As a member of the boy band One Direction in his teens—and now a solo artist and actor in his 20s—Harry Styles has become an icon before the age of 30. Just a brief glimpse of his current tour makes it easy to see why this handsome young Brit is so popular around the globe. But in recent years, he’s developed a surprising fan base—women over 40.
This unexpected phenomenon was recently addressed in a Vogue magazine piece where numerous women in their 40s explained what makes Styles so special. As one fan shared, “He affords us that whimsical space for self-expression—a space I craved in my core during years of pandemic-induced isolation.”
Giving the last of the Gen Xers space for self-expression is a good start, but there are a lot more reasons that women over 40 love Harry Styles—here are seven of them.
1. Style Icon
After going solo, Styles found his own unique, gender-bending style reminiscent of the late David Bowie. He’s quickly become a style icon with his sailor pants, rhinestone cowboy outfits, and feather boas.
“Rainbow sequins and rock-hard abs,” 43-year-old Styles’ fan Liberty explained. “Crude tattoos and pearl earrings.”
2. Nontoxic Male
Styles is the epitome of the 21st century “nontoxic male” and his concerts are “dazzling spectacles” filled with feminine energy.
“It’s like the ancient maenads and Dionysus without the madness. We look at him, and he’s our happy place, and it’s easy, and it’s free. He makes us feel like we’re experiencing an adolescent awakening again,” says 64-year-old Styles’ superfan Rocky Cataudella.
3. He Preaches Kindness
Since 2017, Styles has used the slogan “Treat People with Kindness”—abbreviated to TPWK—to promote his message of love, acceptance, and kindness to others.
4. He Provides An Escape From Real Life That Takes Us Back To Our 20s
One of Styles’ newer fans, 44-year-old Michelle, says that the singer takes her back to the best time in her life—her 20s. Her introduction to Styles was his single Watermelon Sugar, which she blasted while carpooling her kids.
“Being married, having children, you get lost in the grind…in others,” Michelle says. “You forget how to keep your soul alive. Harry has been feeding that much-rested part of who I was—who I still am, I guess.”
5. He Has Performed With And Exalts Older Female Performers
Styles has connected with female fans over the age of 40 because he writes female-worshiping songs. And, he loves to perform with women in that age group. When Styles shares the stage with icons like Stevie Nicks, Joni Mitchell, and Shania Twain, that makes him even more appealing to elder “Harries” (Styles’ fans).
Let’s not forget the fact that Styles has a habit of dating older women. His current girlfriend, actor/director Olivia Wilde, is 38.
6. Friends Bond Over Their Love For Him
Fans who found Styles later in life are finding each other online and bonding over their discovery of this modern-day “Elvis” via social media groups and text chains. Fan Liberty says, “It’s my opinion we are bonded for life because of this man.”
7. Fandom Provides An Escape
The experience of Styles and his music gives his 40+ fandom a “naughty hobby.” They say it’s an opportunity to “tap into the wild and lustful” parts of themselves that can “get buried with age, responsibility, and inevitable caretaking”—and no one is passing judgment.
“We all know exactly how we feel, and we’re not judging each other for it. We’re in the town square giggling together,” Cataudella said about the private Harries Facebook group she’s a part of.