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I have finally gotten around to starting my series on 1D Shipping, which I've been wanting to do for awhile. Fan culture really fascinates me, and there is so much going on with 1D fandom, on a huge scale. Certainly bigger than anything that I've been interested in before. And so, really, this is more an essay on shipping and ship wars in general. It will be a series, because I have a lot to say...

This is part 1, which is basically an introduction to Tin Hatting in 1D fandom. Parts 2 will discuss the particulars of 1D fandom's Great Management Conspiracy Theory. Part 3 will move into the Larry vs. Elounor narratives and conflicts, and Part 4 will get into the Larry vs. Ziam conflict. Part 5 will discuss the fans reactions to Girlfriends and also touch on the minor ships.

So I'm just going to dive right in with some housekeeping on terminology. There are a lot of ship names being thrown around, and you will probably want to know who Larry, Elounor and Ziam are...

***

There are five members of One Direction which means that there are ten possible combinations of pairings among them. Each pairing has an official fandom name. The five members are Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Harry Styles and Louis (pronounced "Louie") Tomlinson.

The ten cutsey ship combo names are:

Larry = Louis/Harry
Lirry = Liam/Harry
Zarry = Zayn/Harry
Narry = Niall/Harry
Lilo = Liam/Louis
Zouis = Zayn/Louis
Nouis = Niall/Louis
Ziam = Zayn/Liam
Niam = Niall/Liam
Ziall = Zayn/Niall

The two red highlighted ships are the two that will go under particular scrutiny, as they are the two that are the subject of intense Tin Hatting. (Though watch out, Narry seems to be on the rise ;) Larry is by far the largest and oldest ship, and it is the Elephant in the room among 1D Ships. Ziam is the second largest, but is has been recently rising in popularity and for lack of better words.. Tin Hattery. Larry and Ziam are in many ways complimentary, as no individual crosses over to create a rivalry. Harry and Louis ought to be safe making out in one corner, while Zayn and Liam make out in the other... However, the two ships have very different narratives, and as we shall see, those narratives place the ships somewhat at odds in a "there can be only one" kind of way.

 <---Larry (Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles)

 <---Ziam (Zayn Malik and Liam Payne)


Meanwhile, the various band members have had actual real life girlfriends. All these RP ships have official names as well:

Elounor = Louis Tomlinson/Eleanor Calder (2011 - Present)
Payzer = Liam Payne/Danielle Peazer (2010-2013)
Sophiam = Liam Payne/Sophia Smith (2013 - Present)
Zerrie = Zayn Malik/Perrie Edwards (2011 - Present, currently engaged.)

Haylor = Harry Styles/Taylor Swift (2012 ended)
Hendall = Harry Styles/Kendall Jenner (2013-2014 ended)
Narbara = Niall Horan and Barbara Palvin (2013-2014 ended?)

Elounor will be another main topic as this ship poses a direct threat to Larry, which, as we know, is the primary ship war in the fandom. Louis obviously cannot be both Eleanor's boyfriend and Harry's true love at the same time. So, According to Larry Tin Hatters, Elounor is a “bearding” arrangement. A not so nice way of saying the Eleanor is paid by Management to be a fake girlfriend as cover for Louis' sexuality. Elounor shippers (And also, btw, Louis, Eleanor and their families...) say that they are in a real relationship, and that Larry is, in Louis' own words, Bullshit. Much more on this in Part 2 when we get into the specific Ship Narratives.

 <-- Elounor (Eleanor Calder and Louis Tomlinson. There were Maid of Honor and Best Man at a recent family wedding)

Sophiam and Zerrie are also current ships, and they are significant because they are both road blocks to Ziam reality. Therefore both young women, Sophia Smith and Perrie Edwards, are targeted by Ziam fandom as “beards” in fake relationships created by management to hide Liam and Zayn's sexuality. In this regard, they are no different than the Elounor vs. Larry shippers.

 <-- Sophiam (Sophia Smith and Liam Payne)

 <-- Zerrie (Perrie Edwards and Zayn Malik. They are engaged to be married.)

Haylor and Hendall are both regarded as short term “for publicity”, contracted relationships. I tend to agree with that assessment.

Note that Niall Horan and Harry Styles are most often believed to be single. And recently, Narry has been growing in popularity...

Other terms:
1D = One Direction
LS = Larry Shippers
ES = Elounor Shippers
ZS = Ziam Shippers
MM! = Modest Managements, (The Great Satan…)


****

In the interest of full disclosure, I personally take the boys at their word regarding their relationships. If they say they are straight, then it isn't my job to contradict them. If they say they have a girlfriend, who am I to say they are lying?

I think Tin Hatting is a very bad idea. And I do not ship Larry, except as a Bromance. I do think Ziam is hot, so I kind of ship it. But my favorite is Lirry. Narry and Niam are also OK with me. ;) I do not think they are real.

Also, this means, that by the standards of 1D Fandom, I ship Elounor, Zerrie and Sophiam. Because in this fandom "To Ship" is synonymous with "To Accept The Reality Of" a pairing. Kind of scary, isn't it? Much more on this below.

Larry shippers have a mantra - Real Eyes Realize Real Lies. (How adorably clever is that?) But forgive me, I'll trust my EARS for now. ;) Also, my nose smells a conspiracy theory lying at the heart of Larry, as is always the case with Tin Hatted shipping. Sorry... :(

Please note, that though it will appear that I am coming down pretty hard on Larry and Ziam shippers, I have no quarrel with the ships themselves. As I say above, I'm pretty sure I'd qualify as a Ziam shipper in a the conventional sense.

I believe, however, that the majority of Larry and Ziam shippers are Tin Hats. They think that these boys are really in secret relationships with one another. And Larry shippers, in particular know that there are some among them who have crossed lines that should not be crossed, including the harassment of under aged siblings. And a lot of really shameless hate has been piled on all the girlfriends in a pretty horrible manner. Larry and Ziam shippers, most of whom are decent people, know in their heart of hearts why their ships have the reputations that they do. :(

So, though I'm not going to pull any punches, please know that I fully respect everyone who can ship in such a way that they aren't hurling hate around, and harassing innocent people.

Please also note, my criticism is NOT to be misconstrued as itself hateful. It is not intended that way. Criticism and hate are NOT THE SAME THING.

 <-- Honestly what's wrong with a little Lirry?

***

One last thing to do before diving in is to define exactly what Tin Hatting is.

This article from Daily Dot is from August of 2012. The article includes a helpful Tin Hatting To Do List:

Tinhatting in 5 Easy Steps:

1. The management is conspiring to keep your OTP from coming out of the closet and promote the idea that they’re REALLY STRAIGHT!

2. The girlfriend is a beard. (Bonus: the girlfriend is a beard hired by the management to perpetuate the idea that your OTP is straight!)

3. Management has locked the band/actors/whoever into a NO-GAY contract until their term of work ends.

4. As soon as the show/movie/tour/awards season is over, THEY’LL DECLARE THEIR LOVE AND THEN EVERYONE WHO DOUBTED YOU WILL BE SORRY!

5. Meanwhile, your OTP is slipping secret messages to each other / the public, and/or otherwise acting out against management to show that their true love can withstand anything, even the Great Managerial Closet Conspiracy.


Read this article. It is fascinating, and two years later, just as relevant. If you read the comments, very little has changed in two years within the fandom. (OMG, those poor innocents didn't seem to realize almost every comment served to prove the point the article was making...)

We will see that all five of these points continue to be relevant to 1D Shipping, even two years later. This, even though the relationships between the 1D Members have gone through tremendous changes in the intervening two years.

Take special note regarding the Management Conspiracy Item... Because that is the crucial to everything. Larry, especially could not exist as a ship as it currently stands without it.

And also the "secret messages" are hilariously entertaining too.

***


So, Part II will be all about that Management Conspiracy thingy, and Everyone Hates Modest!

***

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