Opinion: Harry Styles’ Vogue Cover is Revolutionary
By: Brisa Miranda
Harry Styles on the cover of Vogue Magazine- Vogue
This year, Christmas came early. Harry Styles, a former One Direction band member, became the first man to cover American Vogue solo. The cover instantly initiated passionate conversations around gendered dressing and masculinity.
On the cover of the magazine, Harry Styles wore a light blue, periwinkle, lace ball gown by Gucci. Harry Styles credited his idols David Bowie, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Freddie Mercury, and Prince for giving him the confidence to push against the status quo not only in fashion, but also against societal expectations. Styles shares that clothing is all about experimentation without limits. “Clothes are there to have fun with and experiment with and play with. What’s really exciting is that all of these liners are just kind of crumbling away,” he continues, “There’s so much joy to be had in playing with clothes. I’ve never really thought too much what it means- it just becomes this extended part of creating something.” Once the Vogue cover was published, there were a variety of reactions.
To no one’s surprise, many right-winged and conservative people had something to say about this failure to conform to accepted standards and masculine defiance. Instead of accepting and understanding that Vogue targets forward-thinking millennials who are undoubtedly thrilled to see this kind of revolutionary male representation in mainstream media, figures such as Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens decided to comment about their distaste of Harry’s cover on Twitter. Candace wrote, “There is no society that can survive without strong men.[..] Bring back manly men.” Shapiro echoed the views of Owens on Twitter.
The backlash to their commentary was sharp from many who believe people have a right to dress however they choose and pointed out that clothing does not have a gender. Several celebrities supported Harry Styles on Twitter and Instagram. Harry Shum Jr., star of “Crazy Rich Asians,” tweeted “being comfortable in your own skin as a man is manly. However, that is expressed.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez responded to a question during a Q&A on her Instagram page about the cover, “perhaps for some people it provokes insecurity around masculinity/ femininity/ etc. If it does, then maybe that’s part of the point. Sit with that reaction and think about it, examine it, explore it, engage it, and grow with it.” AOC ends with “Anyways it looks bomb so.”
In conclusion, keep negative thoughts to yourself and treat people with kindness. The Vogue collection on Styles is filled with passion and provides insight into who he is as not only an artist with a sensational voice and scope, but a powerful fashion icon. Mr. Harry Styles himself has been vital when it comes to challenging the norms, a concept all should advocate for, whether in agreeance or not.