5. And their concerts are chock-full of them caressing each other and singing to each other:
9. Their new music video is super gay, too.
10. In the new One Direction music video, Harry Styles reportedly is channeling a gay fashion consultant, Gok Wan.
11. And Liam Payne sports a pretty gay ensemble, acting as a choreographer who prances around in a pink headband.
12. And then there’s that whole thing where Zayn is in drag.
13. Harry and Zayn have a lot of chemistry throughout.
16. One Direction has been challenging our ideas of masculinity for a while. They are extremely non-threatening.
And they (or their management) totally know what they’re doing.
17. They seem more preoccupied with each other than with getting lots of girls to like them.
Because of this, they’re really hard to hate.
18. Justin Bieber, however, is promoted as sexier and more dangerous.
His public persona is cocky, rude, and concerned with his image. Although he might technically have more talent, these traits make him easier to hate — and make it easier for the media to ridicule him.
20. And it’s worked before — The Beatles also engaged in the same sort of touchy, goofy camaraderie, although it was much more tame.
Their movies, which are still considered classics of some sort, are heartwarming to watch because they’re full of these four boys simply playing with each other.
21. And they were similarly the opposite of macho:
Ridiculous and most certainly cute.
24. They know it works.
Their affection for each other, their gentleness, allows us to be charmed rather than intimidated. We become fascinated but not scared or disgusted, and it’s (clearly) very effective.