Call me Taylor Swift if you must, but I’m a little bit obsessed with Harry Styles right now.
First of all, if you’ve been around for a while, you are probably aware that I’m a fan of One Direction. I mean, I’m not a superfan or anything. I don’t own all their albums; I’ve never been to a 1D concert. But yeah, I like pretty much all their songs I’ve heard.
Given my totally normal and not weird at all appreciation for the group, I’ve found it interesting to watch how each of the members have gone out on their own since the band broke up. None of them have particularly caught my interest (unless you count Zayn, who requires me to have tiger-like reflexes to change the station if his song comes on when the kids are in the car), until now.
In the span of the same few days, I heard Jamie rave about Harry Styles’ debut solo album on The Popcast and watched him do Carpool Karaoke with James Corden. I watched a few clips from his appearance on SNL and then immediately pulled up his album on Spotify. It was undeniable: I was in a Harry Styles spiral.
I can’t help it! He was SO funny and charming and adorable (like a child, not a grown man, don’t be gross) on James Corden. And Jamie was right; the songs on the new album are fantastic. He is seriously my new favorite.
Honestly, until One Direction broke up, I could probably only name one or two of the guys and didn’t know anything about any of them. I couldn’t tell them apart and probably couldn’t have picked them out of a line-up. When I searched for a photo for this post, I was legitimately shocked. Who is that baby rock star with the long hair? Did David Cassidy and Mick Jagger have a baby, send him to Simon Cowell, and hope for the best? How did I not even know who Harry Styles was (even though I knew his name and his history with T-Swift)?
I don’t know. But as I pondered these deep questions, I remembered that I’d actually started down this path several weeks ago, when I read a piece on Harry Styles in Rolling Stone. I had, apparently, blocked out the photos in the article because while he may have finally figured out his hair situation, dude wears some weird clothes.
The piece is really long, but it’s a good one, if you also have a totally normal curiosity about this musician who was a child about four minutes ago. And my favorite part is when he talks about how his fans are largely teenage girls.
Asked if he spends pressure-filled evenings worried about proving credibility to an older crowd, Styles grows animated. “Who’s to say that young girls who like pop music – short for popular, right? – have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy? That’s not up to you to say. Music is something that’s always changing. There’s no goal posts.”
I read a book recently. It was a stereotypical YA novel that included a ridiculous misunderstanding that could have been cleared up in about the sixth chapter and a quirky protagonist with super cool taste in music. When I finished it, I actually thought to myself: I should write down all those songs and bands and then look them up so I can be a little more cool myself.
WHAT THE WHAT.
I mean, there’s nothing wrong with broadening our tastes and trying new things. But solely in an attempt to be as cool as a made-up 17-year-old girl in a book? UM, NO.
I’m pretty sure that character is not the teenage girl Harry Styles was referencing, and I’m pretty sure my musical tastes more often resemble the stereotypical teen than the 30-something hipster. I actually love almost all genres of music (except opera, which is just not my thing), but left to my own devices I frequently gravitate toward the popular, toward whatever’s playing on the radio.
I used to be embarrassed by that. My best friend is always finding new music, and my husband sometimes does, too. They both know me well enough to suggest I give a listen to songs they know I’ll like, but they also know that if it’s not playing on the radio I have probably not heard it yet. I used to feel bad when I had to admit that.
But then I decided, like Harry Styles and his teenage fans, that the kind of music I like is “not up to you to say.” I mean, I mostly decided that (and then sometimes slip up and forget when I read a book about a really cool girl who likes brand-new bands and little-known songs). I’ve talked about my silly musical preferences before — how I needed yacht rock during a stressful season of my life, how God speaks to me through pop music.
And these things have not changed.
As I get older (they are SILVER hairs, not gray; SILVER!) I’m more and more comfortable with who I am and who I’m not — and who you are, too. That’s why I’m cool if we like different things, even if you are way cooler than me. And that’s why I’m not embarrassed at all to admit how much I’m loving Harry Styles these days — or his One Direction roots. Some might think that’s ridiculous or immature or just lacking in good taste, but that’s okay.
I’m cool with that, too.
Now it’s YOUR turn: What music are YOU loving these days?
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