The way my heart stopped when I read the words: “Old Harry Styles Images Resurface.”
If you’ve been around the internet longer than five minutes, you know that deep dives into the archives of your faves is not usually a good idea. Almost no one is immune (though almost no one suffers any actual consequences).
The internet is a cornucopia of sad revelations — racist tweets by teen heartthrobs like Shawn Mendes; Prince Harry in full Nazi regalia; Justin Bieber‘s n-word filled rendition of his song “One Less Lonely Girl” (but now he’s woke, I guess?) ; and egregious blackface photos from everyone from Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau to TV host Jimmy Fallon.
So when images of Harry Styles resurfaced on Twitter, naturally I expected the worst.
Imagine my surprise to find that said “resurfaced” photos were just of Harry Styles dressed in a cheap Ariel costume, complete with a ketchup-red shake and go wig.
Instead of ruining my week, these newly discovered images filled me with whimsical joy at their glorious silliness. So much about them is incredible. The “paint me like one of your French girls” type pose, the raised glass of champagne, and the slightly askew wig all add up to a photoset so endearing that I wonder how we haven’t seen it before.
Harry recently revealed that he turned down the rumored role of Prince Eric in the live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid alongside Halle Bailey due to schedule conflicts — which many speculate had to do with the film he is currently filming, My Policeman, directed by Olivia Wilde.
@mattxiv You know what? I think people just don’t want Harry styles to wear clothes. At all.
— Marvin Madison (@Marvin Madison)1618585677.0
With the new images trending on Twitter, fans are now joking that Harry turned down the role because he himself wanted to play Ariel.
Naturally, the images brought comments from people averse to Harry’s playful outfit choice. Fans think the pictures might be outtakes from his 2019 SNL photoshoot, which also garnered hate comments from people who were against the image of him in a tutu, and some who called it “gender performativity” — it wasn’t, and neither is this.
Despite constant criticisms for his gender fluid outfits and accessories, as well as backlash for his Vogue cover — don’t show Candace Owens the Ariel photos lest she go on another “bring back manly men ” rant — Harry keeps giving us incredible content like this.
Of course, Twitter had some of the best reactions to the images:
@PopCrave @Harry_Styles Makes perfect sense as to why he didn’t audition for the role of Prince Eric. He wanted to… https://t.co/t6EdPD737B
— j (s*spended @xoxoJahkeem for now) (@j (s*spended @xoxoJahkeem for now))1618582307.0
Men are so threatened by harry styles that they get mad when he wears a costume it’s funny
— shatha (@shatha)1618573683.0