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Harry Styles is Wearing A Dress: What’s the Big Deal?

Fashion and pop music icon Harry Styles is Vogue magazine’s December issue cover star. Styles rose to fame being a member of the widely popular boy band One Direction from 2010 until the group split in 2015; he has gone on to a solo career producing chart-topping records like “Watermelon Sugar” and “Adore You.”

Styles is known for making fashion statements every chance he gets, and his Vogue cover is no exception. The cover features Styles in a periwinkle blue gown paired with a black tuxedo jacket all designed by Gucci. After the release of the iconic cover, Styles received major backlash from prominent conservatives.

Candace Owens, a popular figure in the conservative community, made some highly opinionated remarks on her Instagram page about Styles’ fashion choice. She stated that American culture needs to bring back “manly men,” and that no society can survive without masculine men. She went on to infer that men who choose to wear gowns should be considered mentally ill and that she would never allow a man wearing a dress near her children.

The negative conservative commentary surrounding Styles’ fashion decision is truly upsetting. Who is Candace Owens to conclude that a man’s fashion choice defines his mental state? Men embracing their feminine side is not a “Hollywood trend” or a sign of mental incompetence.

Our society heavily relies on gender roles. Men wear suits, women wear dresses; men do the yard work; women fix dinner and so on. These commonly accepted societal constructs tend to make sense to those who classify as heterosexual, yet these same constructs trigger confusion, self-hate, and hopelessness in those who identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community.HarryStyles 2

I have grown up identifying in the LGBTQIA+ community while living within a mainly conservative family. I always felt as if my interests were flawed because they did not align with the heterosexual culture. I love ballet, gymnastics, dresses, Britney Spears and many more things that are looked at as feminine. I hope young members of the LGBTQIA+ community see Harry Styles’ Vogue cover and feel represented, heard and desired in mainstream media.

Men embracing their feminine side is not a trend that will die down, it is a cultural revolution that aims to embrace all layers of a man, not just his societally accepted masculine side.

Many men, myself included, do not relate to common masculine themes. It is comforting to see someone as famous as Harry Styles embracing his unique style on the cover of a popular magazine like Vogue.

It is a reminder that self-expression and authenticity will always overpower societal constructs, and we can be whoever we wish to be! It is our human right to express ourselves in any way we desire. It is absolutely no one’s place to judge others based on what they wear.

Altogether, there is nothing wrong with masculine men and there is nothing wrong with feminine men. We are all men capable of achieving whatever we wish to accomplish. Something as small as a fashion choice does not define someone.