I have such mixed feelings today. For the most part I’m really excited to have so much new Harry material that’s so unique. I’m glad to see so many absolutely adorable quotes from Gemma and glowing quotes from everyone else.
On the other hand, that interview is not free of narrative like people are celebrating it as. No interview is ever going to be free of narrative. While Harry’s amazing kindness and quirkiness is something that didn’t get highlighted often during the height of the womanizer!Harry phase, it’s not entirely unknown from the last year or two.
Hipster Harry who loves the aesthetic of classic rock is something we’ve seen quite often if you care to look back at the media about Harry. It’s just that it’s always been something of a negative because it was paired with truly odd things, like mentions of placenta facials, and with Harry being isolated from the band as a “diva”.
This interview is positioning Harry’s solo image. While it might be true to part of who Harry is, just like any officially branded image, it’s going to focus on certain things and not encompass all of who Harry is. It’s going to set up narratives that they want to expand on, maybe even good ones that will allow Harry to be more free about his sexuality and relationship if he wants to.
Constructing an image is fine because that’s the way the industry works and at least it’s not outright lying and making Harry look like an asshole which is what Zayn’s constructed image has been doing to his detriment. However, what’s not all that great is people hailing this interview as 100% truth.
It may be avoiding the sharpest edges of the official narrative, but they’re still there.
- It’s still referring to Harry as post-band rather than during-hiatus.
- It’s still playing the “we’ll get back together but it’s nebulous so really you can still worry about whether we’ll get back together” game with the band.
- It’s still playing the “Harry is separate from the band” game because I haven’t seen one quote from the other boys about him or one that had Harry referring to any of them individually and not just as a vague band entity.
I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: there was a marked difference in reporting between the US and the UK for ALL of the boys. If 1D has a new team who’s been protecting them for over a year, as evidenced by their much better image presentation in the US media, that new team is expecting to make money from the band. That means that the band will be back together and that it will be relatively soon. They’re not going to wait 5 years to gain something from their investment when they’ve already waited 2 or more.
The boys themselves not only made it clear that they’d be back, even writing it into History, but they also said time and again that it wouldn’t be for long and that it would be shorter than everyone expected. Liam, Niall, and Louis all said this more than once.
While Harry didn’t talk about the hiatus as much, he was the one being vague and waving off talk about him doing solo stuff during the hiatus… which he’s now doing in spades. He now sounds vague and is waving off talk about the end of the hiatus, so it seems to me that like the solo stuff, it’s just that the time isn’t ripe to reveal their plans yet. Maybe they can’t at the moment because of their continuing ties to 1DHQ.
In summary, the pictures are awesome, most of the quotes are awesome, despite that this is still constructing a very calculated image for Harry’s solo career, and there’s still some BS mixed in, especially when it comes to talk of the band.