1D: Where the Hell Are They Now? An Official Ranking

By Mari Schiff '21



So, it’s been a pretty entertaining pop culture summer. Some great films came out. I picked a bunch of books off the New York Times Book Review that I have no time to read. Lorde’s Melodrama made me hyperventilate.

But Mari, you’re no doubt mumbling from your Tiger Beat poster-encrusted shrine, what about a comparison of the members of One Direction from the point of view of a vaguely cynical but still game fangirl instead of the media elite who clearly know nothing?

I’ve got your back, kid.


Objectification Factor: Sooooo hot. Like, super hot. His cheekbones could cut a steak and yet he has the eyes of a baby cow. He buzzed off his hair and somehow still looks good.
However, he gets points knocked off because Perrie Edwards said he’s bad in the sack, and I believe Perrie Edwards. ⅗.

Personality: While Zayn was in 1D, he was known as the quiet, artsy one with a sweet side. Now, he’s still artsy but kind of… dumb. Like, just flat out stupid. He keeps bad mouthing One Direction for no good reason and shows little to no social awareness. Frankly, his interviews are eye-roll worthy. ⅖

Music: Zayn has, hands down, the best voice in 1D. It’s distinctive, honey smooth and frankly panty melting. While Still Got Time flopped spectacularly, it’s still a fun track. His new single with Sia, Dusk Till Dawn, is also really good-- but sounds more like Sia ft. Zayn. On the flipside, Zayn’s side hustle seems to be pissing off his collaborators-- including his producer and Partynextdoor. ⅗.

AVERAGE: 2.7/5.


Objectification factor: Niall’s always been ‘the cute one’, but he’s changing it up. He looked undeniably hot in the video for “Too Much To Ask” and his style has transitioned from frat boy to boho normcore. Unexpectedly, his solo magazine shoots have been understated and quite beautiful. Look, he’s low drama, but there’s something to be said for quiet suffering. Half-point for the accent, when you can understand it. 4.5/5.

Personality: Niall is some unholy cross between Elle Woods and someone’s suburban dad. He seems game for nearly anything-- except getting a tattoo. Niall seems genuinely good-willed. At the Brit Awards he insisted on shaking Zayn’s hand-- even after Zayn had been salty about the band in the press. Point off for golf. ⅘.

Music: I want to like it. The boy uses a live band! The lyrics! Who hurt him? Maybe it’s just my personal taste; I tend to like my music with a bit more bite. However, Niall’s songs are undeniable crowd pleasers that don’t feel jaded. Niall also did the best of the boys in the charts over the summer. Point for not Sheeran-ing up so early in his  career. ⅘.

AVERAGE: a tad over 4/5.


Objectification factor: Lesbians on the furthest edge of the Kinsey scale have proclaimed their love for him. Men of the homosexual persuasion beat their fists on the ground in frustration. Heterosexual fathers of three have begun sentences about him with “I’m straight but…” And we haven’t even begun on the Girls of A Certain Age. Also, apparently he can pull off man onesies and Donald Duck brocade? 5/5.

Personality: Comes off as a little awkward, but endearingly so. The guy who is mostly silent at the lunch table before he says something really out there. Is probably an alien from some benevolent planet. He’d probably just stare at you while slurping his donut-topped mega shake on a date. Point off for being a known Soul Cycler. ⅘.

Music: I like the album, not going to lie. Harry seems to be working off more of an album-sales than singles model, which I respect. Woman and Carolina are certified bops. However, some of the slower tracks sounded a little… derivative. If I wanted to go listen to Pink Floyd, I’d listen to Pink Floyd. Also, Sign of the Times was ruined for me the minute I saw someone slow-grinding to it at prom. ⅘.

AVERAGE: 4.33/5


Objectification factor: Damn, can he pull off a little scruff. When did his hair get so soft? Despite having a few years on him, Liam still has that fuckboy stench on him, which kind of works for him in a weird way. Plus, he has a baby. A baby! His style would be cuter if it was on Frank Ocean. ⅗.

Personality: Liam’s a chatty guy. He’s also kind of a dumb guy. He’s stood up for the noble causes of Justin Bieber and Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson. I kind of think he should be forgiven for his homophobic comments from way back, since he spent an entire year apologizing in the press about it. Also he said that he’d collaborate with Zayn, despite the bad blood, and I respect that. ⅘.

Music: Liam’s trying to find his place in the industry as a dance-pop star. His music so far seems to be at a real miss-match with what’s happening in his actual personal life. In real life, Liam’s in a committed relationship and has a son, which he’s been pushing in interviews. In his music, he’s asking someone to strip. It’s kind of weird and I’m not sure if I like it. Also, despite having spent an entire year apologizing for being homophobic, his first single is with known homophobe/transphobe Quavo. Really, Liam? ⅗.

Average: Just over ⅗.


Objectification factor: Personally, I find it really, really hard to find Louis sexy. His recent shave and haircut is certainly an improvement, but in the music video for “Back To You” he looked like he had just rolled out of bed-- and not in a cute way. He has a nice face, but the oversized $3000 tracksuits kind of cancel that out. ⅖.

Personality: Louis is a giant eye roll personified. In all of his interviews he comes off as really whiny and self-loathing which is… not great. He doesn’t come off as forgivably stupid like Zayn and Liam do, but as a different beast entirely. The only things going for him so far is his long-term girlfriend. The boy could do with some redemption and better press training. ⅖.

Music: Louis has potential, despite trashing his songwriters in an interview. I really like “Back To You” and I want to listen to more from him. However, I wish he had made a bit more of a point with his debut. Also, the oversized tracksuits are taking away from my listening experience. ⅗.

Average: Just over ⅖.