Anyone who knows me and follows me with any sort of regularity will know I don’t usually get involved in ‘fandom’ drama. And since there is no shortage of it, this should be noticeable. I don’t comment on their personal lives, I don’t report on their families. But today something happened that is going to make me break my own rules.
Today, photos of Harry Styles from a January 2016 yacht vacation with family and friends were leaked to the internet. This access was apparently done through someone hacking his mother, Anne’s, iCloud. Now, as I was busy today, I had no knowledge of the proverbial crap storm that had unleashed on Twitter until around 7pm tonight. I awoke from a nap (yes, I love napping) to photos in my Whatsapp, covering every inch of my timeline, continuous comments of ‘fans’ freaking out…but as I scrolled to the more recent, the tone quickly changed to condemnation, blame and a hashtag #sorryharryandanne.
It is the hash tag that made me snort above all the rest, and compelled me to write this little post.
First off, let me start by saying I was a fan of Backstreet Boys and NSync in my late teens and early twenties, went to concerts, followed their activities. But never in all those years, did I witness the scrutiny and lack of privacy extended to celebrities now.
Yes, I am fully aware that the majority of this lays with the fact that social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and the all knowing Google were either non existent or not what they are today. But in my mind, I think it was something a little more than that. I like to think that even with that access, there would still be a boundary to privacy. I cant know for sure, but I hope, because the exponential blast from reality that I see in this fandom especially is….frightening.
In a time where accessibility to information is rampant, and with a click of a button you can know almost anything you want to know, why are people still so desperate for more? Why is it that people are not satisfied with the 732819473908 photos of Harry that he has posed for, concert photos, fan photos. Photos from his family, from himself, and his friends. Why is this fandom not happy with what is extended them, and they still want more? So much so, as to viciously invade his mothers privacy in this way?
Those photos were never meant for us. Nothing of that vacation was our business, or meant for our eyes. Yes, there is the curiosity, especially when you tack on a female within breathing range of Mr Styles. But the fact remains…..ITS NONE OF OUR BUSINESS!
A friend mentioned to me the comparison to the Justin Beiber fandom. Now, personally, Ive never ventured there. Ive heard nice things, but never visited, thinking of it more like a far off land. She mentioned that Justin had to endure paps snapping him on vacation, resulting in his willy being shown to the world. That was a horrible breach of privacy, but my response? You expect that from paps. That is their job, sadly enough, to track these celebs down and ‘get the shot’. It happens all the time, even to Harry on said yacht. So, why then, when this fandom is so quick to condemn others for such an actions (and ya’ll know you did) would you then go and trump them by actually STEALING photographs from Harrys family? Why, instead of respecting their privacy and keeping the very tiny piece of himself he has left that he hasn’t given us freely, would you take it by force?
That, to me, is disrespect on a whole other level.
Now, let me get this out there for anyone who may be prepared to throw stones…did I see the pictures? Yes. Did I look? Yes, they were sent to me, as well as on my timeline. Did I save them? No. Did I really care for their existence? Not in the least. Because it doesn’t matter to me what Harry does on his own time. He owes us nothing more of himself than what he CHOOSES to give. This includes his family and friends.
The reaction of this fandom is what prompted this little rant, so I will get to it. After everyone was finished spreading the photos around, commenting, and freaking out like jackals with a fresh carcass, the back pedaling began. The apologies, the condemnation, and a stupid bloody hash tag. As if a hash tag can make up for the privacy lost, and the personal moments stolen. It is that hash tag that ultimately pissed me off, as a person to prefers to stay on the outskirts of the drama and fandom as a whole. Because, to me, it showed the immaturity of the collective. The ‘sorry’ after the hurtful action. It means nothing.
It is actions like this, and those in the fandom responsible, who will forever keep the fandom in the ‘crazy zone’. Let’s just call it like it is, and admit that the fandom has a horrible reputation. Crazy, insolent people with no boundaries, who send hate and death threats like candy canes at Christmas. We fight back against it, some try and do good to prove otherwise. But within a few hours, and a click of a mouse, it is all erased.
People need to remember we are a representation of One Direction. Those crying foul when they weren’t nominated for a Grammy, usually are those who are stirring the pot on a regular basis. But if we don’t respect the boys enough to honor their privacy, how can the music industry respect them as artists? If we don’t, they wont. Quite simple.
I know not all fans are the ones I am directing this message to. And yes, this ended up MUCH longer than I planned. But I am more than a little hurt on Harry and Annes behalf that people would actually go to this length for this type of information. What did you feel you would gain? Notoriety? Nope, you cant even admit it. Respect? Hell no, you have countless people angry with you. So what then? What was the point?
Regardless of the reasons, the results are the same. Anne has deleted her social media, which shows just how truly hurt she is. And if you hurt Anne, you in turn hurt Harry. And why would you want to hurt someone who has given you the last five years of his life? When all he wanted in that moment was a few days solace on a boat?
Okay, my rant is over. I know I may catch flack for this, but since this seems to be the generation of entitled options, I suppose I am throwing my hat into the ring on this one.