Wednesday, January 06, 2021

Harry Styles- Treat People with Kindness Music Video - Review

Starting the year off with the right message! Harry Styles surprised us by dropping the
 Treat people with Kindness Music Video, which features the amazing Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Treat People with Kindness became Harry’s mantra since it appeared on his pin which he rocked on his guitar strap during his arena tour in 2018; and he created T-shirts with this. He noted the growing popularity of this mantra; and has paid tribute to his fans for allowing him the freedom to organically create this song whilst touring. This sense of community is shown through the big brassy gospel sing-along nature of the song, as this can convey the connection between Styles and his fandom.
Despite this song debuting in December 2019 on his second studio album Fine Line; He waited until New Year’s Day 2021 to release the music video, and this choice speaks volumes. The entire message is to be kind, and after the year that we had there is never a more important message than this– just respect each person for who they are; everyone accept kindness but not everyone gives it.
The music video gives us beautiful 50s, old-school-musical-theatre vibes, which gives Harry the chance to show off his dance moves - if you are a long-time Harry fan you know that he has always says he cannot dance.
Casting Phoebe breaks roles in gender binary. It is obviously set in an older time period; but Phoebe is the boss; and leads Harry when they are dancing. Additionally, her walking away from the cooperate man at the beginning can be seen as Harry’s feminine side leaving the gender binary behind. 
This is the duo that we never knew we needed. This video is a musical masterpiece; whilst also giving us the message of Harry and his relationship with gender. Phoebe can be seen to represent Harry’s ‘feminine’ side, as they begin separate; perhaps showing that he used to keep his feminine side hidden whilst ‘masculine’ Harry was in the limelight. Eventually he extends his hand to her, which can be seen as him accepting and shining a light on this part of himself, as Phoebe takes to the stage with him. As they continue to dance in unison in beautiful matching outfits, there is no doubt that this makes you think about the power that Harry has in the world today, particularly in regards gender and sexuality as he merges the constructs that are in place. Most recently his gender fluid Vogue cover where he was featured in a ballgown; caused Candance Owens to tweet ‘Bring back manly men’, to which Harry responded by using this to caption one of the photos from the Vogue shoot on his Instagram.

Harry continues to knock toxic masculinity and be a role model for anyone who wishes to express themselves however they wish as Phoebe plays the ‘male’ role by leading through the dance, and their finishing pose swaps the gender roles once again as Harry is positioned where traditionally the girl end. This highlights what Harry stands for: the merging of gender, removing old social constructs; and ultimately by highlighting that he is accepting all of himself.  He continues to set the precedent for others to do so by amplifying his comfortability with his own sexuality and his exploration of androgyny.
Treat People with Kindness is an anthem for acceptance with the stage being a metaphor for being in the spotlight and performing. The two parts of himself that were separate have come together showing us the growth that comes with being comfortable in your own skin.

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