GQ have faced an avalanche of Twitter abuse from One Direction fans following the release of the covers for their latest issue, mainly because of the way it appears to portray member, Harr
GQ have faced an avalanche of Twitter abuse from One Direction fans following the release of the covers for their latest issue, mainly because of the way it appears to portray member, Harry Styles, and that was all before the issue had even been released.
His cover comes with the tagline ‘He’s up all night to get lucky’ referencing the recent Daft Punk megahit and Styles’ alleged womanizer status.
In bed with Harry
Surely the ‘Directioners’ would be happy that the UK version of a globally-recognised magazine is featuring their idols on five separate collectible covers? Apparently not, it seems. To them, the tagline portrays Harry as a person who sleeps around a lot and, in the words of many of the angered fans, ‘a wh***.’
Credit where it’s due, some of the empty threats via Twitter are quite creative—they’ve mentioned things like testicle-pounding, self-mutilation and children-selling (how do these teenage girls conjure up such imaginative ways to kill? That’s worrying in itself).
All of this is really quite laughable and makes the ‘Directioners’ themselves look silly. GQ have responded in the best way possible by retweeting some of these overreactions and violent threats as well as publishing an online selection of their ‘favourites’ with the title: ‘The most terrifying responses to our One Direction covers.’
Less than 100…
Harry has a reputation of being a bit of a womanizer (he seems to be pictured with a different woman on his arm each week) and so naturally when interviewed a likely topic of conversation would be his love life and the latest rumour surrounding him.
His cover even has a direct quotation from the man himself. ‘It’s definitely less than 100…’ it reads, demonstrating that Styles acknowledges that he is a hit with the ladies. He had even tweeted his support for the magazine’s feature on the band. If Harry himself supports the cover, why on earth should the fans oppose it?!
I cannot even begin to comprehend the level of obsession a person must have to change their Twitter profile picture and surname to that of their idol. ‘Directioners’ seem to be doing a good job of mocking themselves by hiding behind fake accounts, making empty threats and defending their idols at every opportunity. But what will happen when One Direction get older, enter serious relationships, get married and have kids? Their world will surely crumble and they might have to consider doing the unthinkable—getting a life.
Getting a life
We can’t just isolate ‘Directioners’, however. Justin Bieber’s ‘Beliebers’ and Lady Gaga’s ‘Monsters’ (we have her to blame for this silly collective name trend for fans) are equally obsessive and culpable of such crimes. The real issue here is cracking down on online abuse—if you can get arrested for saying it in person, you should be arrested for saying it online.
This Twitter storm comes in the same week that a man was arrested for abusing Caroline Criado-Perez online after she successfully won her bid to get a woman’s face on UK banknotes. The Twitter troll that abused classicist Professor Mary Beard was outed and publicly humiliated too. So this is an arrestable offence in extreme cases and as online petitions to make it easier to report abuse on Twitter circulate, crazed fans will have to think twice before they take to their keyboards.
For a magazine like GQ, whose readership does not align with the demographic of typical 1D fans, having them on the cover must have been a big risk but this could be a way for older, professional men to gain an insight into their whirlwind rise to superstardom.
Mocking media mogul
Whether you’re fan of the band or not, you can’t knock One Direction—their journey to worldwide fame is an inspirational one. Five unlikely lads put together on a singing reality show, they finish third and end up taking the world by storm under the cleverly orchestrated marketing of media mogul Simon Cowell.
There seems to be no escaping them either these days. Movie-documentary of their lives, This Is Us 3D hits cinemas on 29th August so expect 1D-mania to continue for a while yet. Add to that the potential release of a third studio album at the end of the year and you have a boy band that has secured world domination.
Love them or hate them, you’ve got to hand it to them. As for their fans, they are dragging them down and giving the band and themselves a bad reputation. So yes, some (and I must stress only some, not all) of them are crazy and ridiculous in the extreme lengths they go to support and defend their idols. As this example with GQ has shown, they are too quick to overreact over the simplest thing and this may lead to them not being taken seriously or worse, denounced by the people they love most.
With the September issue of British GQ released 1st August it’ll be interesting to see whether the fans become more or less savage now there is some meat to the bone.