The 'One Direction' Lads Look Old

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Today is a momentous, important day in history, in case you are unaware. One Direction released the video for "You and I," their fourth single off Midnight Memories, and the lads are clearly starting to show their age. If not their fathers' age.

Here's the video:

Now, this is a perfectly fine video. MTV called it "pretty awesome;" Hollywood Life says they look "super hot, as usual;" Vulture argues the video rips off The Craft, the 1996 masterpiece about teen witches, and Vulture may have a point. But that's not what we will talk about today. The boys are for whatever reason thinking about a complicated relationship while walking along Clevedon Pier outside of Somerset, England, something with which we can all relate. This is no longer young love, though, as the boys have all grown into men, lads into... whatever British people call adult males (blokes?). The softness of youth has officially worn off these boy band superstars, and the hard effects of both mega-fame and adulthood have begun to settle in. One Direction can longer skate by on boyish good looks. Let's rank the One Directioners based on who has aged the most, from youngest-to-oldest: 

5. Zayn

At some point, Zayn found a fountain of youth and perfection, and sucks to be the rest of us, I guess. He'll stay 18 and beautiful forever. Gift? Curse? Probably a gift. 

4. Harry

Amazingly, Harry looks exactly like the 20-year-old shit-disturber he is. Some youthful features remain, though the baby fat has given way to forehead wrinkles, signs of wisdom and maturity, or at least that's what he tells girls. How do you think he roped in Taylor Swift for so long? Unfortunately sometimes Harry still fails to dress like an adult. Where did he find this grey sweater, his grandfather's closet? His tickle trunk? (A million teenage girls just dreamed of Harry's tickle trunk.) 

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3. Niall

Niall has not aged a day past sixteen. At least, that's what his haircut wants us to think. We know those bangs are just hiding a receding hairline. Also ... we've never really addressed the Kelly Osbourne-esque gray dye-job, have we? It's bad enough on its own ("Ohhhhh, I'm so impossibly youthful with this baby face, I simply must age myself in the most ostentatious way possible!"), but paired with the One Sweater to Rule Them All —which also weirdly matches the weather-treated boardwalk, creating an all-consuming mass of gray — we're reaching advanced threat levels.

2. Louis

Louis, 29, lived a hard life during the One Direction years; fame brought with it a lifestyle of girls, booze and drugs. He's clean and sober now, a whole year dry, and he's enjoying life on the cruise ship circuit, performing with his girlfriend, Taylor Momsen. 

1. Liam

Liam, now 32, enjoys his quiet life in Utah with his wife, Emily, and their two kids, Brooklyn and Beth, the twins. He never really grew up, so he runs a bikeshop during the week and picks up a couple bartending shifts on weekends to make ends meet. Nobody likes his haircut.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.