It's hard to move these days without reading something about One Direction. Articles about them are strewn about the place like groupies at one of their seemingly twice-daily concerts. Harry got a tattoo! Niall pulled someone! Zayn's new haircut looks like an ice-cream cone! Harry got about ten more tattoos!
So on the logic of 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' (and I don't really feel qualified to write anything meaningful about Margaret Thatcher), I've decided to enter the fray.
The latest nugget of 'Styles trivia' to hit the fan is that he's been quoted as saying that despite the preposterous amount of female attention he's received since '1D' went stratospheric, he's "definitely not a sex symbol".
Well, to be a little bit controversial, I'm going to have to agree with you there Harry.
For a start, you're nineteen. Male celebs can't be sex symbols until they're at least into their early twenties, and only really mature well into middle age like George Clooney. Excluding the 'Efron-enom' (Zac Efron phenomenon) that occurred around the 2006 peak of shameless cougars, it's just not on.
Although appearances, Mean Girls posters and dedicated baking drawer, can be deceptive, I am simply not a 12 year old girl.
On top that, there's a bit of an 'ew' factor with Mr. Styles. If you took everything written about him on the Internet for the last two years you forgiven for thinking he's already dated his way through the population of Bradford (which probably still isn't too far off). This is a guy who people believed had been 'sexting' Yvette Fielding. The 44 year-old who presents 'Most Haunted'. That reputation doesn't come from nowhere.
But most of all it's because they're shoved in your face. You feel obligated to reply when people ask 'what's your 1D list?', and a bit left out if you don't.
Or at least that's what I used to think.
If you were to ask me today, I'd reply 'Louis, Liam, Zayn, Harry, Niall' quicker than you could say 'That's what makes you beautiful' before posting some more fan fiction online. A previous non-believer, I now officially have the 'One Direction infection'.
Okay, so Harry still isn't at the top (see above), but there's a list, and it's fairly well-considered. (There's a small chance it may have involved 'hair to tattoo' ratios and 'cheated or not?' pie charts, but that's for another blog post.) For reasons past-me would have scoffed at, I've put a lot of thought into this.
And it's precisely because they're shoved in your face.
I remember a debate years ago at school where the topic was 'familiarity breeds contempt', and one side flawlessly argued that in the end, familiarity just breeds. It's the same logic of why doctors always marry each other or why film stars always go out with whoever their last co-star was. If you're shown something long enough, you will learn to love it.
But it leads me to wonder that this is a worrying precedent. Is my love life just a slave to the media? Where would it end? If Mick Hucknall had a big enough comeback, would I start fancying him too?
Luckily for me, the Simply Red singer's last single peaked at 118 in the UK charts, so it looks like for now I'm just stuck with the 1D guys, which at the end of the day perhaps isn't too bad after all.
Back in my anti-Direction days I jokingly asked my sister to get me some of their branded pyjamas for Christmas, which she ended up actually doing. So now instead of wasting perfectly good clothing I can happily wear a long sleeved Primark t-shirt with five teenage boys' faces on it outlined in pink glitter glue.
If you can't beat 'em...