Being a 17 year old pop singer, not just a singer but a member of a boy band, Styles appeals to that most dedicated of fan, the teenage girl. A 21st century teenage girl at that, with social media at her chipped Barry M varnished fingertips.
This isn’t very nice, it’s not the greatest demonstration of Kids Today. However these are teenage girl fans, from Elvis, Beatlemania to Take That we are well versed in the lengths teenage girls will go to in a bid to prove their dedication to the object of their fandom. What’s downright pissy is the tabloids reporting of Styles’ apparent preference for an older lady, there is not just a whiff of disapproval but a insinuation of mild perversion.
I am required to believe the tabloids are run by middle aged men and written for by adults. We’ve had many a film and song concerning a younger man’s infatuation with a woman his senior. It isn’t SO long ago that the boy band (sorry, totally credible band because they played their own instruments. Like the Monkees) of the early 2000s Busted rose to fame wearing school uniforms and singing about a teacher that gave them a reason outside of academia to attend school. So why in each report of Styles and Older Woman X, Y or Z has there been a distinct tone of incredulity that a teenage boy might find an older woman attractive?
The notion of a boy fantasising about an older woman is not particularly shocking, if perhaps a little unsavoury. In the film Weird Science the perfect woman created by the teenagers Gary Wallace and Wyatt Donnelly is most definitely beyond pubescence. The 2 women who have been involved with Harry Styles, Flack and Horobin have also reached that glorious stage in life of post-puberty (a stage that, as a 20-something who still gets spots I look forward to). They are attractive, confident, outgoing and successful. There’s no nauseating mystery was to why Styles might have pursued a relationship with either of them.
The mystery is what does a 30 (or for that matter 20) something person see in a teenager? And how would the relationships have been reported were the roles flipped? Would there have been an underlying tone of ‘good for you mate?’ Perhaps a clearer vision of who seduced who? At the news of a break up who’d be cast as the cast off? The dirty old man or the charming ingénue? But the biggest question of all is this: would the relationship be viewed as so very implausible?