think we fail to show him is how nice we can be.
Harry is the kind of person you almost doubt is real, he’s the kind of person you just look at with admiration because it’s hard to feel anything else in the world when you know he exists. He is absolutely lovely, a true angel on earth, and it shows in everything that he does. He speaks out about social issues, the things that shape this world. He supports same sex love, breaking gender norms, and embracing who you are. He takes the time to say it when he can, and show it when he can’t, that he believes every person on this world, no matter who you are or how you identify, is worth their weight in gold.
He’s taken the time out to meet fans while sick, warning them first but not wanting to let them down. He’s taken the time out to help fans who have gone into almost states of shock after meeting him, allowing them time to calm down before going to them individually and making sure they were okay. He’s taken the time out to pose for photos with fans who were ungrateful, and instead of walking away, stayed and posed for more.
He always greets you with a smile, he never lets negativity get the best of him, if he knows he’s going to be seen out in public, or at a show, he’s on. He lets his bad days roll off his shoulders, he turns his grin into a beaming spectacle of emotion across his face, and he radiates love. You can actually feel love coming off of him when you’re in the same room as he is, it’s incredible.
Harry always lets us know how grateful he is to us, too. He thanks fans on stage every single night, but not in a generic way. He says the same thing to each crowd, but he makes it personal, he lets us know how much we all mean to him, as a fan base; and as individuals. He doesn’t take anything he has for granted, and he doesn’t forget that the fans are part of the reason he is where he is, that we’ve helped him live his dream, just as he’s inspired all of us to live our own too. He gets emotional when he reaches this part of the show, it’s almost like he becomes overwhelmed when he tries to tell us how important we are. We as fans actually make Harry feel emotional, that’s an incredible fact in itself when you think about it.
I only hope he knows that the way he feels about us is just a fraction of how much we love and adore him.
Harry isn’t just thankful for us, he’s thankful for his band mates, his best friends, his family. He’s grateful for the people who ground him when the world gets crazy, he’s thankful for the people who give him sunshine when the world gets dark. He’s thankful for Niall’s ability to bring fun and laughter into any situation, thankful for Liam’s ability to be the backbone and strength that pushes Harry if he’s weak, and he’s thankful for Louis and the way that no bond in this world will ever amount to a percent of what they’ve had over the last 5 years, no one knows Harry the way Louis does.
He’s thankful for his mom and her always loving heart, the way she’s so proud of him every single second of every single day. He’s thankful for Gemma and the way you can just tell that she always knows what to say to him when the other voices he hears get too loud. He’s thankful for his childhood friends back home and how they remind him of the steps it took to get where he is, and he’s thankful for newer friends like Jeff and Xander who have taken time to tour around with him, to be there for him on the road because it’s always nice to have a taste of home with you too.
Harry Styles is the epitome of what gratitude is, but some people still see him in such a negative light. Some people haven’t been as lucky as his true fans, friends, and family, and have only seen the way the media and management tries to portray him. Some fans have seen both sides and are still more worried about themselves than about him, and sometimes it shows.
In the past week we’ve seen a few articles describing Harry as a man fed up with his “boozing bandmates” who “can’t wait to go solo”. We’ve seen fans doubt him because he didn’t tweet when Liam, Louis, and Niall did about staying together after the break. We’ve seen outsiders place bets on how long it takes before he walks away from One Direction and never looks back, and we’ve seen a media storm begin about how distant he seems.
But no one stopped to ask why.
Perhaps Harry doesn’t take to twitter as often because of all the hate, perhaps it’s been a while since he tweeted the way he used to because the latter part of 2015 has been hard on the fans, but even harder on the boys. Maybe Harry is tired, maybe his heart needs to rest, maybe he just doesn’t want to see the fire that’s been set around the boys and their fans lately. His heart doesn’t just hurt for them, it hurts for us too, and right now it seems like he’s forced to be silent, maybe because he can’t say what he wants, or maybe because he doesn’t know how.
I think of Harry and I remember the video interview we saw where he said he would get online and search hate about himself, look for negativity on his performances. I sadly realize that now, he doesn’t have to look for it…it’s right there, in his face, and that breaks my heart. He doesn’t have to search something bad online, he’s constantly surrounded by it. Who would want to be present for that?
So the media forces us to believe that he’s agitated with us and the boys while they sit back and laugh as they singlehandedly drive a wedge between us and Harry, and most of the fans are blind to it. So blind to it, in fact, that they do things now for attention that are not only risky to people around them, but to the boys themselves.
In Philly on September 1st, a fan took it upon herself to look for attention, in searching for this second of attention from Harry, she lodged an item in his direction and hit him in the head, hard. He checked his head through the rest of the show to make sure he wasn’t bleeding, and looked quite affected by the incident. Not only was he physically injured, but I would be willing to bet that he was emotionally bruised. He has to wonder, just as the other lads, when we’ll start showing them the respect they deserve.
This wasn’t the first time that a fan lodged an item at the boys, and it unfortunately probably won’t be the last. There are a number of fans who are more worried about being looked at for a moment than allowing Harry, Louis, Niall, and Liam to have a good concert experience and allowing other fans next to them to enjoy it as well.
I wonder if people understand that the boys are human too, I’ve written about this, tweeted about it, had conversations with my best girls about it, and we come up short every time. It’s like the fandom as a whole is always expecting the next move, the next spectacle, it’s like we don’t see them as people anymore but an act to entertain us. When they’re on stage, yes, it’s their job to entertain us, but the music, their lyrics, their talent, and their personalities do that enough in itself. I know many fans who would pay to just be in the same room as the boys while they were sat on stage, singing and doing nothing more. For some of us, it’s still about the true love we have for them and their spirits, for some of us it’s about making sure they’re happy over getting our own 10 seconds. For some of us, it’s about protecting the boys at all costs, just as they’ve done and would do right back.
Some of us are scared, and if you’re not then I applaud you for it, but I also offer you this idea. Louis, Niall, Harry, and Liam have confirmed that they’re taking a break next year. This is the last time we are guaranteed to see them performing on stage, although the boys have promised they’ll be back, and I trust them with all of my heart, we don’t know when it’ll happen, and we don’t know what could happen during their time apart. I know the boys trust that the fan base is generally good, but at the end of yesterday’s show, do you think they all got off stage and talked about what a wonderful time it was, or do you think Harry was tired and hurt, Louis was nervous and annoyed, Liam was probably shaking his head wondering why this keeps happening, and even Niall was probably let down at the fan base, wondering when enough will be enough.
Aren’t you scared that we might be part of the reason the boys wonder if this is all worth it? Yes, it was one thrown item last night, it was a few articles last week, but all of the little things add up. I see nasty tweets every day, people demanding things of the boys every hour. I see constant streams of annoyed and hurt fans at things we have no validation or proof of. Instead of just being upset about these things, “fans” bring the boys into it online without knowing 100% if its true. At the end of the day if I can see this, and other fans notice it too, what do you think the boys feel when they see it all ten fold?
It’s a wonder the boys have social media at all anymore, it’s a miracle that they still want to interact with us most days, and sometimes if they tweet something totally generic, it should be appreciated because at least it’s effort, at least they let us know that they’re still here.
We’ve only got a few months left with the boys as they are, right now. We’ll never have this again, isn’t it more worth it to appreciate it and love it, than find reasons to self destruct and hate the 4 boys who gave most of us hope, who gave some of us a second chance at life?
Harry, I love you, you are a source of true inspiration for me, and I hope that you’re okay. I hope that you know we as fans are here for you, and we don’t ever want to cause you harm, not on a physical or an emotional level. We are so thankful that even in the face of being disrespected, that you decide to keep going, keep giving, keep loving, and keep hoping that one day you’ll be given the respect you truly deserve. I hope those of us who show it to you already are on your radar, and I hope you know how many of us just want your happiness to be met, along with the rest of the boys too. I hope you know that those of us who love you and know you, realize what’s true and what’s not and we aren’t mad at you for staying out of it, we are proud of you for knowing that your heart can only take so much and we’re glad you take care of yourself because only then can you keep being there for us.
So thank you Harry, for being nice to nice, even when it’s not always shown back to you.