By Reese Burns, assistant editor
At this point, I think we can all admit that Harry Styles is iconic. From being a heartthrob to an incredibly talented musician, Harry Styles is close to perfect. And of course, I say this with no bias at all.
Styles’ career began back in 2010 when he appeared as a solo contestant on the X Factor and was eliminated almost immediately (look at him now Simon Cowell). However, he returned as a member of One Direction, which was truly better than words (if you know, you know). Other than Styles, One Direction included Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne. And unfortunately, after five years, the band broke up. Just in case you weren’t aware. Once again, I’m not biased, but One Direction was, is, and always will be the best boy band to ever exist. It’s just a fact at this point.
After splitting up, Harry came out with his first solo album in May of 2017, titled “Harry Styles.” Arguably, the most well-known song on this album is “Sign of the Times”, but if you are curious, my favorite is “Two Ghosts”. His second album, “Fine Line” is the most recent and was released in December of 2019, and is quite literally music to everyone’s ears. In my opinion, every song on this album is utter perfection but my top favorite is “To Be So Lonely”. In the rare chance that you are not convinced Harry Styles showers the world with the gift of incredible music, just know that “Watermelon Sugar” has over 1.1 billion streams on Spotify and even won Best Pop Solo Performance at the 2021 Grammy Awards.
Not only is Harry a musical phenomenon, but he was in the movie “Dunkirk” and very frequently makes appearances with James Corden on “The Late Late Show.” Currently, Styles is cast in the upcoming film, “Don’t Worry Darling,” directed by Olivia Wilde, whom Harry is rumored to be dating. No comment.
While on the topic of the most recent Grammys, can we take a moment to appreciate Harry’s performance… Wow. There are no words to describe it. The outfit, the trumpets, the song, the dancing, the BOA. Fun fact: there has been a 1,500% increase in “feather boa” searches since the Grammys where all three of Harry’s outfits showcased one. Harry opened the Grammys with his hit “Watermelon Sugar” wearing leather pants, a leather jacket, and a green feather boa.
Harry is a fashion icon, and his fashion sense—Harry’s Style, if you will—has been highly influential. Often considered a “fashion risk-taker,” Harry is not afraid to destroy the stereotype surrounding masculinity. For instance, in Vogue’s December 2020 edition, Harry was not only the first male solo cover in 127 years, but he was wearing a dress, kicking toxic masculinity right in the face. As Styles said in his interview with Vogue, “anytime you’re putting barriers up in your life, you’re limiting yourself. What’s really exciting is that all of these lines are just kind of crumbling away. When you take away, ‘There’s clothes for men and there’s clothes for women,’ once you remove any barriers, obviously you open up the arena in which you can play.” Period. After removing these barriers and limits himself, many others were inspired to do the same and experiment with fashion to express themselves.
Harry is also known to be super interactive with the crowds whenever he performs. This isn’t too common and it clearly shows the love he has for his supporters! We love that! At one of his concerts, while Harry was on stage he started a conversation with a 10-year-old boy in the crowd who was so overwhelmed he started crying. In response, Harry told him, “crying is manly, Daniel. Vulnerability is manly.”
Basically, the point I am trying to make is that Harry Styles is the complete package for Gen-Zs. He’s a fashion inspiration, an incredible performer, and a talented song-writer, but in my opinion, his most influential quality is his confidence and his disregard for societal expectations of the 21st-century male. It is important for the younger generation to have such a prominent influence in their lives, constantly reassuring them to embrace the beautiful gift we have to be ourselves and express ourselves in any way we want. Go Harry Styles!