Bring back manly men: Harry Styles' fight against toxic masculinity
In December 2020, Harry Styles became the first solo male artist to grace the cover of Vogue America. Most congratulated Styles for his success, but others had something to say about his choice of dress...literally.
On the cover of the magazine, Styles is seen in a muted baby blue lace Gucci dress designed by his friend Alessandro Michele. He wears a tuxedo jacket over the dress along with his iconic "H" and "S" rings. Styles is known for his fashion: in 2019 he hosted the Met Gala, he’s best friends with the head of Gucci, he has custom-made suits for every tour and event he goes to and his fans love him for it. Fashion has been important to Styles his whole life, and he’s always been interested in pushing the boundaries. Styles being on the cover of Vogue in a dress was one of the most iconic and controversial moments of 2020.
While Styles' fans, and most of the world, praised him for his fashion choices and for breaking barriers, some people had some not so nice things to say about it. Author and political Twitter personality Candace Owens had A LOT to say about Styles' fashion on the Vogue cover. On Twitter, Owens quoted Vogue Magazine's tweet of Styles' cover photo in addition to her opinion of it.
“There is no society that can survive without strong men. [...] Bring back manly men,” she said.
This, of course, sparked outrage among Styles' fans and those who just simply do not care what clothes someone else chooses to wear.
Clothes are just that. Clothes. Clothes have no gender and if a man wants to wear a dress he can. If a woman wants to wear a pantsuit to work she can. Remember when that was controversial in the ’80s? Look at some of our favorite rockstars of the past: Elvis, Elton John, David Bowie, Prince, Freddie Mercury, Kurt Cobain, Poison, Motley Crue and many, MANY more.
Styles later posted a photo on Instagram of himself in a suit with the caption, "Bring back manly men." His fans wasted no time clapping back to Owens' tweets, some even making TikToks and recreating Harry's photos (myself and friend @sophiealmighty included).
Personally, I think a man's clothing doesn’t define the "manliness" of a man, the character of the man inside the clothing does. And if you ask me, someone who promotes kindness, self-love, donates continuously to charity, stands up for what they believe in and works hard is the perfect example of a real man.