I'm Not Worried About My Relationship With Harry Styles & You Shouldn't Be Either
I will admit. I am a total Harry Styles fan. I have watched countless hours of YouTube videos of Harry, and for a while I kept up on his day to day life-checking for headlines on his dating life, his social life, his whereabouts, etc. When he started to date Nadine Leopold, or so the media reported it, I stopped checking up on him so much. I was relieved that I could be content knowing that he had a girlfriend somewhere in Los Angeles, and I could happily go on with my own dating life, forgetting my hopes of being his next fling. But, when headlines made it to my cell phone that they had “split,” I was back on the Harry band wagon. I had a dream about him where he took me on a great date in a convertible and wherein the breeze in my hair was not comparable to the way the wind blew his famously luscious locks as we sailed down the highway somewhere on the coast of California. Just as a note, this dream was completely PG-rated and probably based of off the music video for their song “Night Changes,” in which his bandmate Louis Tomlinson appears in a convertible looking rather dapper.
Anyway, my indulgence in Styles’ life, though waxing and waning often enough, is perplexing to me. I have completely normal amounts of self-esteem. I am very busy, attend a great school, have an awesome job, a wonderful group of friends and an incredible relationship with my family. I have had boyfriends who I have loved in the duration of my Harry crush, and I have never been very boy-crazy, so I can perhaps rule out needing the presence of a boy or male attention as spurring my love interest for the One Direction hunk. I just don’t understand it.
That being said, I can in no way attest to being a part of his “fandom,” because I am certainly at the lowest part of the spectrum-if I even fall on the spectrum at all. I don’t know much of One Direction’s music. I don’t know where in England he is from. I have never watched the X-Factor where he got his career started-though I do know that he got it started there. I have never attended one of One Direction’s concerts nor do I own any of their merchandise. I just have a crush on Harry and think he has an adorable smile and wish that I could date him-as do thousands of other girls and women across the world. He is a sensation and pop icons like Harry have been the subjects of international affection for decades-from the screaming adolescent fans of the Beatles, to the groupies of Mick Jagger, my crush is nothing new, novel or even surprising.
But what happens when these crushes become obsessions? The “addictive disorder,” wherein individuals become overly involved in the lives of their celebrity of choice has become prevalent enough that the term “celebrity worship” has been coined in the context of “celebrity worship syndrome.” Though most of the population does not delve any deeper into the lives of celebrities than reading headlines on magazine covers while checking out of the grocery store, data from a study collected in the UK involving a pool of 3,000 survey participants showed that 25% of individuals take interest in celebrity lives. That isn’t a little number.
Certain behavioral predispositions and environmental factors put those 25% at risk for developing obsessive and addictive relationships with their celebrity worship. The effect of this can be detrimental to an individual’s well-being in their perspectives, relationships and interactions with themselves and others.
So as a parent, how can you tell if your teen’s idolization of their celebrity crush is actually completely healthy? And if you are concerned that it isn’t, how can you encourage and bring out the positive aspects of celebrity obsession for your child?
I’m not here to tell you that celebrity obsessions are all good. But I can tell you that they can be. This website was created to assure you that your child is not alone in their obsession, and I hope you find the resources on these pages helpful in understanding their celebrity relationships and can use this information to further encourage your child’s purely healthy engagement and balanced interest in celebrities.
In the meantime, I will be healthily Googling keywords “Harry Styles,” with the assurance that all across the globe, Styles’ fans are doing the same thing.