Raw steaks, couch fondling and snogging – we unpack why the internet is going feral for Matty Healy
As he shitposts until the sun comes up, HUNGER looks at the bizarre allure behind Matty Healy, who is decidedly the internet’s new heartthrob.
If you haven’t heard of The 1975, you may have been living under a rock, perhaps the same rock that Matty Healy seems to have crawled out from underneath. Tumblr’s favourite lead singer and imaginary boyfriend of the 00s indie/ alt girl is back and better than ever as he continues to tour the world with the band’s new album Being Funny in a Foreign Language. In all his bizarre glory on and off stage, this leg of the tour is seeing fans go wild like it’s 2010 again – and we are here for it.
But what’s so special about Matty Healy? The son of Loose Women panellist Denise Welch and Benidorm star Tim Healy might just be the coolest guy in music right now. It was in the late noughties that fans started to embrace The 1975 and lyric writing abilities of its lead singer. Being able to take on an optimistic miserablism and by taking on the Manchester band sound, his music spoke to teens at the time. They lapped up the music that would go on to define the Tumblr generation, and clearly, remains timeless as he goes on tour with the bands fifth studio album.
Amidst the obvious reasons for his talents in lyricism and music, it is his stage presence that makes our skin crawl – in the best way. His built-in bullet-proof vest for cancellation accusations (controversial opinions in interviews like that of NME, saying “that’s what I was starting to become: very much this beacon of the left, which was pissing me off”) is somehow all the more redeeming. Though his PR manager’s heart may be racing every time he posts on his Instagram, @trumanblack, he is only met with more admiration from fans.
The peak of the bizarreness however, lies in his live performances, leaving the internet in a cold sweat as they wake up to yet another Matty Healy tour escapade. On-stage Healy is uncontrollable it would seem, and whilst his band jam out behind him, the lead singer is let loose to perform. ‘Thirst traps’ are posted as he sings ‘The Sound’ and goes cross-eyed by acting out the lyrics. TikTok comments state “I am yet to see a video of this man just singing” as he lies on a sofa heavily breathing into a ventilator and undoing his shirt. But, the best moment of them all, that truly sent the internet wild, was when Healy hacked off a chunk of raw meat to instrumental music live on stage as he sat on his knees. Political? A comment on the consumption? A revolt against masculinity? Probably, none. It’s very Matty Healy of him to do it just for the sake of doing it.
The interaction with his fans is only fuelling the fire, as Healy brings the audience on stage to play out the ultimate fanfiction fantasies. Known for pulling fans up and kissing them, he holds them close while he sings The 1975’s top tunes. Post-smooch, fans go into detail about how magnificent it was to kiss the same man who wholeheartedly ravaged a ribeye steak mid-performance. “He smelt of cigarettes,” said fan Isabella, speaking to Shit You Should Care About regarding the kiss, “he pulled me up, we sang together, and then we kissed”.
But the fun doesn’t stop when the concert ends, as his relentless social media use means we never have a minute without our dose of Matty. He posts memes like he’s only just discovered the internet, and spams feeds with his various views of sex and religion like we have been stuck with that guy at the party when it hits 4am. His not-so-profound posts, however, are weirdly self-aware, and to any haters he responds with memes about how awful Matty Healy is. ‘Matty Healy is a rat’ he wears on his jumper in a selfie.
The love for ‘nauseating lib memes’ flits between joking about Gen Z and acting like their down-with-the-kids Facebook Uncle with strong opinions and a love of ‘iykyk’ internet wit. It’s refreshing, in an odd way, and we cannot help but let out a small laugh at his 10 second videos of spewing nonsensical thoughts as he lies in bed in the middle of the night. The obsession is infectious, and Healy fever cannot be cured.
It may be the Pete Davidson ugly-hot effect, but Healy is very much on his own bizarre journey through the likes of endless meme posts, weird stage stunts and self-aware self-obsession. The allure of Matty Healy is no joking matter, and it only took a Chicken Shop Date with online personality Amelia Dimoldenberg to, once and for all, cement that the internet loved his brash charm. “I love Matty’s dedication to the bit trying to play Amelia at her own game” said one commenter, “his humour is a masterpiece”, said another.
Though he may spend his time shitposting and memeifying for his own comic relief, the singer is here to stay. For the fans that hope to be on the receiving end of a smooch, we can guarantee this tour is not slowing down anytime soon, and your onstage fanfic may be living itself out sooner than you think. His ‘IDGAF’ attitude that mixes with an ironic commentary on the world proves that, despite his substitute teacher-style getup, the internet is still well and truly head over heels for Healy.