• Sat, Feb 1 - 9:00 am ET

The True Confessions of A Real Life Twenty-Something Harry Styles Fan

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Hi, my name is Rachel and I’m a 23-year-old woman whose celebrity crush is Harry Styles, a 20-year-old member of a boy band loved by tweens worldwide. I didn’t want my life to end up this way. In fact, when One Direction made their way into America, I avoided them at all cost. I didn’t need another boy band because I had two amazing groups in my youth (thanks *NSYNC and BSB) and I was too old to be a fangirl for another group of boys harmonizing on pop ballads together.

But on a sunny March day in 2012 at an Outback Steakhouse in Las Vegas, “What Makes You Beautiful” snuck up on me in an extremely catchy fashion. I was on vacation, so I was in high spirits and extremely vulnerable to getting sucked into a happy pop song. “Who does this beautiful voice belong to?” I screamed through a handful of cheese fries. After returning to my hotel and downloading One Direction’s entire first album, I realized that that voice belonged to none other than Harry Styles and from then on, life would never be the same. So to celebrate Harry Style’s 20th birthday, or as I like to call it: the event which celebrates my new-found level of comfort with our age difference, here’s a look inside the mind of a twenty-something Harry Styles fan.

Watching a lot (and I mean a lot) of interviews is completely normal.

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It’s really great being a fan of someone that literally millions of other people are fans of because that means YouTubers make life easier by putting together compilation videos like “Harry Styles’ Funniest 2013 Interview Moments.” Now I don’t have to sit through Louis, Liam, Zayn or Niall’s interviews unless I want to. But I’m a busy lady!

The greatest times of my summer internship at a tween magazine were spent researching Harry.

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Find quotes about what Harry was like in school? Okay. Watch all their music videos and pick out his cutest moments? OKAY. Paying me to do these things? Oh no, it’s an unpaid internship? That’s fine, just pay me in Harry Styles research.

I’m willing to spend hours trapped in a venue with terrifying 12-year-olds at a 1D concert.

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When one of my best friends and fellow twenty-something One Direction fan asked me if I wanted to go to their concert with her, I couldn’t yell “Yes!!!!!!!” or throw ticket money at her fast enough. She’s a Liam girl, so I know I can trust her. I’m just trying to forget that I’m going to be in a room with the loudest girls in the New York area (me obviously being one of them). But benefit of being a fan who is over 21? I can drink all the alcohol!

And this will most definitely be me at said concert:

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There is definitely a Harry’s solo only YouTube video in my internet history.

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And I may or may not be listening to it while I write this. But it’s for inspiration, so it doesn’t count, right? Harry Styles’ voice in “Little Things” for the win, though.

It gives me something to talk about with my 11-year-old sister since we have the same celeb crush.

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Other than being a fan of Harry, my little sister and I have zilch in common. She’s 11, so she’s preoccupied with horses and hating science class. So this obsession only brings us closer together. I’m doing it for the bonds of sisterhood! We can spend all our time talking about what girls Harry should actually date once he gets out of all his fakelationships. Our front runner is Selena Gomez, but we won’t get our hopes up.

I’ve started to find really terrible tattoos attractive.

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Harry makes it really hard on a girl when he gets a giant moth (or butterfly?) tattooed right on the middle of his chest. But the more I look at it, the more I like it. Can you get Stockholm Syndrome from a tattoo? We should do a study.

Watching This Is Us was a religious experience.

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And by religious experience, I mean it was a lot of me screaming “Why are you the way you are?” at the television. I didn’t see it in movie theaters because I knew I wouldn’t be mentally stable enough to be in a room of strangers while Harry walked around shirtless on a giant screen. I would have made the entire room uncomfortable. So really, I was being selfless.

So happy birthday Harry Styles, stay handsome.

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  • SomeoneHadToSayIt

    If you’re a ‘Harry Girl’ look away because you won’t like this.

    I genuinely feel sorry for Harry Styles. This rather sweet soul has been deified, scandalized (and cupcaked) by fans and the media alike, to the excruciating point where you’d think almost no-one else exists who is worthy of walking the earth and certainly not anyone else in the group, who are usually relegated to ‘Harry’s cohorts’ or ‘bandmates’.

    His tattoos are mostly (imo – sue me) pretty unsightly and everything that happens around him is plagued by a fog of PR and fans/press reacting hysterically, blowing everything he does into some big deal.

    The cloudy area of whatever his true sexuality is, aside (which nobody will ever know unless HE chooses to speak candidly and without someone looking over his shoulder some day), the reality seems to be he is a nice guy with a decent voice who happens to be caught up in the biggest hyped-up boyband/PR machine the planet has ever seen.

    Whoever made this now 20 year old into One D’s chief ‘marketing dream’ has made it so he can’t even move freely without being mobbed, followed and accosted when carrying out even basic daily tasks. By over-glorifying someone (which goes on way too much in this fandom), you effectively cage them.

    • Rachel

      I don’t think I’m over-glorifying him though. I didn’t say he was any better than any Niall, Louis, Liam or Zayn or anyone in the world for that matter. I’m fans of all of them, but seeing as this was a post about Harry for his birthday, I only talked about being a fan of him. I feel bad for him too, the amount of paparazzi that surrounds him everywhere he goes is dangerous and I have no idea how he or any of the other guys deal with it.

      There are plenty of other people worthy enough to walk on the earth, I called his tattoos terrible, if he wanted to be honest about his sexuality he would be, that’s his decision and yes their management is insane, but if he really wanted to be candid about it, he could be.

      While I agree that there is too much PR around him, I don’t see the problem in talking about being a fan of his. He’s a celebrity, he signed up for that, he wants people to be his fans.

    • Trishieeee.

      Not only that, it’s his birthday, and if he’s your favorite TALK HIM UP RACH! :)

    • Lara

      I agree with you – however I need to comment on this: ‘if he wanted to be
      honest about his sexuality he would be’… There have been and still are
      many many closeted celebrities who haven’t been ‘honest’ about their
      sexuality in public because of contracts and because it would expose
      them to a rather homophobic environment. This isn’t about any fan
      theories or assuming anything – we may never know – it’s just about the reality of Harry Styles’ heterosexual
      image (which is always amplified to the extreme in the media) being a
      main selling point of a band that is worth hundreds of millions of
      dollars. So it isn’t as easy as all that.

    • Rachel

      I understand that there are business and publicity reasons why he would stay in the closet, but if he really really wanted to be open about his sexuality, he wouldn’t have agreed to all those things. And it’s his sexuality so he is free to keep it a secret if he wants to. I’m just saying if he really wanted the world to know, the world would know. But he’s very young and maybe he doesn’t even know who he is sexuality wise, it takes some people until into their 20s to figure it out, and that’s okay.

    • lololee24

      He stated that he wasn’t gay, or bi sexual. The problem is when he said I don’t think Im bisexual his words were taken out of context by GQ and people like you went Uh…now at the time of the interview he was what 17-18 years old had absolutely no media training, and still don’t.

      Because of his close relationship with Louis, and his friendship with Nick Grimshaw a openly gay DJ hes been ridiculed called gay slurs, and pretty much made out to be some villain because he wouldn’t admit to being someone hes not..I don’t think its fair to use other stars as an example to justify wrongly outing someone, especially someone as young as Harry and whose career revolves around girls, little gay boys, and fan fiction teens who are into homo-eroctism.

      Point being he can deny hes homosexual but his gay fan base, fan fiction fans, detractors, and people who are more of the conspiracy type like you, wouldn’t believe him anyway. Him admitting hes straight makes no difference because people have already decided that hes gay.
      And the biggest insult is to the woman he has genially dated like Taylor Swift, Caroline Flack whose reputation was ruined, and who by the way tried to hide the relationship, and the many other woman he was dating, to call them beards and set up by his management co, when he went through some crazy lengths to hide his flings, is ridiculous. So i choose to listen to the horses mouth because there is nothing more insulting then to call someone a lair.

  • Michele

    I never comment on anything, but I’m feeling quite obligated now. As a 23-year-old with a Harry Styles bobblehead in her cubicle who also gets sucked into 12-year-old’s 200-page fan tumblrs and Harry YouTube compilation videos on the regular – I have to say thank you for this article. You are my spirit animal. :)

    • Rachel

      That’s actually the best compliment I have ever received. I am honored to be your spirit animal.

  • ola

    We have similar stories :P I used to avoid them at all cost too,
    “What makes you…” was also my ‘first’ song,
    the longer I look at those weird tattoos the better it look to me,
    and my sister is exactly 11 and a half :P

    • Rachel

      Well it looks like we’re soul sisters!

  • Trishieeee.

    It just hits you out of nowhere! Thank you for this, as a 24 year old 1D fan who attended most of the California dates and has an unhealthy amount of merch.. i love this! Btw.. have you heard of the OBLT on tumblr? We’re all in our 20s or over with a love of 1D :)

    • ola

      I just came back from this tumblr- it’s awesome :D
      It’s always good to see you’re not alone in fangirling over teenagers :P

  • Fiordaliza Caceres

    Guess what Rachel.. I won’t even reveal my age, but let’s say am old enough to be Harry’s mom. Ouch!!! Nevertheless, I can relate so much to your article because thru my daughter ( a dying 1D fan) I became their fans also. Driving her to school every morning with their music blasting on the radio and singing along with her I had no way out. However, after watching the This Is Us movie in the theater. Harry’s charm, cheeky smile and his voice captivated me in an insane way. So, don’t feel ashamed of being his girl. Be proud of having a celebrity crush on a guy who seems to be genuinely caring, loving, mature, respectful, extremely funny and talented. Who cares, about his sexuality. I’m admiring the great human being he seems to be, not a young man who I’m planing to get married with, as I’m too old for him. Lol nevertheless, people should stop being so naive cuz is already the 21st century.. Who are we to condemn him or anyone how might be gay. I personally, don’t think Harry is, but if he is.. I will always love Mr. Styles, no matter what.. Cuz that’s what a real fan will do.
    Rachel, keep writing about what ever you like ( I hope it will always be about Hazza) and don’t worry about those who don’t agree with it.. There’s plenty of fans out there for him n 1D that will always have your back.. Ciao

  • ANDREA

    oh my god i thought i was the only +18 year old girl who liked them…. i mean i was so worried that i typed on google “i’m 19 and i like one direction” at 2.28 am because i couldn’t sleep thinking about it and i found your article… thanks god i’m not alone in this secretly obsessive crush!!!!!! i think i love you and i don’t even know you

  • Christine Bard

    Don’t laugh, I’m 49 & had him on my mind since december. I seen him on the Today show & got a good look at him. My god, he grew up into a man now, wow!!! I could have cared less about that group, but I found muself so attracred to him. I ran oit and bought their MM cd immediatly after watching more and more videos of him checking out his bod. He is sweet. Charming and very very sexy. So now on a daily basis, I google his name daily to see what’s up with him.

  • Christine

    OMG I thought I was the only Goodball! Im 49 & the same way! Never interested in this group, but after I watched the Today show back in August w/my daughters, I noticed when Harry came out, HE LOOKED GROWN UP! Hair & body was different. WOW WEE!!!! Ever since then, Im Obsessed! I think Ive watched all the You Tubes Sexy videos of him, now I started on the Imagines. Sexy dirty ones too. I actually bought their MM CD in my new camaro blasting it. Im NUTS! Its like a Midlife Crisis now. Im a HUGE Zac Efron fan too. But now Harry caught my eye. He is my EYE CANDY! Sometimes I think If I dont have him, I would just die. Would love to go see him/band in concert, the boys really look like they put on a fun show! Not to mention I love all the songs on that MM CD! Every night before bed, I watch about 2 hours of him on youtube. Yep, Im an Official Crazy Lady!

    • Jenni

      Hi! Love your enthusiasm. Would you like to write a guest post about your crush for us? If so, email me Jenni (at) crushable (dot) com

  • lololee24

    Now I don’t feel so pervy because, I am over the age of 25 and I must admit, I have a bit of a crush on Harry Styles. So it gets to be a bit frustrating when you read from hatters, that their entire fan base is comprised of 12 year old fan girls. The reality is 1D fan base spans from 6 year old to 80 year old, and this includes men to. Despite the backlash of hate they receive, they do have a coveted fan base, which is pretty remarkable for a band so young.