I accepted a long time ago that my brain works differently than others, and that my version of jumping to conclusions looks a lot more like Jackie Joyner-Kersee than, say, hopscotch. So colour me unsurprised when over the weekend, images of Harry Styles’ new nail polish and skincare line leaked, and my brain immediately leapt to “Oh, that’s a really gorgeous butt plug.” The line being called “Pleasing” helped that matter none.
Before I get ahead of myself, let’s discuss what exactly Pleasing is: Per a press release, Pleasing is “a life brand that moves to wherever there’s something Pleasing to be found. Founded by Harry Styles in 2021, Pleasing’s mission is to bring joyful experiences and products that excite the senses and blur the boundaries.” The brand’s first drop launched on Monday, November 15, and is called “Perfect Pearl,” including four nail polishes as well as an Illuminating Serum and the Pleasing Pen, which is a dual-ended eye serum and matte lip oil. Never mind that “matte” and “oil” and oxymorons, this all feels very on-brand for the moment, with the stunning marbleized packaging and the millennial/Gen-Z friendly font style. Maybe I’ve been spending too much time reading horrific threads about people, uh, getting creative with the objects they are using as sexual instruments and winding up in the hospital, but I truly think Pleasing may need to come with a warning label.
Don’t get me wrong — I am thrilled for the concept of a Harry Styles nail polish line because, well, I would watch that man stir paint and lecture me on the proper pronunciation of “encyclopædia,”, but man, I was super pumped for the conversation about male pleasure and embracing your sexuality that “Harry Styles Butt Plugs” would spark. There’s a free idea for you, Sir Styles! Take it! Lead the discourse!
I am just as much a Harry Styles stan as I am an Ariana Grande stan, too — but of course, when my eyes first saw the new r.e.m. beauty matte lipsticks, I thought, “oh, Ari’s trying to take us out of this planet in an entirely different way.” Again, a perfect brand link: Ari is by far the most DTF of today’s pop princesses, and as a person who may as well have "DTF" tattooed on my forehead because I am eternally single, that’s why I love her. I am all on board for sexual expression, and my fellow Cancer sister seems to agree with me. If you can listen to “Sweetener” without blushing at the unexpected Bop It x Sexual Content crossover in the lyrics, you are a different breed of person. It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest if the r.e.m beauty launch took “vibe” to an entirely new level, considering the source.
My mind is in a dirt-filled gutter accepting the runoff from a sports stadium, and that is my curse to carry around. All I can say is be safe, enthusiastic consent is real, and do… not use anything for sexual activity that isn’t intended for such. It’s cool to think about Harry Styles and Ariana Grande during the fun sexy times we’re having, but let’s leave the sex icons in our minds for now. But if Pleasing doesn’t involve a future launch of massage candles called “Sweet Creature” or “Meet Me In The Hallway,” I will pretend I don’t want it and secretly buy it anyway.