Just listen. Thank you. <3
· Him, Version Rebel
“One grew up as a shy, insecure kid, was extremely smart in school—earning him the “nerdy” title--, was made fun of because of what he liked and how he dressed, took a gigantic jump of faith, was ignored and scolded, was called a ‘terrorist’ due to his religion, overcame scrutiny and doubt to be where he is now, and still deals with hatred and rumors every single day…yet he still accomplished his dream.
Yet he still smiles every day.”
Think back to those stereotypical “bad boys” of the film: Danny Zuko and the T-birds from Grease; Dallas Winston from The Outsiders, James Dean simply being himself, or John Bender from The Breakfast Club. Every single one of them possesses the leather jacket, the serious, mysterious gazes, the aloof and tough demeanor, and that aura that pulls everyone towards them, moths to a flame. Zayn Jawaad Malik, the last of my five heroes, may have the gaze down to a T, he may have the tattoos, and he may have that aura, but, truthfully, he has one huge thing in common with all of the fictional characters listed: they are all terribly misunderstood.
While attempting—I’m trying so hard, guys, I really am—to not make this sound like a research paper, I’ll explain. Stick with me, and just listen.
Zayn was born on January 12, 1993, to Yaser and Tricia Malik, in West Lane Baildon, Bradford, England. Out of the five, he is the only true multiracial member of One Direction: his father is British Pakistani and his mother is Irish/English. When Zayn was born, his parents had already had one daughter, Doniya, and two more would follow: Waliyha and Safaa, the latter being ten years his junior.
Zayn had a fairly normal childhood: happy, from what I can tell. He grew up in a family of mostly girls—according to Zayn, there are only around six males, at the most, in his entire family—so that, in turn, made him a bit more sensitive while he was growing up: to this day, he can still pick up on things that females are going through, generally better than the “average male,” as people call them. ;-) In addition, Zayn was apparently quite hyper when he was younger, bouncing off the walls, but balanced that out with being quite reserved. He tended towards playing by himself more often than not: an introverted independence that still lingers today.
From a young age, Zayn has always loved singing, as well. There’s a photograph of him at the age of four with a microphone and two plastic guitars, laughing while he sings: he still has that serious gaze, though.
The only thing really all that different about Zayn’s childhood was that he didn’t go to nursery school, instead jumping into Reception—for you English, Welsh, and Northern Irish out there—which, for us Americans, is basically a form of higher pre-school. To be honest, I had look up what it was myself: feel free to Google it, if you’d like. According to the young man himself, he doesn’t remember much from those years, just goofing around and storytime. What he does remember is rapidly excelling at English. At the age of eight, he was already reading at an eighteen-year-old’s level; he even took the English GCSE a year early, receiving an A. All throughout his schooling years, Zayn excelled at English and art: already tying in to his love for music and singing.