Okay, let me talk about bearding for a second. Specifically, let me talk about the difference between modern bearding and what people seem to think bearding is (ie 90s style bearding). And yes, this is ultimately about Elounor.

What people need to understand is the phenomenal impact the Internet and social media has had on our society. It’s huge. Back before the average household had access to a computer/the Internet at home, before twitter, youtube, google, etc. PR and media was an entirely different field. People received news about their favorite celebrities through mediums such as magazines (think People! or OK! for example), radio, and perhaps talk shows. It was hardly the instantaneous thing it is today. It was almost entirely controlled. A couple of pap shots of a couple would be sold to the magazines, they would be published, and that would be it. End of story. But today every teenage girl has a camera phone, capable of recording every. single. moment. Do you realize how nerve-racking that must be for a management/PR company, whose job is to promote their client’s public image? EVERYTHING IS PUBLIC NOW. (I mean, we even have a “pics or it didn’t happen” rule, yeesh!)

What’s being done here is more than simple, 90s style pose-for-the-paps bearding. It’s selling a story, and it’s trying to be convincing. Simply saying you have a girlfriend and being photographed with a girl no longer cuts it. But talking about your girlfriend on twitter? That’s a bit more convincing (see: Elounor 2011). Posting pictures of the two of you spending time together? Of your girlfriend with your family? Even more convincing. But e v e r y t h i n g is public. EVERYTHING. Everything posted on the web nowadays can be assumed to be public, or potentially public.

Keeping this in mind, it’s pretty obvious that Elounor is being used for publicity. Even their “private” vacations are still public. Their “private” photos are out there for the public eye (one leaked photo in particular was actually touched up FOR PUBLIC CONSUMPTION. AS IN, IT WAS INTENDED TO BE CONSUMED BY THE PUBLIC. YET IT IS CLAIMED TO BE A PERSONAL, PRIVATE PHOTO THAT WAS LEAKED. YEAH RIGHT). If a casual fan follows Louis on twitter and sees pictures of him and Eleanor and sees him tweet her, that casual fan probably won’t suspect much. But the point is, these efforts HAVE to be made even to convince that casual fan. And I’m sick and tired of seeing questions and people having doubts about Larry because of Elounor because “why would they do that if they weren’t in a real relaionship???” UM. TO CONVINCE YOU THAT THEY ARE IN A REAL RELATIONSHIP. IN ORDER TO DO THAT THEY NEED TO DO THE OCCASIONAL REAL RELATIONSHIP THING. If you’re gonna doubt Larry because you’re unable to see how in love they are, or because you lack common sense, that’s fine. But not because of Elounor, come on.

And yes, the reason this is happening in the first place is to try and convince the general public that Louis is straight, because this is a world that still relies on stereotypes to identify sexual orientation and Louis is fits the stereotype of a gay man to a T, at least on the surface. But they can pay off the magazines (and seriously, do you think alll of those articles about Louis and his girlfriend are just coincidence. really.) and they can release all the press statements they want but the one thing they can’t control is the internet. And I think that scares them. They literally cannot prevent people from getting together via the internet and compiling evidence and coming to a consensus. If this were the 90s and you thought Lance Bass was gay, who would you talk to? Your circle of 5 friends who may or may not care? You wouldn’t be a threat. But here on the internet you have a voice. You and thousands of others who are merely noting an opinion can be a threat to the contrived media image that we’re meant to be fed.

Nowadays, on the other hand, enough voices might just be enough to get the media to pay attention. So Elounor is turned into a fairy tale romance that teenage girls acutally ship, actually WANT to be real, and Larry is turned into the face of evil. Eleanor’s even being used for marketing now! It’s just simple PR. It’s not hard to figure out if you actually try.