“Just let me adore you,” — Why OU students love Harry Styles

Sophomore+Hannah+Rybski+at+Wembley+Stadium+June+18%2C+2022

Sophomore Hannah Rybski at Wembley Stadium June 18, 2022

Autumn Okuszka, Features Reporter

Grammy Award winner Harry Styles is one of the biggest names in pop music today. Styles rose to fame through the boy band One Direction, formed on “The X Factor UK” in 2010. While together, the band sold more than 70 million records worldwide. 

One Direction officially disbanded in 2015 after a final appearance on the show that created them — and Styles’ solo career took off from there. 

Senior Grace Lee’s love for Styles began during his boy band days, saying that she felt jealous as a young fan that other people liked him besides her.

“[It’s] kind of cliché but I’ve liked him since, “What Makes You Beautiful” came out [in] 2011,” Lee said. “I was just instantly drawn to him — he was very eye-catching and to me, he was the most talented and outgoing [member.]”

Lee’s first time seeing Styles in concert was during One Direction’s 2014 “Where We Are Tour,” crediting the concert as the turning point in her growing love for Styles.

“I went with my mom and we were in section 100,” she said. “We had a pretty straight view, and that was when 5 Seconds of Summer opened for them, so it was the best concert.”

Lee has seen Styles in concert 15 times — some locations include Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta and New York. At one point, Lee even quit her job and then traveled to California to see Styles in concert there as well.

“I went to his show in San Jose, and then all the [Los Angeles] shows,” Lee said.

Lee says that she goes to so many of Styles’ concerts because they feel like home. She even credits him with helping her to come to terms with her sexuality.

“I’m bisexual, [and] for LA night three I threw my little bi flag onstage and he picked it up during “Treat People With Kindness,” she said. “That was such an amazing moment for me. When it happens to other people, you’re like ‘oh, I’m happy for them,’ and I’ve always kind of been like, ‘okay, I’m not going to overreact,’ but literally when that happened [to me, I was in] instant tears.”

While Lee has loved Styles for nearly half her life, sophomore Hannah Rybski first started liking Styles four years ago — a few years after he left behind his boy band origins. 

“[I first started to like Harry] during a time where things were not going so well for me mentally,” Rybski said. “My friend had been obsessed with him since [his] One Direction days, so she was like ‘just listen to Harry, he’s always been somebody that has got me through things.’”

Rybski’s first time seeing Styles live was last October in Cleveland during his ongoing “Love On Tour.” 

“We had pretty good seats, we were pretty close where you could feel when he would throw the water at the crowd — it was amazing,” she said.

Rybski has seen Styles live a total of four times. She has traveled to see Styles in New York for “Harryween” — which is Styles’ Halloween concert — and twice at Wembley Stadium in London this past June. Rybski also has plans to see Styles in the near future.

“I’m going to one [show] in New York and then two in Chicago,” Rybski said.

Rybski says that Styles has helped her with personal growth. Although she struggles with her mental health, she says that as soon as you step foot into one of Styles’ concerts, you’re able to block everything else out.

“His music has helped me a lot with my mental health, and so I feel like in general it’s helped me grow from the first album to the most recent one,” Rybski said.

As fans of Styles, Lee and Rybski are always anticipating his next move, whether it be a new concert date or a new movie — as the musician-turned-actor makes his return to the big screen in the upcoming films “Don’t Worry Darling,” in theaters Sept. 23, and “My Policeman,” which will be available to stream on Prime Video beginning Oct. 21. 

“Seeing him come out as an actor is going to be really exciting,” Rybski said. “I’m excited to see what he’s going to do with that.”