Regarding WikiLeaks’ Sony leaks...
I normally don’t do personal reaction posts—I have no problem with them, and enjoy them sometimes, but they are not my style and I don’t expect anyone to care what I feel or think about this or that, and I’m cool with that.
But I have to say it, even to strangers on Tumblr who might understand: these Sony leaks got me fucked up.
Tonight I wanted to gush over how cute Liam, Louis and Niall were at The Great Gatsby Ball in their pastel suits and wish Harry were there. I wanted to celebrate Zayn’s fly-ass nose piercing and the fact he will attend the Asian Awards tomorrow to get the recognition he deserves as a POC Muslim among other POC Muslims. I wanted to reblog hilarious posts about how fake Sophiam is. I wanted to reblog Larry, Ziam and OT5 moments, replete with GIF sets and all-caps messages about how not OK their shit makes me. I wanted to replay the boys’ glorious vocal moments.
Yes, the Sony leaks confirm what we already know. No, they are not necessarily revelations. But I must admit, they got me fucked up.
Yes, we already knew Zayn’s public persona is racist and Islamophobic. But to see how flagrantly negative Zayn’s descriptors were— “poseur,” “player,” “vulnerable,” “dark horse”—next to the other boys’ “kind,” “sweet,” “funny,” “beautiful”… I admit to being almost embarrassed when I say, because I’d like to think I’ve steeled myself against this kind of casual cruelty by now after living on God’s green earth for only a little longer than the boys have: I physically cringed before my computer.
Yes, we already knew M!M, HJPR and Sony have always pimped out the boys’ talents and sexuality to the kids for maximum moola. But to see how infantilizing and trivializing the boys’ descriptors were—“giggly?” “cute?” “slow?”—and that these words are probably still used not to describe, but rather, to control the boys who are now grown men—I shiver in horror and disgust. Remember the fetus years when they set up Harry and Zayn on fakelationships with Caroline Flack and Rebecca Ferguson—women a decade older than them, even double their age in Harry’s case? Remember the articles about “Sexy Sleepovers?” I do, and the Sony leaks remind me how I felt then.
Yes, we already knew they forcibly closet the boys. But seeing the files about Louis’ “supermodel” girlfriend—in obscenely flippant, mock-jovial language as if Louis were the one speaking, all punctuated by an exclamation point on a tacky pastel PowerPoint no less—made me feel the strange way I felt when I tried to explain why Larry and Ziam are real to a curious friend and showed them video footage—and my friend, ten years older than me and a mother, stopped watching because she couldn’t look at the boys’ faces when they had to pretend their boyfriends’ beards were real. Remember how bitter and humiliated Liam and Louis looked when they had to play along with Zerrie and Haylor? The Sony leaks remind me how I felt, and how I imagine my friend felt, then.
Yes, we already knew that these five boys have always been dollar and pound signs more than people to the powers that be. This is business. But the aggressively, voraciously objectifying language startled me, and I can’t get out of my head that to us this deceitful farce is what 1DHQ sells as fandom, but for the boys it is real life.
And yes, they are rich, famous and influential, doing something they love with people they love, and that we fans love and admire them and their work—which are all more than anyone can ask for—but I don’t envy them. They’ve been through a lot.
So yes, the Sony leaks got me fucked up.