Celebs Defend Harry Styles Against Right-Wing Author Who Says His Vogue Cover Isn’t “Manly” Enough
Prominent celebrities have come to the defence of Harry Styles after a conservative commentator criticised Harry’s gender-fluid style in US Vogue.
For the December issue, Harry was the first ever man to grace the cover of US Vogue on his own — all while wearing a lush Gucci gown.
But American author Candace Owens was unimpressed, writing on Twitter on the weekend, “There is no society that can survive without strong men . . . Bring back manly men.”
Both Harry Styles fans and people like actor and activist Jameela Jamil and actor and director Olivia Wilde have since come forward to defend Harry.
In response to Candace’s tweet, Olivia, who is currently directing Harry in Don’t Worry Darling, wrote, “You’re pathetic.”
On Twitter, Jameela wrote, “Harry Styles is plenty manly, because manly is whatever you want it to be, not what some insecure, toxic, woman-hating, homophobic d*ckheads decided it was hundreds of years ago. He’s 104% perfect.”
Actor Elijah Wood replied to Candace, writing, “i think you’ve missed the definition of what a man is. masculinity alone does not make a man.
“in fact, it’s going nothing to do with it,” he added.
The furore has also led a number of people to point out other musicians who have worn dresses, from David Bowie to Iggy Pop to Kurt Cobain, as well as the historical precedent — the high heel was originally made for men, and wigs and makeup were considered high fashion for aristocrats.
“I said it about Kurt as a teen and I’ll say it about Harry Styles as a middle-aged woman: men in dresses aren’t the problem. Men in bad cargo shorts are,” comedian Jen Kirkman only half-joked, alongside pictures of Kurt and Harry in dresses.
In the Vogue article, Gucci designer Alessandro Michele offered this insight into Harry’s look for the shoot. “[Harry is] really in touch with his feminine side because it’s something natural. And he’s a big inspiration to a younger generation — about how you can be in a totally free playground when you feel comfortable. I think that he’s a revolutionary.”
It’s not the first time Harry has queered gender-normative conceptions of fashion. He’s long been praised for wearing colours, patterns and items that have traditionally been perceived as “feminine”, including wearing a ballerina costume in promos for his appearance on Saturday Night Live in November 2019 and a dress by Commes Des Garçons on the cover of The Guardian in the UK in December 2019.
“What women wear. What men wear. For me, it’s not a question of that.” he told The Guardian. “If I see a nice shirt and get told, ‘But it’s for ladies.’ I think: ‘Okaaaay? Doesn’t make me want to wear it less though.’ I think the moment you feel more comfortable with yourself, it all becomes a lot easier.”
We’re pleased to see that Harry is not only contributing to the breakdown of gendered constructs — which inhibit men from expressing their emotions and can quite literally lead to violence against women and people who do not fit into established binaries — but that public figures have come out in support of him.