Harry Styles Is A Great Example Of What Celebrity Activism Should Be

Harry Styles Is A Great Example Of What Celebrity Activism Should Be

He is not perfect, but he is willing to listen to criticism in order to be a better activist.


I have always believed that it is the duty of every celebrity to speak on and show their support for human rights. Celebrities have an enormous amount of influence on not only their own audience but also the general public. When they share that they stand with a certain movement, they spark interest in it and are likely to inspire their fans to become involved.

One of the celebrities that I have been a fan of for the majority of my life that lives up to this expectation is the legendary Harry Styles. I was lucky enough to see him on his tour stop in Sunrise, Florida last week and his show reminded me of the reasons why I respect and admire him.

Prior to the show starting, my friend and I went to the merch table and we saw a shirt donning one of Styles's most iconic quotes: treat people with kindness. This quote truly sums up what he stands for because Styles has always emphasized to his fans that no matter how scary or upsetting the world gets, the most important thing you can do is choose to spread love to those around you. The quote resonates with me in particular because it is what I want my activism to be at its core. I write articles about issues facing marginalized groups because I want to educate my readers and make them more compassionate. We should all be treating people with kindness no matter their gender, race, sexuality, etc. and I believe that Styles's shows are fostering an environment of humanity and acceptance.

The crowds that come to Styles's shows are a testament to that because everywhere you turn you are guaranteed to see some form of Pride flag. Everyone in the arena felt safe and comfortable enough to not only hold and wear their flags but also come up with a fan-based project to create a Pride flag in the crowd during his cover of "Just A Little Bit Of Your Heart" by Ariana Grande. The unwavering amount of support that he has shown his LGBTQ+ fans during every tour stop by taking one of their flags and dancing with it and holding it as he sings on stage has only created an increasingly uplifting and understanding atmosphere at every show. During my show in Sunrise, Styles even told the crowd "Happy Pride!" and then encouraged them to let loose and be their most authentic selves because his show was a safe space.

Even though the energy in the arena was filled with an overwhelming amount of joy and love, there was still a slight bit of sadness hanging in the air because of the proximity of the arena to Parkland, Florida, the city of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. As I was waiting to enter the arena before the show, I saw a girl handing out roses to the people around her. When my friend and I approached her, we saw that the roses were to honor Meadow Pollack, one of the victims of the shooting.

Valentina Duarte

Everyone around us happily took a rose and were fully prepared to hold it up during Styles' song 'Sign of the Times,' but unfortunately, the security guards in the venue forced us to throw away the flowers before entering because we were not allowed to bring in items from outside. Nevertheless, Parkland's presence was still seen and felt during the show because Styles had come onto the stage with an orange ribbon attached to his jacket.

The ribbon was for the 'Orange Ribbons for Jaime' foundation that was started by Fred Guttenberg, the father of one of the victims of the shooting. It is significant that Styles decided to pin the ribbon to his jacket and wear it for the entirety of his show because that meant that he understood that many people in the crowd would be feeling an immense amount of pain from being so close to Stoneman Douglas, so he wore the ribbon to show his support for the movement to end gun violence. It is powerful to see someone that you admire stand with your community because it makes you feel less alone. I am positive that Styles' gesture brightened up the day of everyone in the venue that was affected by the shooting.

Of course, Styles is not without his flaws. He has made mistakes along the way as he has become more involved with social justice, but he has listened to the criticism and learned from it. It is impossible for him to be perfect and never make any mistakes in the future, but Styles has shown that he makes equality and inclusivity at his shows a priority and that he is willing to make changes in order to grow as an activist.

Cover Image Credit:

Valentina Duarte

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11 Things Psychology Majors Hear That Drive Them Crazy

No pun intended.

We've all been there. You're talking to a new acquaintance, or a friend of your parents, or whoever. And then, you get the dreaded question.

"So what are you studying in school?"

Cue the instant regret of picking Psychology as your major, solely for the fact that you are 99.9% likely to receive one of the slightly comical, slightly cliche, slightly annoying phrases listed below. Don't worry though, I've included some responses for you to use next time this comes up in conversation. Because it will.

Quick side note, these are all real-life remarks that I've gotten when I told people I was a psych major.

Here we go.

1. So are you, like, analyzing me right now?

Well, I wasn't. But yeah. Now I am.

2. Ugh so jealous! You picked the easy major.

"Lol" is all I have to say to this one. I'm gonna go write my 15-page paper on cognitive impairment. You have fun with your five college algebra problems, though!

3. So can you tell me what you think is wrong with me? *Shares entire life story*

Don't get me wrong; I love listening and helping people get through hard times. But we can save the story about how one time that one friend said that one slightly rude comment to you for later.

4. Well, s**t, I have to be careful what I say around you.

Relax, pal. I couldn't diagnose and/or institutionalize you even if I wanted to.

5. OMG! I have the perfect first client for you! *Proceeds to vent about ex-boyfriend or girlfriend*

Possible good response: simply nod your head the entire time, while actually secretly thinking about the Ben and Jerry's carton you're going to go home and demolish after this conversation ends.

6. So you must kind of be like, secretly insane or something to be into Psychology.

Option one: try and hide that you're offended. Option two: just go with it, throw a full-blown tantrum, and scare off this individual, thereby ending this painful conversation.

7. Oh. So you want to be a shrink?

First off, please. Stop. Calling. Therapists. Shrinks. Second, that's not a psych major's one and only job option.

8. You know you have to go to grad school if you ever want a job in Psychology.

Not completely true, for the record. But I am fully aware that I may have to spend up to seven more years of my life in school. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

9. So you... want to work with like... psychopaths?

Let's get serious and completely not-sarcastic for a second. First off, I take personal offense to this one. Having a mental illness does not classify you as a psycho, or not normal, or not deserving of being treated just like anyone else on the planet. Please stop using a handful of umbrella terms to label millions of wonderful individuals. It's not cool and not appreciated.

10. So can you, like, read my mind?

It actually might be fun to say yes to this one. Try it out and see what happens. Get back to me.

11. You must be a really emotional person to want to work in Psychology.

Psychology is more than about feeling happy, or sad, or angry. Psychology is about understanding the most complex thing to ever happen to us: our brain. How it works the way it does, why it works the way it does, and how we can better understand and communicate with this incredibly mysterious, incredibly vast organ in our tiny little skull. That's what psychology is.

So keep your head up, psychology majors, and don't let anyone discourage you about choosing, what is in my opinion, the coolest career field out there. The world needs more people like us.

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Short Stories On Odyssey: Roses

What's worth more than red roses?


Five years old and a bouquet of roses rested in her hands. The audience-- clapped away her performance, giving her a standing ovation. She's smiling then because everything made sense, her happiness as bright as the roses she held in her hands.

Fifteen now, and a pile of papers rested on her desk. The teachers all smiled when she walked down the aisle and gave them her presentation. She was content then but oh so stressed, but her parents happy she had an A as a grade, not red on her chest.

Eighteen now and a trail of tears followed her to the door. Partying, and doing some wild things, she just didn't know who she was. She's crying now, doesn't know anymore, slamming her fists into walls, pricking her fingers on roses' thorns.

Twenty-one and a bundle of bills were grasped in her hands. All the men-- clapped and roared as she sold her soul, to the pole, for a dance. She's frowning now because everything went wrong, but she has to stay strong, for rich green money, is worth more than red roses.

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