Harry Styles Smashes Gender Norms



Harry Styles graces the cover of Vogue

  Famous singer and up-and-coming actor Harry Styles has made history as the first solo-male to grace the cover of American Vogue. After featuring photos of him wearing a dress, the spread has sparked conversations about the dangers of toxic masculinity. 

  Styles is known for his courageous fashion sense. He has never been afraid to break boundaries by wearing more “feminine” clothing, eclectic suits, and bright colors. Music legends such as David Bowie, Prince, and Freddie Mercury also experimented with makeup and clothes at the height of their careers. These fearless men helped pave the way for singers like Harry Styles. 

  While his fans admired him for boldly expressing himself, others took notice of Styles’ Vogue cover and only had negative things to say. 

  Conservative commentator and author Candace Owens took to social media to discuss her distaste with the magazine cover. Owens said in a recent tweet, “There is no society that can survive without strong men… It is an outright attack. Bring back manly men.” She went on to post multiple videos on other social media outlets about the photo of Styles. 

  The wave of conservative support for Owens’ social media rant is not only disheartening; it is destructive. Pieces of fabric held together by thread do not have an assigned gender. Continuing to push the narrative that men must either adhere to gender norms or they are weak is extremely detrimental to our society. 

  Ryan Cawley is a freshman at Green Hope High School in Cary. He has been participating in dance, a female-dominated sport, for eight years. When asked about his experiences over the years Cawley shared, “I did feel uncomfortable at first. There is a lot of unwarranted stigma surrounding the idea of men in dance. As I have gotten older and matured, I have come to realize that as long as I am enjoying what I am doing, what others say does not affect me.”

  Gender roles that were put in place decades ago have stigmatized the idea of men openly expressing emotions, dressing how they want, or participating in “unmanly” activities. This spread of toxic masculinity is unnecessary and counterproductive to the efforts of gender equality. 

  This is not the first time Harry Styles has been berated for his lifestyle choices, and it will not be the last; but as people insult the history-making Vogue cover, Styles will continue to push the boundaries in both his iconic fashion and chart-topping music.