Should Australians be proud that the pop star drank on stage?

There are several investigations into the history of the Shoey, but the consensus seems to be that the act began in the 2000s.

According to both The New York Times And junkie, One of the first Shoeys was captured in 2006 as part of a surfing video for the Rusty brand. A few years later, in 2010, Tasmanian punk band Luca Brasi regularly performed Shoeys as part of their sets.

From there the Shoey found its way into motorsport with Australian MotoGP rider Jack Miller and F1 star Daniel Ricciardo regularly claiming grid wins wearing a Shoey. The celebration became so popular in F1 that the organization trademarked the word in 2018, while other drivers including Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have embraced the custom.

Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton celebrate with a shoey on the podium.

Daniel Ricciardo and Lewis Hamilton celebrate with a shoey on the podium.Credit:Getty Images

But Styles is undoubtedly the most prominent celeb to do a shoey. With everything he does being endlessly dissected on the internet, a whole new audience is currently being introduced to this uniquely Australian tradition.

As of Tuesday morning, the words “HE DID A SHOEY” trended on Twitter, with fans either celebrating Style’s willingness to play along or bemoaning he’d stooped to that level.

Now that the Shoey has officially stepped foot onto the global stage, it’s time to see if we’re happy with how it makes us look.

In a way, it paints a worrying picture of Australian culture talk. Styles is one of the biggest pop stars in the world and performs songs from his Grammy-winning album Harry’s housebut it seems all anyone wants to discuss is the fact that they sipped beer out of their shoe.

Sculling drinks have long been seen in this country as a shortcut to “iconic status” in which everyone from prime ministers to sports stars partake.

Whether this reflects our troubled drinking culture or proof that we don’t take ourselves too seriously as a country is debatable. But the problem with the Shoey, specifically, is that it’s just a little gross.

“It’s one of the most disgusting traditions ever,” Styles said before sipping his shoe beer.

Interestingly, his decision to have a drink comes four years after he refused to sip from his shoe while touring Australia in support of his 2019 album fine line.

Given the viral nature of Style’s first Shoey, fans can likely expect more of the same on his remaining five shows. The bar has been set and even the great Harry Styles cannot risk marginalizing Australian audiences by refusing to play along.

A pop star who reluctantly drinks beer out of his own shoe to keep his fans happy?

It’s a sign of the times. Should Australians be proud that the pop star drank on stage?

Jaclyn Diaz

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