"This video is dedicated to touching."
That's how Harry Styles's bleary-eyed new clip for "Watermelon Sugar" begins, and in perfect Styles fashion, it escalates from there. He's got a watermelon, you see, and he's touching it. Well, first he's not — and then he is, and then he really is. And now he's eating it.
The whole thing's a vision of ecstasy and summer haze that eventually culminates in what I feel most comfortable calling a fruit orgy. It's not quite that cheap, though; this is Harry Styles we're talking about. Rather, it's a celebration of pleasure that, by the time it wraps, harkens back to his 2017 "Kiwi" video, reminding us of the man's own sagely words from before his second album Fine Line even dropped at the end of 2019: "Kiwi walked so Watermelon Sugar could run."
The clip opens with a masquerade-masked Styles bringing a slice of watermelon to an oceanfront breakfast table, complete with coffee and orange juice. Forget cake by the ocean. This is all about fruit by the sea. Quickly, the orgiastic celebrations commence, with very hot people surrounding Styles, touching him, smooching his cheeks, and embracing their own textural euphoria by being around each other.
Now more than ever, to borrow a phrase from every commercial airing during this unprecedented time, it's important to remember there are other ways of connecting while we remain socially distanced. Styles's video provides a nice additional layer: Not that it's time to go out and have a beach fruit orgy, but to remember that while we stay home and stay safe, we can't forget about how physical human contact makes us who we are.
"DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME," a Styles tweet promoting the video reminded. "Practice social distancing." And once you're done practicing that, you'll ideally have perfected the art of touching just in time to touch other people once again — whenever it's safe to do so.
By the end of the video, Styles assembles his beach band for a tiered group pic reminiscent of the post-confectionary food fight class photo that punctuates his "Kiwi" clip. The connections between the two songs — not to mention those with "Cherry" and a few other Styles cuts — have been documented.
I, for one, appreciate Styles's commitment to his own look even while getting presumably sunburned on the beach. Though the "Watermelon Sugar" clip finds him in flared jeans, a billowy striped top, and even a wonderfully '70s shirt decorated with daisies, the opening table scene shows him off in what's become his trademark Fine Line-era outfit, a sweater vest.
That he can do all he does here in such garb is inspiring. Check out "Watermelon Sugar" above and get a little inspiration yourself.