Harry Styles is opening up about his One Direction days and the importance of tending to one’s mental health.
In a Nov. 2021 interview with Dazed, the 27-year-old singer and actor, who was a member of the boy band in 2010, admitted that he was not fully aware of what was going on during his rise to fame.
“I was 16, I just kind of finished school,” he recalled about when One Direction started. “Everything was really new and exciting and I didn’t know how long everything was gonna last. It kind of became like, ‘Woah, how long can we keep this going?’ because I really didn’t expect any of this to happen.”
Styles, who has had a hugely successful solo career, added that he did not know who he was outside of the band, but now has a better sense of self.
“Now, the idea of people going, ‘We don’t like your music anymore, go away’ doesn’t scare me. I think there was a time when it did. It gives me the freedom to kind of go, ‘Great!’ I’m not working from a place of fear. I’m working from a place of wanting to work stuff out, and try different things,” he continued.
In addition to music, Styles has also become influential in the fashion and beauty world. And as someone who is not afraid to disrupt societal norms, it is no surprise that he has now launched his own beauty brand, Pleasing, a company he hopes to help people not only look good, but feel good.
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“I don’t think being beautiful or feeling beautiful is about looking good,” he said. “When people are happy and glowing, they’re radiating. And that’s what I think the products do, it’s about helping you feel beautiful. When do I feel my most beautiful? I would say internally, when I’ve finished meditating or something…Or maybe when I’m asleep!”
Something else that helps him feel good is reading. He admitted that books like The Architecture of Happiness, by Alain de Botton, and So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, by Jon Ronson, have opened his mind to the importance of fullness and helped him give his younger self more grace during his One Direction days.
“I was still growing up, making mistakes. I’m not ashamed of those things anymore. I’ve seen sub- conscious changes in a lot of places in my life,” he explained. “I have unlocked an ability to be myself completely, unapologetically. I started only listening to classical music because it felt like it gave me a blank canvas to work from. So I wasn’t hearing things I would then be referencing. I think that so much creativity comes from my boredom and giving myself the chance not to be distracted by things. I’m the most human I’ve felt in a long time, for sure.”
The superstar continued, “I sometimes feel like I’m supposed to be floating on this cloud of success and happiness, and obviously that’s not how it works. I think through my own sense of self and personal journey, I am realizing that happiness isn’t this kind of end state.”