At first glance, Harry Styles seems to have it all. One Direction star Harry is young, talented, handsome, and wealthy. Styles has countless millions of fans across the world, a hugely successful music career and is now breaking into the movies. Harry is an ambassador for many charities and is by all accounts a very kind and considerate young man. You would think that the media have a wealth of material to work with if they wanted to present Harry in the way his profile and fame would suggest he deserves.
It is probably fair to say that One Direction fans are angered by one thing about media portrayals of Styles. Since he was just 16-years-old, some sections of the media have had an unhealthy obsession with Harry's sex life. One Direction had barely finished their stint on Simon Cowell's X-Factor before the sexualization of Harry Styles began.
Styles fans need no reminding that the fascination with Harry's love life began with claims that he was in a relationship with Caroline Flack, a woman almost twice his age. Many of Harry's fans believe that One Direction's management team have much to answer for with regard to the way Styles has been portrayed through the years. Last year the Mirrorran a story about Harry and "his bevy of cougars" and claimed that Styles will never date "anyone older than his mom."The reality is that many stories about Harry have only a passing acquaintance with the truth. There is an old adage in the media that says "sex sells" and it seems that some will go to any lengths to attempt to boost circulation with a Harry Styles sex story.
It isn't just the media that is to blame however, some celebrities seem content to believe that being linked with Harry can provide a boost to their own flagging careers. Earlier this year Metro reported that Lindsay Lohan claimed to have turned down "a night of passion" with Harry after he came calling at her hotel room in the middle of the night. The truth was that Harry was subject of a prank by some of his team who told Styles that there was a party in her room.
Harry's fans need no reminding that Kendall Jenner and Harry were linked for the second time around last new-year. Many believe that Harry was used as a tool to head off rumors about Jenner's sexuality.Of course, there has been a veritable mountain of speculation over Harry's sexuality with many One Direction fans firmly believing that Styles either is or was in a relationship with bandmate Louis Tomlinson. It is perhaps the element of doubt about Styles' sexuality that leads to some of the less savory elements in the media to run stories that are completely fictional.
Gossip Cop claims to have exposed a claim that Harry was propositioned for "gay sex" in the restroom of an L.A. restaurant. The myth-busting website slammed claims that Styles was followed into the restroom by a man who made lewd suggestions and "raunchy" advances. Apparently Harry spoke to the restaurant management "who angrily kicked the creep to the curb!"The original article did not name the source of the claim, nor did it say where or when this alleged incident took place. Of course this means it would be impossible to check whether or not the incident ever took place. Gossip Cop says that the claims are a total fabrication and that a rep for Styles said the story was a "complete lie."
There can be no doubt that the protracted fascination with Styles private life are damaging. How many 16-year-olds are equipped to be catapulted from nowhere to superstardom overnight? To have constant tabloid speculation about your personal life added to those pressures must have been incredibly difficult for Styles. It says much about Harry's strength of character that he has come through it all with a smile on his face.
Claims of this kind are difficult enough to handle if they are true. How much more difficult must it be for Styles to deal with if the stories are a total fabrication. Styles will undoubtedly understand that with stardom comes a loss of privacy; that is the price of fame. That said, Harry and indeed any celebrity should not have to suffer the indignity of totally fabricated stories.
[Photo by Joel Ryan/Invision/AP]