I had the pleasure of taking my daughters to a recent concert at Mohegan Sun, and let me tell you I had no idea what a treat I was in for. I thought I was doing my daughter a favor. I thought I was along for the ride. Then, within minutes of stepping on stage, Mr. Harry Styles did this little shimmy dance move and my jaw quite-literally dropped as I grabbed my daughter’s hand and screamed…”Oh, my God, he is adorable!” He can dance. I mean HE- CAN-DANCE! While I had seen pictures of Harry in his 70-s inspired ruffled-shirts and wide-leg pants prior to his concert, I never really got the whole vibe until I saw it and heard it all-together: the whole Styles Package—it’s a beautiful thing.
Please don’t judge me, but…. I think I want to hang a poster of Harry Styles in my bedroom! Would that be weird?
When I signed up to go the concert, I thought I was lucky to be there during the 25th Anniversary celebration of Mohegan Sun, a place I’ve enjoyed going to for gambling, dining, and more. I thought I would smile, maybe sing along and flip my hair to “What Makes You Beautiful,” take a few pictures and then call it a night. But now, it’s a week later and I can’t stop listening to Mr. Styles, feeling his lyrics, dancing in the car and the kitchen, and declaring that “Sign of the Times” just has to be played at my funeral, please. I’m constantly dreaming about seeing him again.
Please don’t judge me, but… next time, and there will be a next time, I am most definitely donning bell bottoms and platforms.
Yes, I am 43 and he is only 26 (rumor has it he likes older women), but love knows no age. Harry himself loudly and authentically carries the message that love also knows no gender and no color—because this beautiful soul just wants everyone to have the courage to be who they are and love who they love in a world where the pressure to conform is all-consuming. I felt this love in the stadium. I was overwhelmed and amazed—amazed that life can be so unexpectedly beautiful. That so many people could be in one room at the same time all experiencing the same thing and, together, could make a beautiful moment even more beautiful.
“This is what life is really about,” I thought. There are things like drugs or toxic relationships or depression that have the power to pull us down into an abyss and things like music and theater and laughter and strangers dancing next to one another that have the power to raise us up, bring us together and help us truly appreciate being alive. These are not easy tasks in a world filled with conflict, hate, tension and way-too-much screen time, and in a country that is in the midst of political and moral crisis. Somehow, Harry Styles, his crew, and his fans accomplished this.
Please don’t judge me if I tell you I was a pile of mush.
Harry Styles is not your everyday celebrity and if you have seen him live, I am confident you will agree with me. He doesn’t perform for the money or the fame, but rather, for the love of music. He is sincerely grateful to be on stage and even more grateful for his fans. He ended his concert by telling all 10,000 people he loved us, in a way that made us feel genuinely loved and appreciated. He walked around stage, making eye contact with as many people as he could, pointing at fans with a smile and wink or a blown-kiss and a thank-you. He told a room of 10,000 teens to go home and tell their parents (and their friends and anyone else they love) that they love them because life is short and love is powerful.
In both word and deed, Harry Styles delivered the principles that are most important for our children to learn. He modeled humility and grace and acceptance; inclusion and kindness and gratitude; good, wholesome, creative fun; joy; authenticity; and most of all, unconditional and accepting love.
Please don’t judge me, but…. I think I may just be in love with Harry Styles.
*photo by Kathryn Roller