As longtime fans of One Direction – we’ve heard it all. Harry the “heartbreaker”, Harry the “womanizer”, Louis the “drunken partygoer”, Louis the “reckless idiot”, Louis the “homophobe”, as well as previous member Zayn as the “drug addict”. It all started when One Direction became a household name.
From the beginning, One Direction was formed on the basis of clichés that were created from previous boybands who had been extremely successful. In the beginning of the One Direction era, we saw the “womanizer”, the “mysterious one”, the “baby of the group”, the “leader and carer”, and the “funny one”. As One Direction and their fanbase evolved and grew up, we saw these cutesy clichés become ones that would attract an older, more mature fanbase. We saw the overused cheating scandals, drinking and endless clubbing, celebrity relationships turned sour, and the infamous BabyGate 2K15. But the spotlight has recently turned to two of the members, namely Harry and Louis.
Harry has been seen for the past four years as the ‘womanizer’ who sleeps around constantly. We’ve seen bizarre stories about how he allegedly brings up to twelve girls back to his hotel when he goes out. Seriously?
This, some might say, is because from the beginning, Harry was extremely popular. He dominated the fandom as the favourite member. Majority of the fanbase are girls who would do anything to date Harry Styles, and by giving him such an image, management was able to make Harry even more desirable by making it seem as if any girl would be able to be with him because he “loves getting around.” Kind of sick, isn’t it? Luckily, times have changed.
Lately and thankfully, Harry’s image amongst the fans and the media has completely changed for the better. Where we once had new girlfriend rumours almost every month, we now have little to none. Instead, we have stories about Harry and the charities he supports, cute accounts from fans who received gifts from him because he couldn’t stop for photos, and him supporting several initiatives and movements, such as the #HeForShe campaign. He has become (and probably always was) an avid supporter of the LGBT community , constantly sharing his support on social media and at concerts. He does not conform to gender normalities, and expresses himself in his flamboyant, glittery clothing and endless supports towards issues he truly believes deserve attention.
The fans have always known him for what he truly is: a kind and caring soul, someone who stands up for those who can’t, and someone who this planet is lucky to have. All of them are even more overjoyed now that his true image is being displayed in the media. He can finally be who he is. Louis Tomlinson? Well, he’s another story.
In the early years, Louis was seen as the loud, outgoing and sarcastic boy whom everyone got a kick out of watching. He was exuberant and downright hilarious, with his striped shirts and brightly-coloured pants. Wherever Louis was, you could expect tricks and laughter. Oh, how times have changed.
Louis’ image has been moulded in to something that no teenage girl should and would ever look up to. He’s been depicted as a reckless, idiotic boy who loves the party life far too much. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that he’s going to be a father with Briana Jungwirth, a girl he met at a club, whom he is said to have no romantic interest with. He’s been pictured leaving clubs drunk and with several women whom he most definitely did not arrive with. He’s been showcased to the public as downright rude when he acted up in the famous “That’s your f*cking job” video that went viral. But it didn’t start there.
He’s been labeled a homophobe and lost a ton of support from his LQBT fans when he spoke out about the articles written about him supporting LQBT rights when he wore the rainbow Apple shirt. Not once did the article mention that he was anything but straight, it merely said that he was showing support.
We’ve been informed by numerous people, including the boys, that they don’t always have control over their various social media accounts. Is this an example of something that his PR Team was involved in, rather than Louis himself? Louis has been in the news several times, being shown in a negative light. Let’s not even get in to the Drug Scandal.
But the way the media portrays him is not him at all. The real Louis Tomlinson is a man who believes that every sick child deserves to see a doctor. He is a man who constantly supports charities (and is hosting a ball for terminally-ill children involved in “Believe in Magic”, for goodness sake). He is a man who protects his fans and loves them as much as they love him. He is a man doing what he’s always wanted to, singing on stage, being a part of his own football team and making a difference in the world. He is not what the media says he is. He is an incredible human being with a heart of gold that almost never gets portrayed.
He is still the hilarious, boisterous, sarcastic boy we know and love. We just don’t get to see it anymore. Instead, we get to wake up every day to headlines like “Louis Tomlinson is going to be a dad!” and “Louis Tomlinson takes five girls back to his hotel!” instead of “Louis Tomlinson Hosts Cinderella Ball for Charity!” or “Louis Tomlinson Supports Takes Action with #ACTION1D!”
The media will constantly focus on Louis’ new “reckless” public image because sex sells, and he will continue to act and be something he is not.
Harry and Louis, we know who you really are. We’d take the good over the bad any day.