Harry Styles’ latest love letter to a young, progressive generation

Ashley Mata, Staff Writer

I had the privilege of attending Harry Styles’ recent performance at The Forum in Los Angeles, and it was an experience I won’t soon forget. Almost every fan in the crowd flaunted a feather boa, cowboy hat or a colorful two-piece set. The venue buzzed with anticipation, and Styles’  energy was so contagious once he appeared on stage that fans began dancing with friends and strangers alike. 

Harry Styles just finished his 42nd show for “Love on Tour,” which showcased his most recent album “Fine Line.” Many Westmont students attended his concerts in California — evidence of Styles’ tremendous impact not just on Westmont students, but Gen Z at large. 

Styles played The Forum for three sold-out nights, giving local fans the chance to see their favorite artist at one of the most famous venues in the United States. Fans were pleased that Styles played all of “Fine Line” in addition to a few songs from his previous album, “Harry Styles.” He even played a One Direction song, reminding everyone of his impressive evolution from playing in a band of five to performing solo shows while maintaining the same audience size. 

It’s safe to say that Styles is beloved to many Gen Zers, but why is that?

While much can be said for Styles’ talent and charm, the same can be said for his values. Styles shows that the artist behind the art matters. “I love that Harry is not only an extremely talented songwriter and performer, but he has the confidence to express himself as he truly is, and he encourages fans to do the same,” said sophomore Rielle Desoto. Because Styles shares his authentic self, he is able to connect with his followers.

“Treat People with Kindness,” a Styles song and slogan, has gained immense popularity for its simple, straightforward message. For Styles, treating people with kindness means treating every member of every community with kindness. Styles is known for being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community — he loves to dance around with the Pride flag onstage at concerts. At the beginning of his final performance for “Love on Tour,” Harry told the audience, “Please feel free to be whoever it is you have always wanted to be in this room tonight.”

Styles also transcends the norms of gender representation. He’s appeared in a dress on the cover of Vogue and onstage in feather boas, pink silks and flowing pants. He exemplifies gender fluidity and freedom of expression through clothing, cosmetics and even his attitude and mannerisms. Styles is “such a good role model for generations to come,” said fan Jenna Wheeler. It’s no wonder Styles is the icon of a progressive generation: he inspires audiences to come as they are.

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