In a juicy admission that will get tongues wagging on both sides of the Directioner divide – both “Larry” theorists and those who retain faith in Harry Styles’ heterosexuality and penchant for adventures like this – Harry Styles told a Polish reporter that One Direction play down their wild sides for the sake of their young fans.
Asked if the guys have a “rock n roll soul” and if they get up to the sort of hotel room antics described in the lyrics of “Perfect,” Niall Horan quickly responds “no, we don’t,” drawing a laugh from both Harry and the interviewer.
Curly-haired 1d fashion-plate Harry goes on to address the woman’s question about whether such rumors – of hotel room hookups, booze-and-drugs binges and trashed suites at Hyatt hotels the world over – bother the One Direction guys. “I don’t think it bothers us… I think it bothers some people,” Harry answers with characteristic carefulness. He goes on to say,
“We’re honored, I would say, more than that. That anyone would look at you that way [as a chick-pulling rock god].”
Harry explains that the One Direction guys are conscious of the effect that too much debauchery – too many Daily Mail images of Harry on a booze bender or Liam with his hand on a groupie’s backside – would have on their image, and on the mindset of their young fans.
“Not all of our fans are young, but we have to acknowledge that there are some that are young so I think…it’s naiive not to acknowledge the responsibility of having a lot of younger people looking at what you’re doing.”
The evolution of the One Direction hunks has been captured in many pictorials, including this Harry Styles one by CapitalFM, done when Harry had just turned 18.
The tattooed hottie has evolved much, much more since then, covering his gym-sculpted body with an array of creative inkings, growing his curls out to a wavy mass that swoops to one side like a dirty ocean wave crashing over his forehead, developing a taste for bullet coffees, and impressing many – while confusing and terrifying some – with his adventurous fashion choices, as reported by MTV.
Harry himself is not immune to a bit of nostalgia. At 1:30 of this video you can see Harry doing the shoulder thrust he did during the “Viva la Vida” One Direction performance on the X Factor.
One Direction has always been a labor of love and a super-success with an undeniable visual component, trading in on the sex appeal of five (now four) charming guys at their physical peak, and keeping rapt and appreciative One Direction-watchers spellbound as we witnessed the covering of most of them with intricate ink-scribblings, the arrival and (sometimes cruel and abrupt) dismissal of a gaggle of One Direction girlfriends, the rise and fall of quiffs whipped to skyscraper-height by the tireless Lou Teasdale, the bloating of briefly-alcoholic Liam Payne before he gym-ed himself back into shape, Louis Tomlinson’s abandonment of the colorful pants and braces of the middle period (he currently sports “sportswear” like Adidas) and the subtler evolution of Niall Horan, who has remained steadfastly cherub-faced and adorable (one Niall-watcher observed recently that his looks have not “matured yet”).
Rumors have risen, solidified, and captured the media and fans’ imagination only to collapse as the heaps of lies they were.
“There is something so right,” Simon Cowell declared of the original five-some as they lined up before him on the X Factor stage, outfits pulled together by the dashes of color coordination One Direction favored over the matchy-matchy outfits of 90s boy-bands like the Backstreet Boys. See this example — while the outfits of the One Direction guys are not “coordinated,” a red motif draws the eye along the line of hunks, moving from Niall’s shirt to Louis’ trousers, splitting like a forked tongue so it can reach both Zayn’s shirt and his shoes, continuing along its bifurcated path to Liam’s shoes and his pocket-square, before dying with a whimper in the crinkly red in Harry’s blazer pocket. Like a piano motif that appears throughout a Bach “Variations on a theme,” dominating the opening segment then fading away before re-appearing like a ghost at elegant moments throughout the piece, the One Direction color-tie helped to “tie the whole thing together,” signalling that they belonged together as a band, but doing it with a little more subtlety and refinement than their boy-band predecessors.
“My head is saying it’s a risk, my heart is saying you deserve a shot, so that’s why it’s been difficult,” said Simon Cowell before he allowed One Direction past the judge’s house stage on the X Factor, favoring the sexy five-some over the quirkier, “interesting” five-piece One Direction was competing with.
“I’ve gone with my heart…you’re through.”
Cowell’s decision proved profitable, and his heart yielded the sort of mega-success hedge-fund managers and corporate accountants labor over spreadsheets for. If there is an algorithm for the band’s success, part of it involves the restraint and class of the sexy guys, who appear to stay loyal to the tight-knit team, and to consider the effect they have on the swooning girls who prop up the muscular One Direction titan.
It remains to be seen how One Direction will navigate this next stage of their career. Will they come back after the break? Is Harry Styles chafing from the effort of concealing his wild and freaky side from the impressionable fan base? Tell us.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]