Jun 06, 2020
Harry Styles in Jamaica. Photo via Rolling Stone Magazine.

That One Time Harry Styles Defended Teen Girls and I Cried

With a debut album on the way, a world tour announced and a spot in a Christopher Nolan film this summer, Harry Styles fans have a lot to look forward to from the 23-year-old this year.

I have been a Harry Styles fan for years. When One Direction split (I don’t believe in ‘indefinite hiatuses.’ Too many bands have conned me with that phrase.), I knew I would miss Harry Styles, the musician, the most.

In the months that followed the One Direction split, each former member pretty much maintained their presence in the public eye except Harry, who disappeared from the public almost altogether.

Then one glorious day, April 7, 2017 to be exact, Harry’s debut solo single Sign of the Times was released and I knew as I sat in my room listening to it, that this was Harry Styles. This was the music he should have been making all along.

Promotion for his album and the first single began and there was one defining moment that had a significant effect on me: The Rolling Stone interview.

Cameron Crowe wrote:

“Styles is aware that his largest audience so far has been young – often teenage – women. 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. Young girls like the Beatles. You gonna tell me they’re not serious? How can you say young girls don’t get it? They’re our future. Our future doctors, lawyers, mothers, presidents, they kind of keep the world going. Teenage-girl fans – they don’t lie. If they like you, they’re there. They don’t act ‘too cool.’ They like you, and they tell you. Which is sick.’”

I will be upfront. I burst into tears when I read this for the first time.

It was as if Harry Styles said to himself, ‘Hm. What would make Selina Falcon an emotional mess? Oh, I know—stating facts.’

I have always been a proponent of defending teen girls, fangirls, women who love music fiercely and women in the music industry. Fan culture and the music world are sexist and within those it is hard to be taken seriously when you’re a female, even harder when you’re a female in your teens.

I could write a book on how not fun it was to love the music I loved when I was a teenager because no one took me seriously. The eye rolls, the sneers and the jokes about the music I was passionate about during my early and late teens have not left me. I still remember how that felt and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

When Harry said this, it meant a great deal to me at age 21, so I can only imagine how much it would have meant to me had he—or really, anyone—been around and said this when I was in my teens.

Harry Styles is the future of music and the music industry. Not only is he creating music that is pure art, but he is actively pushing the boundaries of music and fashion, he is actively supporting women and he is actively becoming an artist that I am happy to support because he gets it.


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