Liam Payne

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Name: Liam Payne
Also Known As:
Occupation: singer
Medium: pop music
Works: see Wikipedia:One_Direction_discography
Official Website(s): twitter
instagram
Fan Website(s):
On Fanlore: Related pages

Liam Payne is an English singer and worst speller of the boy band One Direction. See Wikipedia for details.

He appears in a lot of fanworks.

Shipping

As of April 30, 2015, according to AO3 tags, Liam appeared in 20,096 fanworks:

Other Liam ships include threesomes and moresomes with 1D members as well as het ships with canonical ex-partners Danielle Peazer (609 uses) and Sophia Smith (473 uses), and, in significantly fewer numbers, with current girlfriend Cheryl Fernandez-Versini (9 uses).

Fanon and Tropes

Dumb!Liam: Liam's terrible/endearing spelling and awful/earnest/adorable tweets often appears in fic, often contributing to the idea that he is not not the sharpest tool in the box (or misdirecting the reader to believe he is clueless when he is not). Examples:

“Sometimes I wouldn’t mind having that,” Harry says thoughtfully.

“What?” Liam says. Surely Harry doesn’t mean Sophia. God, Harry probably could, if he wanted. Sophia fancies him, but Liam’s not - he’s not an idiot. He knows Harry’s fit, and a hell of a lot more clever than him.

That’s Liam’s lot in life, though. Surrounded by people more clever than him.

The "Daddy Direction" trope: standing in opposition to dumb!Liam, this trope highlights how responsible Liam is, his business savvy and competence. The trope is based in canon, with the nickname tweeted by Liam himself in 2011[1] and appearing in the descriptions of Liam given by Louis and Harry in 1D's This Is Us documentary. In fanworks, this sometimes literally translates to daddy kink and/or dom!Liam. Examples:

No one else had ever made Louis feel safe like Liam did.

Even in the beginning, when Louis couldn't even breathe without feeling like Liam wanted him to do it better, Liam was still the rock for them all. It didn't matter how nervous Zayn or Harry were, or how overwhelmed Niall looked, or how certain Louis was that this was the week he would be found out and chucked from a band he had never deserved to be a part of in the first place. All it took was one look at Liam on stage, brimming over with confidence and determination, to make Louis feel like he was going to be okay.

Lonely!Liam: He might be bullied, friendless or socially awkward, stemming from stories of his painful teenage years. Examples:

The bed is about a third bigger than the one Liam has at home. He sits down on the edge of it whilst Louis goes to help Harry locate sheets, and he thinks about crying because he's so lonely and he hasn't got any friends, and the best night he's had ever is with two strangers who've just offered him their sofa bed.

Liam's build and strength often feature in fanworks. For example, in AUs where he is not in the band, Liam is routinely cast as a firefighter or a mechanic:

Tinhatting

A number of One Direction fans tinhat Liam, believing that his relationships to one or more known girlfriends were engineered by management to hide his true sexuality and more specifically his relationship to Zayn. See Ziam is real for more detail.

Controversies

This article or section needs expansion.

Both Liam and his Twitter have been the subject of a good amount of wank since 2014.

Duck Dynasty Tweets

On 18 January 2014, Liam tweeted at Willie Robertson of the A&E reality show Duck Dynasty, saying, "huge love to you/your family huge respect for your business prosperities and the family values you still all behold. big fan" [1]. This came only a month after a GQ interview in which Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson had made a number of inflammatory homophobic remarks and was subsequently suspended from A&E's lineup;[3] therefore, many 1D fans took Liam's tweet and reference to "family values" as his support for Robertson's homophobic views.[4] Twitter quickly began to criticize him, and Liam, as is his wont, responded with a number of defensive tweets ([2][3][4]) but never directly apologized for the initial tweet, which further upset fans. [5]

Other Remarks

Liam also has a reputation in fandom for asserting his no-homo-ness, as in the infamous "kernel" tweet about KFC.[6] In September 2014, he tweeted in response to a gay porn photo that featured a Liam lookalike, first calling it a "weird photo" and then continuing, "I'm 100% not homophobic. But I'm also 100% not gay so when somebody says I am I'm gunna say I'm not which does not make me a homophobe".

During a concert on 18 August 2015, Liam introduced the song "Girl Almighty" by saying, "[this song] is about trying to find that number one woman in your life, which none of you can relate to because most of you are girls."[7] This drew immediate criticism from fans, especially those who are not girls or not heterosexual.[8] Liam's defense in the form of eight tweets in a row, which included phrases like "you guys know what I meant it was meant in general" and "I am in no way shape or form homophobic", concluded with "I'm sorry to those I offended really I am but there's no need for some of the things I'm being called". ([5]) Some fans considered this a non-apology and accuse Liam of continuing to act the victim when he is called out.[9]

In September 2015, Liam gave an interview to Attitude magazine in which he dismissed the presence of rainbow flags at their concerts as being due to Larry Stylinson, among other remarks.[10] These sparked criticism from fans.[11] Some fans have defended this particular remark if only because the connection between rainbow flags and tinhatting is controversial within the fandom itself.[12] Again, Liam defended himself on Twitter. ([6][7])

Body Issues

Liam was briefly the subject of wank in March 2014 after two tweets that read "Lol just seen on twitter people think I'm fat?now I've never been called that before nice, on my way to mcdonalds then I'm off to fat camp" & "I'm so fat that when i twerk I become a wrecking ball".[8] He repeated the same idea in two Instagrams in August 2014, one featuring Liam with a pillow under his shirt and the caption "I mean OH MY GOD I'm just so fat these days I think I need help! quick someone take the cookie jar"[9] and another with a screenshot proclaiming his BMI and the caption "Or do I have to look like an Olympic swimmer just to get your approval into the cool kids or can I accept that the person I truly love thinks I'm the coolest kid in town anyway?"[10]. Fan responses??[citation needed]

A number of fans were on Liam's side on this subject, however, reminding each other that whatever Liam's body looks like, it doesn't deserve criticism.[13]

"Underage" Girlfriend

Liam Payne became public about his relationship with girlfriend Maya Henry in August of 2018, when she was 18.[14] However, Twitter user @SexAtOxbridge posted a thread in November 2019 with evidence that even though every article claims that Maya is 19, she's actually 18 and a senior in high school which would have made her 17 when Liam first started dating her.[15] SexAtOxbridge is a known Larrie, and the post also contained an accusation that Maya's father is paying Liam to date her.[15] This has led to other threads questioning Liam's relationship with Maya and wondering about how botch the release of Liam's solo album has been.[16]

Regardless of the conspiracy aspect of their relationship, the confirmed fact that Maya was born in 2001 has resulted in many 1D fans calling Liam a pedophile, leading to him publicly denying the rumors.[17] Even fans who don't buy into the conspiracy aspect of their relationship find the fact that Liam would chose to date Maya objectionable:

The ludicrous Larries now think £44m Liam is being paid to date Maya by her father, even though Liam is richer than him! Her birthday date is confirmed as Feb 2001 but I doubt she’s still in High School as she’d have graduated last July if she’s 19 in Feb.

But Liam WAS dating a high school student until July this year. 🤮[18]

It has also been confirmed that she's met with Liam several times when she was truly underage at One Direction events[19] which adds a further layer of fan/creator to the relationship that some question.

"Both Ways"

On 6 December 2019, Liam's first solo album (LP1) released and fans were less than pleased with the lyrics of one specific song, titled "Both Ways." The song is explicitly about a bisexual woman and features extremely overt sexual imagery paired with the harmful trope that bisexuals are good for threesomes and drew controversy in light of Liam's repeatedly derogatory statements about homosexuality and comments about how he wouldn't let Harry (who refuses to label his sexuality) babysit his child.[20] It resulted in the hashtag #liampayneisoverparty trending on Twitter[21] with many fans being upset at the harmful fetishization of bisexual women in the song.

i hate cancel culture but what the actual fuck. if anyone tells me that as a bisexual i need to take a joke is getting blocked. how dare he sexualise is like that. BISEXUALS ARENT YOUR FETISH OR KINK[22]
hi yeah my sexuality is not something you get to fetishize just for the hell of it you piece of misogynistic shit :)[23]
liam payne going from saying he wouldn’t want his kid to be around harry styles bc of the way he dresses to singing an over sexualized song about bisexual women? the homophobia really jumped

but we all knew that in 2015 when he said gay pride flags made him uncomfortable[24]
my sexuality is not your fuccking fetish, I'm disgusted how straight people still think bi women (and bi people in general) are only worth your sex fantasies, fucck off if you still support him after this[25]

There were, however, people who were supportive of Liam:

liam finally released his album (how he wanted it to be like) and he gets hate for one song. i admit the song can be irreverent for someone but i’m sure he didn’t want to disrespect anyone. i don’t even want to know what this all you’re saying can do to his mental health[26]
We have to trend #ProudOfLiam Liam didn't do anything wrong he doesn't deserve this[27]

and still others who believed that because Harry's album released so closely to Liam's it was Harry's fans being rude that caused the hashtag to trend:

It’s fed up! Some of Harry stans are being so childish, rude, and disrespectful towards liam every time he talks about harry!! He just said he didn’t spoke that much with harry while being in the band & that’s just the truth whether you liked it or not.

#TreatLiamWithKindness

He never said anything rude about Harry. He just clarified things. He doesn’t mention harry every time to promote his music! He does that because people keep asking him about the boys and the band all the time. What do you want him to say?!

Liam has been through shit when he was a child, a teenager, while being in the band, and now. Please have some respect and be kind. If you don’t have anything nice to say, just don’t say anything. Stop spreading wrong rumors about him being homophobic & against women!!

I was so shocked when I clicked on this hashtag #liampayneisoverparty and saw people’s shit!!

This is so childish and disgusting!! Grow up fake fans and learn to be kind like Harry.[28]

Some people also tried to excuse the song by saying that Liam didn't write the song or it was label meddling that resulted in it being put on the album, despite him being credited as a writer.[29] The trend was also overrun with tweets of K-Pop fancams declaring that people should stan a variety of K-Pop groups or idols instead of Liam, as is usual for popular Twitter trends.[30][31][32]

Further Reading

Fannish Resources

  • it’s a liam god damn payne primer by needsmoresarcasm part 1, part 2, part 3 (August 2012)

References

  1. "daddy direction" tweet by Liam, April 8, 2011.
  2. The Firefighter Liam tag has 27 works as of April 30, 2015.
  3. GQ.com, What the Duck?, 17 December 2013; cnn.com, 'Duck Dynasty' star suspended for anti-gay remarks, 18 December 2013
  4. thesecondwarm, Tumblr post on 19 January 2014 (archived): "Tweeting someone who went on a belligerent and homophobic rant equating homosexuality to beastiality with your support of their “family values”? Yeah. That comes off as being sympathetic to their homophobic ideals. Furthermore, the phrase “family values” is coded with so much condemnation and blatant hate for the queer community that we’ve learned to avoid people who use the term."
  5. dazy-laze, Tumblr post on 18 January 2014 (archived): "to him he prob really does think saying ‘people can love who they love it’s none of my business’ is enough to make him 'not homophobic guys!!!’ and render his support of the family in question harmless, and he can’t understand, clearly, why it isn’t, and isn’t bothering to learn or apologise, is just getting defensive." And @aurosan, twitlonger on 19 January 2014 (archived): "Liam is clearly in a spiral of self-defense right now, and trust me, I'd love to believe he didn't tweet a right wing slogan that is entrenched in anti-gay hate on purpose, but I have a hard time spilling tears out for him or cheering him on. He had plenty of chances to acknowledge the weight of what he said given the context of the Duck Dynasty clan but instead he's just encouraged fans to keep attacking people who have every right to be upset."
  6. This tweet seems to have been met mostly with humor from the fandom: see saintzitao, Tumblr post on 31 May 2014
  7. @mustbefireproof, video tweet on 18 August 2015
  8. See studyinrainbows' Tumblr post (archived) & allegedlymags' answered ask (archived): "To me, it came across as flippant and thoughtless- like, literally thoughtless as in he wasn’t thinking- but not malicious whatsoever. This is honestly what I thought- “OK, Liam, I’m not THAT well-educated about these issues, but even I would have known not to say that.”"
  9. See amortentialarry's answered ask (archived): "as if that wasn’t enough, he went on a very manipulative twitter rant after that, claiming he isn’t homophobic and painted himself as the victim in the entire situation and it was all very nasty and very triggering and just not nice for me. because that was manipulative. you can’t tell me otherwise. i experienced it before and it was exactly the same in that situation. " and verily-i-say's answered ask (archived): "it’s not about having accidentally said something potentially offensive, it’s about how you respond to being called out. …Liam (or, if you don’t believe the tweets were sent by him, “Liam”) played his standard victim card, where he didn’t apologise and then tried to make people feel guilty for having called him out." & riverforasoul's answered ask: ". It was heteronormative. Literally straight after the show, he was online playing the victim and complaining about criticism. He did apologise but not before making it all about him."
  10. scan of part of the article
  11. See beau-ambiance's Tumblr post: "So many fans that identify as LGBTQIA are devastated, and feel unsafe and unwanted in this fandom. Many are now hesitant to go to OTRA Boston and/or bring their rainbows. Do you know how disgusting that is? Fans of a band are made to feel alienated and unwanted." and dracoandlouisbothloveaharry's Open Letter to Liam, and nsfwtomlinson's reblog: "Doesn’t excuse Liam’s generalization of rainbow direction. It doesn’t excuse the dismissal of something that keeps so many queer fans happy in this fandom. So he said he supports ‘gay’ marriage and treats his gay friends equally. Fucking amazing tbh, good for him, lets keep applauding cis-hets for being decent fucking individuals. He’s had personal struggles with this and that, well boo fucking too, that’s the queer struggle everyday he’ll never no a damn thing about."
  12. hiddensymosiarch, Tumblr post: "He didn’t say he doesn’t like their LGBTQIA+ fans, he didn’t say he doesn’t like rainbows. What he said is that the Larries drive him nuts, and that he thinks most of the rainbows in the crowd are Larries holding them because they are Larries. Maybe he overstated that last point a bit, but from his perspective I understand why he thinks that."
  13. fannyann, Tumblr post (archived): "because thinking someone looks gross because you don’t like their hair or the scruff of their face or the way they dress themselves is one thing. but thinking someone looks gross because of the amount they weigh is an issue of its own that makes you a lot grosser than anything you think liam might look.", and hazelgracelancaster's reblog (archived): "You cannot come into a conversation about someone’s weight gain and said “he doesn’t look as good” and expect people to hear anything other than “if you are fat, you don’t look good.” That is just a logical thought progression —- “you looked good, you gained weight, you don’t look good anymore” = “you don’t look good because you gained weight”"
  14. Who is Liam Payne's new 'girlfriend' Maya Henry? Meet the millionaire's daughter who wants to be a human rights lawyer. Posted 12 Aug 2018.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Thread by @SexAtOxbridge. Posted 4 Nov 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  16. Thread from @eyaislarrying. Posted 4 Nov 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  17. Liam Payne shuts down rumours girlfriend Maya Henry lied about age after joking about Cheryl reunion. Posted 8 Nov 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  18. Reblog by ot3flopped. Posted 5 Nov 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  19. Post from ot3flopped. Posted 7 Nov 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  20. Liam Payne On Which 1d Boy He'd Let Babysit Bear. Posted 26 May 2017. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  21. #liampayneisoverparty on Twitter. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  22. Tweet by @ggukyuns. Posted 6 Dec 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  23. Tweet by @dillanatsaralee. Posted 6 Dec 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  24. Tweets by @gutspunches. Posted 6 Dec 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  25. Tweet from @seokjinpjms. Posted 6 Dec 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  26. Tweet from @hi_im_m_a_y_a_. Posted 6 Dec 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  27. Tweet from @Zaya_Payno. Posted 6 Dec 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  28. Thread from @AmnaLouis. Posted 6 Dec 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  29. Tweet from @itboyfairy. Posted 6 Dec 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  30. Tweet from @adorekais. Posted 6 Dec 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  31. Tweet from @aIewjfe. Posted 6 Dec 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.
  32. Tweet from @stillbbh. Posted 6 Dec 2019. Accessed 6 Dec 2019.