Bleats

Liam Payne Is The Latest One Direction Member To Say The Split Needed To Happen

Story of their lives.

With all five members establishing successful solo careers, can we finally stopped grieving One Direction? If nothing else can bring you closure, perhaps Liam Payne joining his ex-bandmates in calling out the worst aspects of the 1D experience will help true stans move on for good.

I think James Corden might be a prophet.

As a guest on the podcast Table Manners with Jessie Ware, Liam Payne bared the raw truth about the toll being in One Direction took on his mental health. Eventually, the self-destructive lifestyle got so bad that he worried he would “end up a crazy child star who dies at whatever age”.

1D never technically disbanded in an official sense, but given the way that Liam talks about it, an end to the hiatus is starting to sound impossible. “I wanted nothing to do with it,” he said. “There’s no stop button, and you have no control over your life.”

It’s not really surprising that the One Direction phenomenon put a lot of pressure on Liam, but the scale to which it affected him is pretty shocking. Time to take a refresher course on the toxicity of the band, and its often invasive following.

Zayn Malik, you will remember, was the first to get out. He quit the band in mid-2015, and the rest quickly crumbled after him. In various interviews he’s admitted that his heart was never really in it, and that he felt so isolated that he couldn’t consider any of the other guys real friends.

But Zayn wasn’t the only one feeling the tension. Niall Horan has said that the bandmates’ relationships with each other were getting so rocky towards the end that they would “end up killing each other” if they hasn’t split.

“We got tired,” Niall said. “Five albums, five tours, in five years. We were all knackered.”

Even Louis Tomlinson, who really wanted the band to stay together and still seems to see the whole experience positively, found the attention invasive at times. When the whole Euphoria ‘Larry Stylinson’ debacle went down, Louis was pissed – not surprising, since he blames the ‘ship for ruining his friendship with Harry Styles.

And speaking of Harry, just look at what he’s done since 1D’s demise! A number one album, kicking off an acting career… need more be said?

In light of Liam’s recent revelations, I think it’s safe to say, it was worth the sacrifice. Sorry Directioners, but your love does not trump the mental health and wellbeing of the people you stan so hard.

Besides, if you add it all up, you’ve got way more #content to enjoy now than you ever did before. Five times the fun, right? Liam Payne’s “labor of love,” his debut album LP1 drops on December 6, so it’s about time y’all show your support for a real passion project and put the 2020 reunion rumours to bed.

When Will Gross Dudes Get Maggie Rogers’ Message And Stop Objectifying Her?

Female artists are not your toys.

Maggie Rogers can barely go a few months without having to call out male fans, who come to her gigs wolf-whistling and yelling sexually explicit things at her. Not one to take that nonsense lying down, she vented on social media – and this is far from her first rodeo.

When a fan whistled during her performance at the Sydney Opera House this year, Rogers immediately called him out. After calling it “rude”, she said “They consider it sexual harassment, in some countries.” Thanks by the way, Aussie men, for confirming your status as some of the worst harassers in the world.

What is it about a powerful, emotional solo moment that inspires men to be their absolute worst? Maggie Rogers stops the show to speak about something meaningful, and what does she get in return? A guy requesting a strip show. Unbelievable. But also, somehow, very believable.

In the comments section, other women shared their own experiences of being harassed and catcalled onstage. Singer Ashe wrote, “i got “show me your tits” from a group of both women and men at a show in sf once. inexcusable.” Maren Morris applauded Maggie Rogers’ statement, writing “thanks for posting this. I don’t think people realize artists hear and see that shit and we aren’t made of stone.”

It is so ridiculously common (and exhausting) that when it happens, most female artists just ignore it and move on. It shouldn’t be a woman’s responsibility to correct the bad behaviour, but sometimes it’s necessary.

Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES hit the nail on the head when she rebuked a man who yelled “Marry me” during a show in 2015. Addressing the crowd, she said, “Sorry for shaming that one person, but if nobody tells you, then you’re never going to know. Luckily for me right now I have a microphone, and you don’t, so it works in my favor at this particular juncture.”

Have we not been clear enough, guys? Well, here’s the TL;DR – women in entertainment are not your objects, and them being on stage is not an invitation.

Harassment and objectification are everyday realities for women, whether they’re in the limelight or just going about their daily business. If you’re a woman, you can be 40 000 ft in the air and still be perved on. So guys, if there’s still even a shred of doubt in your mind that this isn’t a real issue, you really need to start listening to women.

Stay fierce and true to yourself, Maggie. Next time a gross dude does this (and let’s be honest, there will definitely be a ‘next time’), we need your sassy comebacks to shame them into sitting TF down. Fuel that fire!

Wait, How Long Has This Iranian Music Website Been Editing Women Out Of Their Own Album Covers?

Someone needs to take a Photoshop class.

Melovaz, an Iranian music download site, has taken misogyny to the pettiest possible level. Not only have they decided the women’s bodies are too inappropriate for their site, instead of just getting rid of their album art altogether, they’ve made the totally unnecessary effort of Photoshopping the female artists out.

Twitter

Twitter user @IzzRaifHarz posted a link to the site and several examples, and it is truly bizarre. Most of the world’s most popular artists and albums are hosted on the site, but almost every single woman is blurred out or erased.

You’ve got Billie Eilish’s disembodied legs, a beige blur where Tay Tay used to be, and Lady Gaga being Thanos-snapped out of existence.

My favourite has to be Melovaz’s interpretation of Lady Gaga’s Joanne – the way they’ve depicted a pink hat floating in a pale blue vacuum would be almost poetic if it weren’t so insulting.

It’s not limited to female artists either. Some male artists whose album art features a woman have been altered too, while for no discernible reason other covers have slipped through the cracks. Oh, and vindication for Peppa Pig too, I guess.

Hilariously appalling Photoshop skills aside, there are so many problems with this to unpack. So, clearly the rationale here is that under Islamic law, it’s illegal under most circumstances for a woman to be seen uncovered, which very much includes art and photos. But it’s kind of a double standard to force that on women who don’t share that belief.

Even more hypocritically, it’s not like any of the music itself has been altered from its NSFI (Not Safe For Islam) state, which Iggy Azalea was quick to point out the lunacy of. You can use the site to listen to, and download, the uncensored entirety of Nicki Minaj‘s ‘Anaconda,’ complete with the line “Come through and f**k him in my automobile”.

Come on, random Iranian music website, go hard or go home.

In addition to being distastefully misogynistic, it also happens to be a completely free, downloadable library of popular music. Iran’s copyright law is tough to suss out, but this whiffs of illegal torrenting. Does it even count as a torrent if it’s so low effort?

Roughly translated from Persian (thanks Google), the website states that it “started its work with the aim of creating a specialized reference for the music of the United Nations.”

So piracy is an ambition of the UN now is it, Melovaz? Given that half of the site’s content is ripped straight from Spotify’s curated ‘This Is…’ playlists, it seems unlikely to be sanctioned.

The edit memes are already coming in thick and fast, so if the site had any good reputation before, it certainly won’t by the end of the day. Now, who wants to take bets on how long it takes for the #melovazchallenge to trend?

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