There is one group of people who you don’t ever want to mess with: fans. Especially if you’re messing with their idol. And especially if their idol is Harry Styles.
Don’t ‘hate’ on them. Don’t try to shame them. And, most of all, don’t bring the fandom into disrepute. Don’t you dare make their idol turn away from them.
‘Fake’ fans are their worst enemies. It’s not a matter of being a fan for not-long-enough, but being a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Those who take their obsession ‘too far’. Stans who take that definition too literally. The people who ruin experiences for the rest of the fandom, who tarnish the collective’s reputation. The wolves in sheep’s clothing.
And that’s where we see hashtags like #TreatHarryWithKindness trending.
Styles’ fans have come out in force to show their love for the singer (who has a song of his own called ‘Treat People With Kindness’), and to berate a group of alleged stalkers who have been tracking him for years.
They’re Not Just ‘Jealous’ Or ‘Defensive’, This Situation Is Weird.
First, photos emerged of Styles posing with a group of fans, some filming him as he signed vinyl copies of his hugely successful second album Fine Line.
It all seemed innocent enough, until fans clocked that the footage and albums (including one guy who had One Direction’s last album, Made In The A.M., on hand) were from a group that have been, allegedly, following him around for years.
I just found out this was from stalkers of Harry. That’s why the kid had a fine line vinyl with him. Please leave the man alone, don’t stalk him just let him live. He sacrificed his privacy to make us happy so please just let him live. #treatharrywithkindness #fratboyharry pic.twitter.com/iuXy88Rqp6
— Emelia (@emelia_shea28) October 13, 2020
They have a point: no one just carries around a whopping big vinyl record on the odd-change that you meet the person who made that record. Like?? Something isn’t adding up, chief.
#TreatHarryWithKindness these fans have been stalking him since 2013 and the guy literally has posted a photo of him and liam with that same vinyl like ???
— nightmare nikki 👻 (@DEARNIKKIVOL6) October 13, 2020
Comparisons have even been made between his body language in these recent photos and videos and those taken with other fans. His discomfort, they argue, is obvious.
“Ik when Harry is mad or annoyed like you can see it in his face and clearly you can see it here,” one fan wrote.
— 🍒Aml1d fan🍒 (@Aml1dfan2202) October 13, 2020
— Maria (@marii1_i) October 13, 2020
— Gi Ruiz (@GiRuiz13) October 13, 2020
And, I don’t know about you, and I don’t know if I’m just drinking it up, but it looks mighty awkward. Plus, I think fans who have watched Harry obsessively for years would know how the guy poses, or when he looks ‘happy’ or not.
Finally, one of the fans, ‘Johnny T’, made light of the situation. Posting a TikTok lip-syncing that he “did that” and that “you would do it too for a cheque. … I was gonna get employee of the month.”
It only makes the signed magazines and vinyls and magazines for sale on his Depop further evidence that his stalking is purely chasing clout and cash.
this is so disgusting. there’s proof that he is selling it pic.twitter.com/zBBZUHSeD6
— rey MISSES HARRY ᴴ ¹ᴰ ᴺ ²⁸ ◟̽◞̽ ᵗᵖʷᵏ (@rey_parker1) October 13, 2020
Everyone’s A Fan Of Harry (Duh), But No One’s A Fan Of Stalking.
Just because fans are relentless in their love (okay, obsession) for a celebrity, doesn’t mean that they don’t know when something is going too far. Or is flat-out wrong.
And these fans are right to call this behaviour out.
Let’s make this clear: stalking is never okay – whether you’re a regular person or a celebrity.
Tracking someone down doesn’t make you a ‘fan’. It makes you a stalker. Only one of those is fine, the other is definitely not.
But, it seems that went a celebrity reaches a certain level of stardom that we forget that they, too, ar human beings. We seem to forget that they, too, deserve and desire privacy.
We have seen what happens when celebrity stalking goes too far. Taylor Swift’s houses have been broken into. Justin Bieber has been threatened with mutilation, and Lana Del Rey copped kidnapping threats. Christina Grimmie was shot at her own concert.
Even though this case is mild in comparison, fans were right to call it out.
if you stan then
— isabella loves harry ¹ᴰ (@harolderoda) October 13, 2020
To put it very simply, and to put it in words Harry would likely approve of: Treating people with kindness means being respectful of people’s privacy. It definitely doesn’t mean stalking people.
And people, believe it or not, includes celebrities – which includes Harry Styles.
Maybe we should listen to Fine Line again (not just because it’s a brilliant album), and remember that.
Image Sources: Twitter (@1DerfulTales)