By Valeria Alvarez Toribio (’23)
‘Harry Styles presents Love on Tour 2021, special guest Jenny Lewis’ sign at Little Caesars Arena, Detroit. Image by Valeria Alvarez.
Harry Styles appeared on the cover of Vogue as the first solo male star in last year’s December issue, wearing an exquisite custom made Gucci ball gown. This single event was the start of the end of fashion as we know it, the Waterloo of toxic masculinity: The Styles Revolution. By opening Pandora’s box he inspired youth to embrace authenticity and individuality. His trademark, “Treat People With Kindness”, galvanizes the spread of love and acceptance. He’s stated on numerous occasions that he encourages his fans to be unique, genuine and true to themselves.
“I’d say the thing that I learned over the last eighteen months is that time with the people you love is the most important thing in the world, so please, tell the people you love that you love them, tell your family you love them, tell the person next to you that you love them. Whoever you came with tonight, if you did come with someone tonight, tell people they are loved, that they are important. Be whoever it is you want to be, and do not let anyone tell you who you should or should not be. Whoever it is that you are, be whoever you want to be. Thank you and I love you.” (Harry Styles during Detroit concert at Little Caesars Arena, Love On Tour 2021)
The welcoming environment of his fanbase naturally deploys comfort and safety. He is popularly known as a feminist and empathetic soul, an advocate for the Black Lives Matter movement and an ally for LGBTQ+ rights. The true essence of who he is embodies personal growth and light hearted legitimacy. He has become a modern day icon of genderless fashion, bending boundaries and defying rules, resulting in the gradual destruction of toxic masculinity and redefinition of gender norms for new generations.
“To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art.” (Harry Styles, 2021)
Aside from his evident positive influence in present-day society, Styles has heavily influenced the music industry in the course of his career as a solo artist. He was the recipient of the Grammy Award for Best Pop Solo Performance of 2021, for his trending single ‘Watermelon Sugar’. The combination of his immeasurable talent and endless charisma are some of the characteristic traits that compose the undeniable transcendence of his figure. He is currently performing Love on Tour across the United States of America, allowing people to enjoy the life changing experience of his concerts. Despite his fame and evident self-confidence, he’s managed to maintain an unpretentious and down to earth attitude. The magnetism of his character, the atmosphere of his performances, the genius of his songwriting, and his heavenly vocal chords pragmatize the convergence of his public moral message, as well as the quality of his music.
Harry Styles at St Louis concert, Love on Tour 2021. Image via Sashasmidget.
After effectuating an extended analysis on the appeal of Harry Styles, both on a personal and professional level, it can be concluded that there are many valuable lessons that can be learned from his identity odyssey. His fans’ affection and loyalty are not based on aesthetic appearances, but on the beauty and complexity of his lyrics. He fosters intimacy among them by deshedding layers of his persona and setting himself in a vulnerable position, providing a feeling of warmth and welcomeness in an over fifteen thousand people crowd. To many, he offers a happy place to learn and develop, where you are loved and respected, a place where you instinctively belong. In other words, to his followers, he is the literal personification of the concept of ‘home’.
As humans born into an innate patriarchal society, we are inherently subjected to various ideological trends that vary in relation to our socio-economic and political context. For this reason, it is crucial to rationalize the origin of our beliefs, which can be a generally accepted cultural costume present in our background or an ethical principle that we decided to adopt independently. We are in the midst of society attempting to outgrow deeply rooted unfit, illogical and outdated ideas. With this in mind, it is our duty to strive for intrapersonal examination, development and appreciation of diversity. In this sense, diversity can be understood as a flower bouquet; if we limit the variety and density of the flowers and leaves, the repercussions will result in a dead plain looking bundle of herbs. Whereas, if they are nourished with love and given the freedom of growing in divergence, the outcome will be inverse: all the flowers will bloom and be worthy for their individual grace, endorsing perfection in diversity.
Emerging waves of imperative innovation, rejection of societal standards and gender norms are both subjects of interest in the modern day and age. New generations are making history, endeavouring and questioning endorsed practices to reformulate the convergence of personal beliefs and biased assumptions. By educating ourselves and acknowledging the double sided nature of gender norms, we can improve our understanding of motivated judging and targeted oppression, leading to a truly free place for everyone to live.
Harry Styles. GRAMMY.com. (2021, May 27). Retrieved September 23, 2021, from https://www.grammy.com/grammys/artists/harry-styles/287522.