And Finally Artist News Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #168: One Direction fans v GQ

By | Published on Friday 2 August 2013

One Direction GQ covers

The latest issue of GQ features an in depth interview with the members of One Direction. To mark this, the magazine is being published with five different covers, one for each singer. The fans, of course, are delighted with such coverage in what might be termed a ‘serious’ mens’ title.

Except they’re not. In fact, they are livid. They don’t like the pictures, and they don’t like the cover lines chosen to go with them. In particular, they don’t like the one on Harry Styles’ cover, which says “He’s up all night to get lucky”. This apparently suggests that Styles is some sort of ladies man, which he definitely isn’t (the fans insist).

GQ collated on its website the most amazing angry response that came in via Twitter, many of them threatening fairly extreme violence. You should definitely check them all out, but my personal favourite is this one, tweeted directly to Harry Styles and presented unedited:


Amazing. Every time I read that to myself in my head I try to have the tweeter shouting “cupcake” angrily, as it’s clearly intended. But I can’t. It’s impossible. Come on, let’s all try shouting “cupcake” angrily now.

By the way, if you think such an extreme response to some simple magazine covers is a bit OTT, well, you’re right. However, you’re also missing the incredible strength of feeling amongst teen pop fans these days. Which is the internet’s fault.

Whereas once only small groups of fans of any one boyband would gather together and try to out do each other in terms of their devotion towards which generic pop star of the day they loved, these days they congregate online in their thousands, millions even, and things can quickly escalate out of control.

Half an hour of my life that I will never get back was spent this week trying to get my head around Larry Shippers and Elouner Shippers, two warring factions of the One Direction fanbase. The first believe that Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson (aka Larry Stylinson) are in a relationship. Elouner Shippers counter that Louis is very much in love with Eleanor Calder, his girlfriend of two years (not to be confused with the Calderics, who are fans of Calder herself, or something, I never did quite get my head around it).

These two groups absolutely hate each other. Like, really, really hate each other. And I’m not sure saying, “Guys, they’re just some pop group” would help, so let’s not even do that. If anything, I think GQ got off lightly.