Ziam

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Pairing
Pairing: Zayn Malik/Liam Payne
Alternative name(s): Ziam, Mayne, Palik
Gender category: m/m
Fandom: One Direction
Canonical?: no
Prevalence: popular
Archives:
Other:
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Ziam is the ship name for the pairing of One Direction band members Zayn Malik and Liam Payne. It is the second-most popular ship in One Direction fandom.[1] Like with Larry Stylinson, it has many fans who believe that Ziam is real, but the phenomenon has not achieved the same visibility outside of the fandom.

Ship Appeal

AND OBVIOUSLY IT’S MUTUAL, THE SEX VULTURE THING, BUT THE DEEP APPEAL OF ZIAM IS THAT IN OUR HEARTS AND MINDS, ONE OF THEM IS ALWAYS CRUSHIN’ AND THE OTHER ONE IS CLUELESS. COOL THEME GOING ON RIGHT NOW IS “LIAM IS AROUSED BY ZAYN, BUT IS ASHAMED, AND SO HE HIDES IT AND ACTS WEIRD UNTIL IT SPILLS OUT IN AN EROTIC GESTURE”. I’VE WRITTEN IT. MY HEAVENLY CREATURE SASHAYED HAS WRITTEN IT, LIAM HAS, WRITTEN IT. BUT OF COURSE, THERE IS THE “ZAYN HAS AN INTENSE PAINFUL UNREQUITED SEVERAL LIFETIMES LONG LOVE FOR LIAM THAT HE BELIEVES ISN’T RETURNED AND SO HE DOESN’T TALK ABOUT IT FOREVER AND CRIES ON THE FLOOR LISTENING TO FRANK OCEAN AND BON IVER” AND MAYBE AFTER A WHILE DOES SOMETHING ABOUT IT OR LIAM DOES SOMETHING OR LOUIS DOES SOMETHING BECAUSE LOUIS LOVES ZIAM[2]

"Ziam is real"

Although Zayn was publicly engaged to Little Mix member Perrie Edwards between 2013 and 2015, some Ziam shippers believed that the relationship was fake[3] and that "Ziam is real"[4]. Liam's known girlfriends are likewise believed to be beards.[5] See for example this Ziam "proof" post:

Zayn and Perrie hooked up on the December of two years ago, twice in fact. He liked her and just fancied a quick shag. She publicly denied the relationship in January because she knew she was just another one for him and he had already moved on. In March, Modest! realised that even though they had won TXF, Little Mix was still a failing band so they needed a saving grace and they found it in the form of Zayn Malik. At that point, his crush over Liam was not taking over his life. Although Perrie is now in Zayn’s life, it’s none of their doing. He thought he was done with her but management dragged her back in order to save her band. It started with Zayn saying that she was his celebrity crush, but in reality, she never was; he was forced to say that when talks were occurring to finalise the contract, it was to make it more believable instead on it spring up on the fandom out of the nowhere.[6]

Everyone else calls these fans tinhats. Note that the phrase "Ziam is real" is also used in a more tongue-in-cheek fashion by non-tinhats to express their ship feelings or point out how slashy Liam and Zayn are.[7]

Ziam tinhatting usually functions alongside of and uses the same arguments that Larry tinhatting does, reinforcing and confirming the idea that "management" is evil and manipulative and that all One Direction girlfriends are beards.[8]

Example Fanworks

Fannish Resources

References

  1. Based on AO3 fanwork statistics: As of 2 July 2015, there are 6682 fanworks on the archive tagged with Ziam vs. 21872 fanworks tagged with Larry. See also File:1d slash popularity per month.png. Meanwhile, according to Tumblr account yearinreview, in 2014 Ziam was the third most reblogged 1D ship, after Larry and Narry. See Most Reblogged Ships, posted 2 December 2014.
  2. rubdown's ship manifesto, posted to tumblr 24 July 2013
  3. See "Zerrie is fake" Tumblr tag
  4. See Ziam Proof and Ziam is Real Tumblr tags.
  5. See for example two Tumblr posts by li-z-and-zayonce on 5 September 2015(archived) & 8 July 2015(archived) which detail this fan's view of Liam's "doneness" with Sophia and their relationship, and the "hints" Liam may be trying to send about his situation.
  6. Ziam proof post by stoponedirectionsmanagement, posted in 2013.
  7. For example, see this reblog, December 3, 2014.
  8. Larries and Ziam shippers alike use stories of previously closeted boyband members as part of their proof: see this April 2015 post(archived) by nexttoziam which compares Zayn to Westlife and Boyzone.