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How Harry Styles Has Changed My Life

Olivia Avery is going into her third year of BA (Hons) Creative Writing and English Literature. She is looking to become a scriptwriter.

Harry and the Star

I think I need to get this out of the way: I've written a mini fanfiction about Harry Styles before. However, it's not the lovey-dovey kind where Harry meets me at a coffee shop and falls in love with me. I actually wrote it for my little sister's 10th birthday, as she is a fan and too young to have that kind of story written about her. Instead, since her name means "star", I wrote a story about how Harry kept a star in his pocket and looked at it whenever he was sad or lonely. One day, the star told Harry that it had to go and it landed up being reborn as my little sister in the arms of my mother. It is a story that I am really proud of, as it not only felt like some of my most genuine writing but it also reflects how I feel about Harry - he is my star.

Harry's beginnings

In case you are not aware, Harry Styles is an internationally-recognised musician and actor who started his career being a member of the hit boy band One Direction. He auditioned for the X Factor UK in 2010 as a solo artist but then got put into a band alongside Louis Tomlinson, Zayn Malik, Niall Horan and Liam Payne. The band split in 2015, stating that they would reunite within two years' time (but we all know that that is not going to happen). Since their split, Harry has achieved phenominal solo success both in music and acting. He has released three solo albums to critical acclaim and gone on international solo tours. He has also landed roles in films such as Dunkirk, Don't Worry Darling and My Policeman (the latter two currently in post-production). All in all, he has done very well for himself so far.

Harry and his influence on me

Now that I have gone and given you Harry's biography, let me get to the point of this article: how Harry has influenced me.

I have personally been following Harry since 2012, when he was still in One Direction. There was just something about their music that I gravitated towards as a young girl and I was lucky enough to see them in concert in April 2015 (a week after Zayn left - sigh). While they were still together, I never paid much attention to Harry, as Louis was my favourite. I was devastated when they decided to split. However, it made me start paying more attention to each individual member, particularly Harry.

Harry released his first album -- self-titled -- in 2017 and I remember staying up until the release at midnight to listen to it. I was so enthralled listening to his own sound for the first time. It was so different to that of One Direction and so much more personal. Listening to not only his music but the other members' too made me realise how different their sounds were and how they were so much happier on their own. It showed me that you do not need to keep working on something that does not fulfill you and does not allow you to do your best. It is important to make sure that you are in a situation where you are able to reach your full potential.

Harry and modern culture

Since achieving solo success, Harry's personal message has continued to spread across the world and has positively impacted his fans. His main "tagline" is to treat people with kindness, which has attracted the most well-rounded human beings into his fandom. He started using this message on his first solo tour for tour merchandise, which included Pride T-shirts sold to raise funds for GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), which aims to end discrimination, harassment and bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression and to prompt LGBT+ cultural inclusion and awareness in K-12 schools in America.

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Harry has also done several more philanthropic activities, including being an ambassador for the cancer charity Trekstock, endorsing Emma Watson's HeforShe campaign and pledging to donate to a bail fund for arrested Black Lives Matter activists. This is just a small list of the work he has done for multiple charities and organisations.

Harry is known for his epic and flamboyant style, which has garnered plenty of attention from the right-wing. In 2020, Harry appeared as the first solo man on the cover of Vogue for their December issues. A comment that became infamous was made by Candace Owens, who said that society must "bring back manly men". Many of his fans defended him and criticised her statement, including me. What Harry is doing is being comfortable within himself and expressing himself however he sees fit, encouraging and influencing others to do the same. It is because of Harry that I have become more comfortable with who I am and how I dress. Seeing him dress in "girly" clothes has made me realise that it is okay to dress in clothes designed for the opposite sex and that I can do whatever I please without letting the world try to bring me down.

Harry has saved me

On a more personal note, I have struggled and still struggle with my self-confidence. This has been the toughest year of my life so far, having been diagnosed with anxiety and depression and having also suffered from suicidal tendencies. Due to this, I was unable to attend Harry's concert in London as I returned to my home country to treat myself. There are many people in my personal life that have helped me through this rough time in my life but one person I have to thank is Harry. His music has been on repeat through the good times and especially the bad. His positive, cheerful and carefree personality has lifted my spirits when I was down. When he was a member of One Direction, he was part of the reason why I started to believe that I am beautiful with the song "Little Things". However, as I have gotten older, I have started to take that message more to heart and as a result, I have become more self-confident and have started to believe in myself more.

Harry in conclusion

I so wish to see Harry in concert one day, as that would become a reflective moment on how far I have come in my life. I hope to also meet him in person to thank him for all that he has done for me. He has no idea how much he has helped not only me but millions of others.

If you take anything from this article, let it be to treat people (and yourself) with kindness.

You are perfect the way you are and just know that I adore you.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Olivia Avery

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