We’ve been fed and told stories since 1D got put together, their images are 100% crafted and there’s always been evidence of this, but let me refresh your memory.
NIALL: the fandom at large believed (and to my knowledge, still does) that Niall’s parents are together and that his family is ‘wholesome’. In fact, most of the fandom calls Maura (Niall’s mother) ‘Maura Horan’. That’s not her name, her name is Maura Gallagher because Niall’s parents got divorced when he was a child and she got remarried. Why did this happen? Niall’s image is the unproblematic one, carefree, down to earth. A divorce might distract from that.
ZAYN: the fandom at large believed (hopefully not anymore) that Zayn’s father wasn’t in the picture, people know about Trisha, but not about Yaser. His religion and his heritage have always been brought up as an afterthought and with a side-dish of whitewashing, which is exactly why his father has barely been a part of his image. Zayn bought a house FOR HIS PARENTS, yet in This Is Us (the documentary/film about them) it’s repeated again and again that he bought a house for HIS MUM. Thus, erasing Yaser from existence.
LOUIS: the fandom at large has his family image as messy. Jay is super criticised for her personal life, but it’s really not as ‘scandalous’ as it’s painted at first glance. She was eighteen when Louis was born and she was left alone. Yet, she managed to get a nursing degree from Leeds University, met Mark and married him when Louis was still SUPER YOUNG (he was around three). Louis always had a father figure, he had a lovely family, his grandparents were always present, he didn’t struggle with money. Yes, he had a job growing up (newsflash, so did Harry) and I’m sure juggling a household with five children wasn’t cheap or easy, but they weren’t poor or anything close to it. I actually think, aside from some brief tough times, they were more than fine with money. Louis had a car at the age of 18, he used to buy clothes at All Saints, he wasn’t struggling. He’s also painted as a person that was never that serious about singing. WRONG. He auditioned for the X Factor in 2008, 2009 and 2010. Why were we told about Liam auditioning in 2008 so many times but never about Louis? Think that through for a bit.
HARRY: the fandom at large has always believed that Harry is this posh guy. His family owned the bungalow (N/R: a bungalow is a one-storey house, so I believe it was a second house Robin owned) in which 1D rehearsed during the X Factor. Fans believe that Gemma and Anne are these uptight bitches that sneer at the girls Harry brings home and that they wouldn’t approve of nearly anyone (I’ve read that, countless of times, coming from het-Harries). We barely ever saw Des and we were given the image of Anne+Robin and high-class countryside family. But he is NOT posh. His mother was 22 when she got pregnant with Gemma, she divorced Des when Harry was seven and not long after that married this John Cox guy. They lived above the pub Harry always visits during Christmas for six years until Anne got divorced. Harry did a paper route when he was like… thirteen fourteen, and he has said that he gave his mum massages and cooked for her when she was overworked. Then they moved in with Robin and Robin DID have money (he owns a welding company). Robin is an older guy that already had two grown children when he met Anne. Harry was middle-class, just like Louis was. The gap presented between them is only in our imagination.
The differing images, these little things that we haven’t been told (and think about all the things that we still don’t know, a lot of what I mention here I got from an anonymous submission last year), are crafted to the extreme and we’ve been lied to for years. Time to stop buying them. The classism, the whitewashing, the discrimination, those things need to go away, and by buying their carefully manufactured images all we’re doing is perpetuating all of that.