Devoted fans of One Direction’s Zayn Malik have been becoming fearful for his health, after the singer showed up looking gaunt and haggard at last week’s Royal Variety Performance in London, England. Said admirers took to Twitter shortly following the event, expressing their concern and discontent with his alarming new appearance.
The 21-year-old showed up to the star-studded event flanked by his four bandmates, and was donning a loose blazer with tight black jeans, paired with a simple brown sweater underneath. It was his physical features, however, that stood out to the public. The self-proclaimed Bradford Bad Boy was spotted without his signature pushed back hairstyle, resulting in his hair falling near his shoulders with a 90’s part in the middle. His cheeks were sallow to the point that they were sunken in, with the thinness of his face resulting in a very protruding jawline. Malik’s demeanor did not appear to be affected in any way, and he was his usual polite self while introducing himself and greeting fans. He and the rest of the boys later shook hands with Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, something that fellow bandmate Liam Payne described as making him more nervous than he had ever been before.
Following pictures of the event being published on the internet, questions immediately arose as to why Malik looked the way he did. Several Directioners compared the singer’s facial appearance to how Michael Jackson looked in his final days, as well as to popular pop culture characters Severus Snape (from legendary J.K. Rowling series Harry Potter) and Edward Scissorhands (the gentle but somewhat freakish bladed hand character made famous by Johnny Depp in the 1990 blockbuster of the same name.) His new hairstyle was also frowned upon, with many fans stating that it was simply not a good look for him and wondering why he would make the choice to appear in public in such a manner. Even non-admirers felt the need to state their concern, with one adamant non-Directioner saying that they were concerned for the Bradford native’s well-being despite their disinclination to listen to the band’s music. A representative for Malik has since given the statement that the singer is merely recovering from an undisclosed illness, adding that this is also why he failed to appear as part of the group’s acceptance speech for their recent MTV EMA award.
Malik has made quite a name for himself in the media throughout this year. Back in May, he and fellow bandmate Louis Tomlinson came under enormous public scrutiny after a video emerged of them smoking what appeared to be a marijuana joint while in the back of an SUV on the way to an upcoming concert in Peru. The media clip led to outrage amongst both fans and their parents, with many Directioners choosing to call it quits on their devotion and dispose of any show tickets and the like immediately. Parents felt that the boys were beginning to become a bad influence on their children, and exposing them to adult content while claiming to be of reputable values. Fan favorite Harry Styles was reportedly furious with the boys over their actions, as he felt that the drug use was quite likely to affect their entry into North America for the next leg of their Where We Are tour.
The alleged illness that caused One Direction’s Zayn Malik to appear less than in perfect health at the aforementioned event has yet to be revealed. The singer himself has not yet given any statement on the matter.
By Rebecca Grace