Sage: I became a Louis Tomlinson stan like you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once. One minute I was like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ about the One Direction member, and the next I was telling anyone who would listen about my tiny, musical son and how proud I am of him. Naturally, this is confusing for some, considering I have no children. And if I did, I’d still probably like Louis better than them. For one, they wouldn’t have his accent, of which I’ve watched roughly half a dozen YouTube compilations. See? I’m absolutely, 100% fine.
Kim and I decided to put this post together so that we could do something productive with our frustration over the vicious smear campaign that’s being waged against our innocent Louis right now. The band’s management transition has resulted in a lot of public mudslinging, and for some reason, he’s the one taking the brunt of it. (Fan lore says it’s because he’s secretly the most powerful, and Simon Cowell fears him. HERE FOR THAT NARRATIVE.) Though we only have but words, gifs, and our creepy passion to contribute, Louis Tomlinson won’t be reduced to the awful, tabloid caricature of himself. Not on our blog. NOT ON OUR WATCH.
Kim: It is NOTORIOUS among my group of Directioner friends that Louis Tomlinson is the one who BROKE ME. I was coasting along in my One Direction love JUST FINE. I had seen them in concert, I had all the records, I looked at adorable pictures of them on Tumblr, I had my “favorite” boy (Liam), I was FINE. Then, in the course of a few days, Louis pushed me over the cliff into oblivion. First, I woke up to a picture of Louis and Harry holding hands at a meet and greet, Harry barely suppressing a shit-eating grin and Lou looking FOND AS FUCK. A couple of days later, some tabloids started reporting that Louis may not about to be a father after all. Trustworthy source or not, those articles led to me tweeting over and over “MY SON MY SON MY SON BE FREEEEEEEE”. It became abundantly clear which boy I had the most maternal feelings for…and it was Louis William Tomlinson. (Don’t worry, Liam. I still love you too.)
So what is it about Lou that makes me want to wrap him in a blanket and shield him from all the evil in the world? (A favorite tumblr post of mine ponders this fan reaction to the boys being brought up in an interview as opposed to the girls saying they want to marry them. “So…this woman says you’re her son and she wants to cuddle you in a blanket?” Yes, what WOULD they say to that?) For me, it’s the fact that, no matter what fuckery is being heaped upon him by the press or by management, Louis NEVER STOPS FIGHTING BACK. It would be very easy for him to just lie down and take it but he DOESN’T. Whether it be co-running a Twitter account for two Rainbow Teddy bears (you can’t TELL me that’s not him) or flagrantly leaving a club with a van of brunettes when his supposed blonde baby mama has been flown to London for his O2 residency, Louis ALWAYS finds a way to push back. He cannot be tamed. He will not be broken. My brave and clever boy. We see what you’re doing and we love you all the more for it.
How do we love you, Louis? Let us count the ways.
1) My Aesthetic
Okay, so: We’ve already shed all dignity via sharing way too much on this site. And also, we thought we’d get the shallowness out-of-the-way first. LOOK AT HIM.
Louis Tomlinson is a perfect bundle of contradictions: hard and soft, sharp and curvy, petite and powerful. If Ben Wyatt is a sexy elf king, then Louis can be an elf prince. He’s golden everywhere, like some minor Greek god who gets all the girls and the boys on Olympus. There’s something almost fairy tale about his features, but then he hits you with soul-piercing, steely blue-eyed look like the one above and suddenly it’s like “Mr. Grey will see you now.” (That movie? I would have seen.)
As I’m writing this section of the post, #RespectLouis is trending because some piece of garbage site dared refer to him as “the ugly one.” To which I say, bitch, WHERE? Those cheekbones could cut glass, motherfuckers.
I’d like to discuss Louis’s hair for a moment, if I may. Sometimes it’s artfully mussed and pleasantly crunchy-looking, like leaves on the ground in late fall. Sometimes it’s soft and product-less, fringe falling into his eyes that I’m confident is as soft as the underbelly of a corgi. And sometimes it’s sculpted into an architectural, fuck-me quiff. And then I die.
Arms and hands are my weakness, so I’m extra offended by Louis’s and the growing collection of tats that constantly draw attention to them. Many of which, by the way, are complementary designs to those on the body of one Harry Edward Styles. You know. Because they’re bros. It is what it is.
Now that Zayn is gone, that makes Louis’s lower body the official fifth member of One Direction. Cause I’m here to tell you that fans adore it just as much. If not more.
*Jason Derulo voice* “I got one question: how you’d fit…allll that…in dem jeans?” (I’m going to hell.)
Are Louis Tomlinson’s thighs the source of all his powers? Based on this little trick, I say yes.
2) Wet Louis
I promise we will get to talking about Louis’ personality, talent, and virtues that make him a precious unicorn. But we’re not done objectifying. This section needs a soundtrack sooooooo…..
Bless the On The Road Again tour.
Bless my brOTP LiLo for their ongoing prank war. Remember how Louis ripped Liam’s shirt open one night? Me too. But this…this shot of them dousing each other in powerade is so glorious even Lou himself instagrammed it.
Bless Louis for favoring threadbare tees and tanks that when soaking wet cling to every curve of his body.
Bless Sage for sending me this gif one morning and saying “If this whole pop star thing doesn’t work out, Louis can be a stripper.” Bless my brain for immediately thinking of stripper Lou recreating the opening of Flashdance. (WELCOME TO HELL IT IS NICE HERE.)
Bless you, Wet Louis Tomlinson. Bless you.
3) The Voice of an Angel
Harry’s got the rock star rasp, Liam’s got the R&B runs, but let’s not undervalue Louis’s vocal contribution to the band. Pull up an a capella version of most of their songs, and Lou is usually the one carrying the harmony. Effortlessly, might I add.
This lady on Tumblr does a terrific job of explaining exactly why Louis’s “high and bright” voice is so important to 1D’s sound, so you music geeks should go read her post for more. I’m no expert, but I’d wager it would have been more difficult to adjust to his loss than Zayn’s, whose verses were easily distributed among the four. No one else sounds like Louis Tomlinson. If he weren’t there, One Direction wouldn’t sound like One Direction anymore.
I can’t wait for the whole world to hear all the “Made In The A.M.” tracks (the leaked versions of which I certainly didn’t listen to, being as law-abiding and as patient as I am…). As part of a foursome now, Louis makes an even bigger impression on this album, and sounds more confident than ever. I lost track of how many times I’ve played back his rapturous bridge on “History,” the emotional climax of the song. And he hits a high belt in “Love You Goodbye” that’s going to turn a lot of girls into women. And women into girls, in my case.
Plus, this kid loves his music and he loves performing. If this doesn’t make you smile, please report to the nearest emergency room and get yourself on the heart transplant list.
LOUD AND PROUD, BOO. Your voice is a gift.
4) Mad Songwriting Skillz, Bro
“Strong”. “Ready to Run”. “Through the Dark”. “Story of My Life”. “No Control”. “Fireproof”. “Home”. “Night Changes”. What do all of these songs have in common? Aside from being AWESOME (many of them being considered signature One Direction songs), they were all co-written by one Louis Tomlinson. And really, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Lou is the most prolific songwriter of One Direction. He cowrote a whopping 13 out of the 18 tracks on Midnight Memories, 9 out of 16 on Four, and 8 out of 18 on Made in the A.M.. (I’m counting “Home” as a part of MITAM because it very much SHOULD have been on the album which is why Louis basically leaked it.) PLUS he has a handful of credits on their first two records which is impressive considering those were under tighter control artistically. The only reason his songwriting credits have gone DOWN since MM (IMO) is the fact that the credits for his bandmates have gone UP. Basically, he’s pushed them all to get on his level.
The best thing about Lou’s songs is that the styles and the types of lyrics are so varied. He’s not a one trick pony, this kid. He can write a song about waking up with morning wood and needing to ravish someone immediately. (Can we all just give Lou props for managing to get the lyric “Waking up beside you I’m a loaded gun, I can’t contain this anymore.” ON AN ACTUAL ALBUM?) He can write a sassy and “ironic love song” like “Perfect” where he gleefully includes the line “If you’re looking for someone to write your break-up songs about” for REASONS. (It’s my head canon that Lou totally wrote that line. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong, Louis. The comment section is always open.) And then he can write an anthemic love song that leaves me crying in a corner because I have SO MANY FEELINGS about the line “Could we ever be enough? Baby, we could be enough.” I have my own theories about where Louis gets his inspiration (“My hands, your hands, tied up like two ships.” AHEM.) but that is neither here nor there. The only thing that matters is that Lou’s songs come from a REAL place filled with genuine emotion. We’re SO LUCKY that he shares his gift with us, you guys.
I'll make this feel like homeeeee
— Louis Tomlinson (@Louis_Tomlinson) October 21, 2015
5) His Charity Work
Well, they and their audience may not be. But I am, and you are, if you’ve read this far. With the boys and solo, Louis has thrown his support behind several admirable charitable causes. His most personal connection is to The Eden Dora Trust, which raises funds for families of children with encephalitis. Louis became a patron of the charity after meeting Eden and her parents, and he’s not the kind of crap-ass celebrity “ambassador” to throws his name on an invitation and then fuck off to Maui for private surf camp or whatever. Louis is THERE, in person and in spirit. And usually in an Adidas Classic track jacket, because that’s just who he is.
In August of this year, Louis and his mom (aw) co-hosted a CINDERELLA BALL for Believe In Magic, a sort of make-a-wish-esque foundation for terminally and chronically ill children. I spent most of that day on Tumblr, struggling to suppress the sounds coming out of my mouth while I scrolled through photo upon photo of Louis and Liam cuddling little princes and princesses, each more ovary-pounding than the last. Meanwhile, the story in the press was still about Louis being a laddish party boy, only interested in his own good time. Well, if by “good time” you mean donating 10k pounds to a charity so that his friend Liam would have to get his face painted like a magical tiger, then yes, gossip rags of the world, you are correct.
And there’s more. One Direction have taken aid trips with Comic Relief and annually support Red Nose Day. Louis has played in charity football matches with his local club, the Doncaster Rovers. The boys launched #Action1D this year to rally their fans around global crises of poverty and human rights. And so on, and so on.
Right now, 1D fans are running a fundraiser for Eden Dora in honor of Louis’s upcoming 24th birthday. They’ve collected several thousand so far and are well on the way to goal, so who wants to be the first to fight me about what a real role model looks like? To do as Lou would and pitch in, visit https://www.justgiving.com/louis24.
6) Louis LOVES Kids
I don’t even want kids but every time I see Louis Tomlinson with one, my uterus does a little flip.
LOUIS TOMLINSON LOVES CHILDREN. He LOVES them. He’s GOOD with them. And children love him right back. Perhaps it’s because he’s a big brother to six siblings. Perhaps it’s because he’s actually Peter Pan and every child that he sees makes him think of the original Lost Boys. Whatever it is HE LOVES THEM. Now please enjoy Lou being cute with kids. HOLD ON TO YOUR REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEMS.
This is the face Louis made when he was asked about his THEORETICAL children. I have no further comment.
— STONE COLD (@ItsTommo98) September 27, 2015
7) His relationships with the Boys
“Everybody’s getting along!” doesn’t sell papers and it’s definitely not clickbait material. So naturally, that’s never the story. Especially when there are young girls’ dreams to be crushed.
Look, I don’t actually know these people. I have no idea what their daily interactions look like, if they’re constantly in contact when they’re apart or not, or how they deal with conflict. What I do know is that everything I’ve read that proclaims friction within the band (“Internal friction…”) is never backed up by any evidence but anonymous sources. It’s the same story you’ve heard a million times (“Are the Friends actually friends? Our investigative report, tonight at 11.”), and the people who push it don’t even care if it’s true or not. That’s utterly beside the point.
So, I’m just going to stick to what I can see with my own eyes and what I think I know about human nature. Why would you ruin the most incredible experience of your life by deciding to hold a grudge against the only people you could share it with? What a waste.
I’m getting salty again. But as Johnny Mercer once wrote, “you’ve got to acc-cen-tu-ate the positive,” and that’s what we’re all about at Head Over Feels. Look at the cute boys being cute together! Behold Louis being charmed and charming with his best mates.
Louis is perhaps the most impish of the crew, but he’s also the oldest. There’s a bit of a team leader vibe, but also a yen for causing trouble. He’s usually the one to start the on-stage water/silly string fights, and he’s usually right next to Liam modeling whatever ridiculous costumes fans throw on stage. They took countless selfies of each other during ORTA and fucked around nightly through all four minutes of “Little Things.” Louis and Liam are lads, you see.
Louis seems a bit more protective of Niall, though he still gives him shit as any older brother would. Never forget that Louis practically invented the “oh no, Niall!” meme to playfully harass his “Irish friend.” Even so, Niall plainly adores him. Louis Tomlinson is the most hilarious person Niall Horan has ever met, pass it on.
And, well…you know how I feel about these two.
Louis Tomlinson has a gentle fondness specifically reserved for Harry Styles. He can be in the middle of one of his Lost Boy pranks, all twinkly and mischievous, and when he catches Harry’s eye, you can see him visibly soften. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this. I’m not a bad person.
Sure, their onstage interactions aren’t as tactile as Louis’s with the other boys – not since their camp’s Great Gay Panic of 2012. But a quality and a tension remain that even grown-man rock journalists can pick up on. Here’s Rob Sheffield for Rolling Stone:
Harry and Louis are the Stevie and Lindsey of the mermaid-tattoo-era stadium-rock eye-contact game. Louis’ eyes are dark, intense, controlling, with a surly “damn your love, damn your life” edge. Harry’s eyes say “I hear the darkness you’re expressing and it’s important to me but my heart tells me to twirl right now,” so he twirls and touches his hair. The brooding look vs. the beatific twirl. When one of them gets happy, the other gets wistful. When one of them gets bitchy, the other gets sugary. I could watch them sing together for hours. I could probably watch them do laundry for hours.
Same, my dude. SAME.
It’s been an intense five years for these guys, and I’m positive that there have been times that they didn’t even want to look at each other. But in the midst of the vitriolic British tabloid beating they’ve taken in the last few weeks (why are British tabloids so evil??), the most reassuring moment for fans came at the end of the last show of the On The Road Again Tour. Liam, Harry, Niall, and Louis leapt and cavorted like drunken fools to several reprises of their boot-stomping drinking song, “Act My Age,” while their families and friends traced a conga line through the VIP section. It was rowdy and un-rehearsed – a beautiful, unpolished mess. “For a moment a band of thieves in ripped-up jeans got to rule the world,” T. Swifty once sang, and even though she didn’t know it at the time, she was singing it about this. And if Dan Wootton had a heart, it would have grown three sizes that day. (Also, boys, this kind of behavior is why exactly one half of you broke bones on this tour.)
8) Louis Tomlinson, SassMaster, Living Reaction Gif, and Ferocious Lion
There’s a reason that whenever I do my Scandal gif-caps now, I always have a tab open under “Louis Tomlinson Reactions”. My boy has THE most expressive face. God love him for the fact that after the EXTENSIVE media training those boys have been put through (I picture it being very League of Their Own: “Now gracefully and grandly!”), Louis still can’t maintain a poker face. You always know when he’s been asked a question that pisses him off (it’s usually accompanied by a tight smile, a heavy sigh, and an OVERWHELMING need to give him a fluffy pillow). You know when something truly delights him because it results in a full body laugh where he tosses his head back and his eyes get all crinkly. There’s a reason Tumblr calls him calls him Louis Fondlinson because the dude is an OPEN BOOK. Never change, Boo.
Also, as a Backstreet Boys fan, I have SO MUCH love for how Louis pulls faces during concerts. When I was first getting into 1D, I watched some footage of them performing, saw Lou, and immediately exclaimed “Oh he’s the Brian!” because of his silly faces. I hereby request that SOMETIME in the future that BSB and 1D share a stage, just so I can see who pulls the most faces.
In one interview, the boys were all asked to describe themselves in one word. Louis’ word for himself? Flamboyant. Harry’s word for Louis? “Loud. Loud. Loud.” (I mean, that’s a word repeated three times, Harold, but I’ll let it pass because you are my sunshine.) As someone who is accused of being loud all the time, I appreciate this. From his “Oi Oi!!”s to shouting in a club “COME ON MOTHER FUCKERS” (a video I found both delightful and maddening because LET THE BOY PARTY WITHOUT BEING FILMED ASSFACES.), Louis is loud and proud and I love it.
Another word often used to describe Louis is “sassy”. Louis is always the first one to offer a quip when asked a dumb question (“Where do you see yourself in 10 years?” “Better in the sack.”) and he’s always the one to take the piss out of one of the boys if they mess up on stage. He’s quick-witted and self deprecating, much like Chandler Bing, really. (OH GOD IS THERE A FRIENDS AU? *searches AO3*) He’s not afraid to call a reporter “a little shit” when they admit they haven’t even listened to the song they are interviewing him about. But everything is always delivered with a cheeky grin and a twinkly eye which keeps him on the side of endearing and not on the side of being an asshole.
Unless you attack someone or something Louis loves, then you better watch out. Louis is fiercely protective and goes into Mama Bear mode when provoked. He WILL fight you, whether it’s an insult to his favorite football team or his fans. God, I LOVE when he gets all riled up on the fans’ behalf. It’s glorious. But at the same time, he’s not afraid to call the fans out. There was a string of shows where fans were a little..errm…overzealous with throwing things on stage, which HELLO. Dangerous. After a particular show where Harry got hit in the face WITH A CAN OF RED BULL, Lou sent some salty emoji filled tweets expressing his displeasure. Don’t fuck with his boys. But really…don’t fuck with Harry because Louis will get you.
For anyone who STILL believes Dan Wattpad’s claims that everyone in the industry thinks Louis is a little shit, allow me to direct your attention to the following tweets from some guy named Nathan Fillion.
SORRY YOU CAN’T GET A BETTER PERSON TO VOUCH FOR YOUR CHARACTER THAN THE CAPTAIN HIMSELF. The defense rests.
9) Tommo Style
My Facebook sidebar has been taken over by branded Adidas ads. I blame Louis for my search history.
Harry is the high-fashion member of group for sure. He’s got the boot game, the exorbitantly expensive printed shirts unbuttoned down to just there, the front-row-at-Fashion-Week eye for what can work on him and only him. And then there’s Louis’s style, which is just as distinct but much more approachable.
*Note: Harry can pull off clothes that would distance anyone else who wears them from the rest of us here on earth – the ones who can’t call ahead 10 minutes and ask YSL to shut down their store so we can have a private look at their new line of scarves – because he is a warm, polite, and inviting human being, and somehow even more so when he’s wearing ankle boots that would cover my rent for three months. His clothes may not be approachable, but he is. Thank you for your time.
ANYWAY, the Tommo look is deceptively simple. For shows and casual interviews, it entails cool printed t-shirts (NOT HEARTBROKEN); black skinnies, Adidas jackets or hoodies; cozy sweaters; or those obscene muscle tanks he favored for much of OTRA. For award shows, it’s black on black on black. Let’s pause to remember the braces era, shall we?
My favorite Louis style cues are the ones that highlight how smol and curvy he is. Check the line on that jacket above. It nips in pretty extremely for a men’s suit, all the better to show off the waist and the booty. Even when his jumpers fit him everywhere else, he gets a case of sweater paws, lethal in cuteness. And he’s fond of rolling up his jeans to show a little ankle, which is precious and endearing for reasons I don’t even understand.
THIS IS IMPORTANT.
There was a period during which Lou grew his hair out. Headbands were involved. And with a break looming, I want to point out that I definitely don’t hate it.
BUT! MY FAVORITE! LOUIS! LOOK! EVER! is the blue suit he wore the sweet heaven out of at his mother’s wedding. Can I LIVE? What is this Wall Street 3: Greed Is Great-er realness that he’s serving up? This “taking my mistress to the Hamptons for the weekend while my wife visits her sick mother” swagger? He looks like some high-powered drug importer in a Miami-set crime drama starring Vin Diesel or maybe Jason Statham. And I’m here for all of it, especially from the back.
I REST MY CASE. And now I’m off to church.
10) The Family Tomlinson
First of all: Louis, Lottie, Fizzy, Daisy, Phoebe, Ernie, and Doris. Could they BE MORE BRITISH? Only if you tossed William in there. Oh, wait. That’s Lou’s middle name. Then no…Lou and his siblings could NOT be more British.
I love how all of the boys, including Louis himself, immediately point him out on the Mama’s Boy question. How can you not love someone who loves his Mama as much as Louis Tomlinson loves HIS. He was the Best Man at her wedding (the wedding of the blue suit) for Christ’s Sake. MY FAVORITE thing about This Is Us is seeing how PROUD all the parents are of their boys. Mama Tomlinson (yes, I know that’s not her last name now) is practically bursting with pride over her son’s accomplishments. They’ve been through a lot together those two, and even though parents aren’t supposed to pick favorites, you can tell the relationship between Lou and his mum is something special. It makes me want to call my mother.
Also, she gave Louis those cheekbones, so let’s all say a quick prayer of gratitude to Johannah’s genes.
And then there is the fact that Lou brought his sister Lottie, an aspiring make-up artist, on tour with him so she could work under 1D’s stylist Lou Teasdale. Lottie is a delight, from her snapchats with Lou to her getting into all sorts of shenanigans with BFF Gemma Styles. You can tell that Louis loves having his sister around and the feeling is mutual. Plus, we get to see Louis do adorable big brother things like making sure his sister gets back to the hotel safely after being out till the wee hours and then heading to where HE was staying (I love how when that shit story about Louis trashing a hotel room dropped, everyone IMMEDIATELY debunked it with photo evidence of Lou escorting Lottie).
Remember how I talked about Louis’ ferocity? Louis spends so much of his energy protecting others that sometimes I wonder who protects LOUIS. And then I got my answer when during the O2 residency when Lou’s FAMILY (Fizzy specifically) were the ones being photographed making nice with She-who-must-not-be-named. Why did they do that, you may ask? SO LOUIS WOULDN’T HAVE TO. WHOOPS DID I JUST SAY THAT OUT LOUD?
Do you love and appreciate Louis Tomlinson like we do? Should we do posts like this for all of the boys? Let us know in the comments!