We all know it is vital that for 1D to have any sort of a future, they need to appeal to a more adult market. What’s the best way of doing that? Make them seem like adults. It’s pretty simple right.
Sure, you say, but why do they have to push straight partyboy Louis? How is that helping anyone? Well, let me tell you.
Straight partyboy Louis is, despite what the fandom thinks, the most innocuous, forgettable image that you can push on a young white male celebrity. Adults don’t really give a fuck that a 23 year old boybander is out partying and picking up girls. It’s a non-story and anyone who has been 23 knows it’s pretty standard tame behaviour. He’s not getting arrested, he’s not shooting up, he’s not using prostitutes or doing anything scandalous that would make adults sit up and take note. And whilst it feels to us that they are pushing the het thing really hard, remember that for most people heterosexuality is so much the norm that it doesn’t register. They won’t read these articles and go, oh my gosh, he must be straight, that is big, fundamental information I shall retain and never let go of, they will just go, meh, he’s normal, whatever.
Or if they’re smart they will just point out that he is gay and this is PR.
My point is that these kinds of articles are the best way for his name to be in the papers, giving just enough of a sorry excuse for a story that they can print his name in non-1D contexts, without adults getting too suspicious that something is afoot, because the stories themselves are pretty dull. These are the stories people will skim past, shrug off, claim they don’t care about or that they are unshocked by…
BUT - and here is what matters - they will also subconsciously incorporate the name of Louis Tomlinson into their mental catalogue of adult celebrities. Skim past enough half-arsed stories about Louis Tomlinson and eventually, without even trying you will have an idea of him doing things that adults do. No more “One Direction, aren’t they like 16?” because no, somewhere in your mind you associate them with alcohol and clubbing and the use of drugs being non-shocking, so, your brain does the work quietly in the background and concludes, they must be adults.
Side bonus point - these sort of articles can actually prompt people to defend Louis Tomlinson as being an adult. Literally, they are provoking the public to actively assert that Louis is in fact an adult.
Go check the comments on the article if you don’t believe me. Pay attention not just to what is being said, but to the number of likes and dislikes for each comment. E.g. “
He’s in his early 20’s, doing what people in their early 20’s do…leave him alone!” gets 1630 likes and only 179 dislikes. “He’s a role model to kids… needs to buck his ideas up” gets only 70 likes but 209 dislikes!
Happy days. The times they are a’changing…