Harry Styles’ Vogue cover and the Controversy That Followed

Carey Wooley, Reporter

On Nov. 13 it was announced that Harry Styles would grace the cover of Vogue’s December issue as the first solo male on American Vogue to do so. On the cover Harry is wearing a light blue Gucci gown and has other photos in the issue where he wears designs by Harris Reed who has designed for Harry before and they focus on gender fluid clothing and blurring the lines of masculine and feminine. A few days later the conservitive author and commentator Candace Owens posted on social media about how disgusted she was with his cover and started using the phrase “bring back manly men”. 


Owen’s statements sparked controversy as not only Harry Styles’ fans but celebrities and others alike defended him and told Owens how wrong she was. It’s not a secret that Styles loves to wear clothes that would be considered more “feminine” and Candence Owens hissy fit over a piece of clothing people of different cultures have been wearing for centuries was in a word, ridiculous. Her comments sparked what she is calling a “movement” I call it a way for a group of people to hide their internalized misogyny. 


Owens has repeatedly attacked Styles for his dress even a month after the cover was released, continuing to say that the dress isn’t masculine and ruins society. For hundreds of years men have been wearing skirts or dress like garments, in fact it is seen as very masculine for them to wear them. Men have been doing this even before Styles was born. People like Freddie Mercury, Prince, David Bowie, and so many more have been wearing what society calls feminine clothing like dresses for years. 


Owens has repeated over and over how this dress isn’t masiculine enough and is way too feminine. By Owens saying this she makes it seem like being feminine or being a woman is a weakness. Being female does not make you weak; it’s quite the opposite. By Styles and so many others blurring the line of feminie and masculine it makes society stronger. This shows how society as a whole is getting over putting people in boxes and making them act a certain way just because of their gender.


Then, Dec. 2 Harry Styles appeared on the cover of Variety magazine because he received their hit maker of the year award. He then went onto post a picture of the cover on his personal social media accounts to respond to Ownes remarks by saying “bring back manly men ”. Owens then responded to this on a instagram story seeming completely oblivious to the fact that he doesn’t agree with her and calling her public temper tamp trum a movement by saying he looked stupid but at least not feminine and then saying that she loved him and all that hes doing. For the record he looked gorgeous and not stupid at all but she continues to degrade femininity like it’s a bad thing. 


Being feminine or masculine is something society made a long time ago and has become less and less applicable every year. These gender norms that we created just simply don’t work anymore. They are arbitrary and outdated and don’t make sense to the society we have today. A man wearing a dress shouldn’t be a big deal. It’s not like this hasn’t been happening for decades. 


My problem with this so-called movement is that it degrades being a woman and makes it seem like wearing this specific garment of clothing is the biggest issue we have had this year. There is a whole pandemic going on and for some reason so many people are hung up on a man in a dress. I just think this has gone on for way too long and it is time for people to let this go. Harry Styles looks beautiful in a dress and that is all it should be.