Harry Styles rose to fame in 2010, when he first joined One Direction on the British version of The X Factor, which transformed the group into one of the bestselling boy bands of all time. Since then, the superstar has released his own solo albums, and has starred in films like Dunkirk and 2022’s Don’t Worry Darling, which is directed by his girlfriend, Olivia Wilde. Most recently, Styles officially debuted his first business venture, a beauty brand called Pleasing. Despite his accolades, the singer, actor, and businessman has been through a lot to finally get to the place he is today. Styles explained the "fear" he felt as a One Direction member, proving that not all that glitters is gold.
Styles sat down with Dazed to reflect on the newest version of himself, one that is “completely, unapologetically” who he is.
When One Direction skyrocketed to fame when Styles was only 16, he wasn’t sure how to handle his new life. “I was 16 (when One Direction started), I just kind of finished school and didn’t really know what it was that was happening,” he told Dazed. “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.”
Like many young, successful celebrities, Styles feared rejection and could barely recognize himself outside of One Direction. He feared that suddenly, his luck and fortune would come to a halt and that he’d have no control over it. “There was a time when I was younger, and I was in the band, when I would have been afraid for everything to have stopped. I didn’t necessarily know who I was if I wasn’t in the band. Now, the idea of people going, ‘We don’t like your music any more, 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 explained.
While “working from a place of fear” stopped him from approaching new projects in the past, today, the Grammy winner is wholeheartedly himself, able to pursue his new brand, Pleasing, from an experimental standpoint with the “freedom” he’s been longing for.
Now, Styles is striving to continue his journey of being more present, so that he doesn’t “lose myself again and get pulled back in.” In the beginning of his career, he feared "saying or doing the wrong thing, and how much trouble that would get me in." All in all, Styles seems to be in a great place today, and his non-binary beauty company is one step forward in the right direction.