Harry Styles Brings Back “Manly” Men


Photo from Lovclyhes.

Harry Styles live on tour. This show was located in Denver, Colorado.

On Friday, Nov. 13, Vogue’s official Instagram page posted a photo featuring musician, actor and model Harry Styles, in which he was shown wearing a floor length blue dress. Ever since this post, his openness to wearing what is traditionally known as “feminine” clothing has been under fire along with any others who feel the same way. One widely spread comment on this was from extreme conservative and political activist, Candace Owens, who took to instagram on the 16th to openly oppose the idea that clothing has no gender and instead speak about how leftists “hate normal” and how their actions are “turning women into men and men into women.”

Many agree that Styles wearing a dress should not in any way take away his manliness just because he has the confidence to defy societal norms. If clothing was defined by gender in the way Owens describes, then she herself would be restricted to only dresses and skirts like women were in the times that men could only wear pants. Owens claims that people, “do not find men in dresses to be attractive”, as part of her defense in her statement but few get dressed in order to gain attraction from strangers, but rather because it makes them feel good. In this case also, it paves a path for others who are restricted from their own self expression.
The Oxford Dictionary defines manly as “having or denoting those good qualities traditionally associated with men, such as courage and strength,” which fails to mention a connection to clothing, makeup or any other forms of self expression but rather who the person is on the inside. Men who have the “courage” and “strength” to pave pathways for others and express themselves are more “manly” and valid than any man who tears down others for who they are. Just because it was decided once that women were to wear dresses and men to wear pants, doesn’t mean that it’s forever. Things are always evolving, and if society kept the same standards forever, many things in life would be a lot worse for almost everyone.

But even more seriously, this opinion that Owens and many others share, is dangerous to not only strangers but their own friends and families. When someone says, “I would never allow my kids near a man that’s wearing a dress” and “If I see a man in a dress I think he’s a crackhead period” such as Owens stated in her message, when talking about the topic, that extreme opinion on a piece of clothing is something that would most likely be passed on to children. Therefore if Owens’ child, for example, turned out to be someone who goes against their standard of “normal,” it could be an emotionally harmful environment.

Since Owens’ statement, Styles only response has been a photo on his instagram of him in a blue suit and eating a banana captioned, “Bring back manly men.” His response was the most mature and yet effective choice he could have made in the given situation and it gave him a chance to make light of the situation. Style’s was praised for his maturity and nonchalant attitude towards the hate and will seemingly continue to not give a second thought to those who try and tear him down.