Since his departure from One Direction as a solo artist, Harry Styles has done a lot to set himself apart as a musician. With his breakout self-titled album in 2017, he wowed the world with his mix of classic rock, folk, and pop influence. But what sets Styles apart as a celebrity isn’t only his music. It’s his attitude. His entire ethos is to “Treat people with kindness.”
Harry Styles’ attitude of treating people with kindness also extends to charitable giving around the world. All of the Harry Styles’ “treat people with kindness” tour merchandise, as well as a portion of his ticket sale proceeds, go to local charities in the cities where he tours. In 2018, his tours raised $1.2 million for 62 charities worldwide.
Treating Women With Kindness
Harry Styles has lived in the public eye since he was a young teenager, so his catchphrase, “Treat people with kindness” is even more impactful. Styles understands what it means to be heavily criticized and judged by those who don’t know him. He also shocked many critics when breaking out of the boy band star mold. In the past, rock fans have pushed him aside, not taking him seriously due to his young, largely female audience. But Styles’ kindness to his fans has never faltered. In interviews, he constantly defends women and their integrity when asked dehumanizing questions about his fans.
“Who’s to say that young girls who like pop music have worse musical taste than a 30-year-old hipster guy?” Styles told Rolling Stone. “That’s not up to you to say. Young girls like the Beatles. You’re 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.”
His positive attitude is apparent in his song lyrics of “Treat People With Kindness,” or TWPK, off of his 2019 album “Fine Line”:
“Maybe we can find a place to feel good /
And we can treat people with kindness /
Givin’ second chances / I don’t need all the answers /
Feelin’ good in my skin / I just keep on dancin’”
As a proud advocate for LGBTQ+ people and an outspoken feminist, Styles has challenged gender roles many times, creating a fanbase around the world that is supportive of LGBTQ+ and gender nonconformity. He has even helped fans come out to their parents during his concerts.
“Much like the rest of the world, I have loved Harry Styles for a really long time,” says Styles superfan Alex Hinnant. “I’ve been out as nonbinary for about a year, and I remember I had felt trapped and unhappy in my gender identity for a while, but Harry was always someone that stuck out to me. He was this sort of bright and genuine light that encouraged all of his fans to embrace truthfulness and honesty in who we are. I was reading some of his interviews and looking at photoshoots, and they changed me. Watching him live as his truest self regardless of societal rules gave me the courage to come out as nonbinary.”
Harry Styles fan, Jessica Kaplan, has also seen the star’s work as an avenue for progress. “I believe that Harry has been shepherding in a powerful revolution with his work,” Kaplan says. “He is always emphasizing kindness and bringing good energy to all he does. He just gives off this safe, calming, and empowering energy that says ‘anyone can be who they want to be, while expressing themselves however they want.‘”
“People can relate to him and feel understood or seen with his art – whether it be through songs, fashion, or just hearing him stand up for causes in the world that really need support right now. There’s also a freedom and creative expression within his gender-fluid fashion that has personally inspired me to dress the way I want, even if it’s not necessarily mainstream, because he proves time and time again that fashion can be a tool to push boundaries and express yourself without words, which can be so empowering.”
Harry Styles’ relentless positivity and sense of shameless individuality is sorely needed in the entertainment industry. As a popular musician, he has used his platform not just to increase his wealth and fame, but to increase acceptance of marginalized people, asking his fans to spread kindness every day.