Let's Talk About "Manly Men"

A little over a week ago, the heartthrob we all know as Harry Styles posed in a dress for December's issue of Vogue Magazine. This photoshoot sparked major controversy online, specifically led by a woman named Candace Owens. 

Candace Owens is not an unfamiliar name in some households (some bad, some good), especially if you scroll on social media daily, so she does indeed have quite the Twitter following. The day after the Vogue photos were released on social media, Candace tweeted out, "There is no society that can survive without strong men." and finished the lengthy tweet by saying "Bring back manly men."

As you all know, gender nonconforming behavior is becoming more and more normalized in society, including becoming normalized in mass and pop culture. This type of personal freedom becoming more and more prevalent has also led to intense discrimination towards those who identify as something outside of the gender norm, in person and online. Even if the person truly identifies with their gender on their birth certificate and also happens to choose to embrace the feminine/masculine sides of themselves equally, they receive extreme discriminatory reactions from others. It's still a relatively new way of living for a lot of people and takes some accommodation due to how some were raised and other's beliefs, but that doesn't take away the fact that people, including Harry Styles, still have every right to express themselves in how they choose to dress.

Not to mention the other legendary men who explored outside of the gender binary that have left a long-lasting impression on the younger generation today. These men also happened to have been called out by Candace Owens and have been called "unstable" in their choices to create wonderful outfits and looks while ignoring the "Women's" and "Men's" signs in stores. These men happen to be Freddie Mercury and Kurt Cobain, huge household names even years after their deaths, (which somehow Candace Owens managed to connect their deaths to them dressing outside of the gender norm—that's not how it works. People are not defined by a single trait, and how you dress does not affect that.)

In a time where we're in the middle of a global pandemic and not even a month after the most hectic election date, there should be less focus on degrading a man for what he chose to wear for a fancy photoshoot and more on the actual serious problems occurring.

If wearing clothes outside of your gender norm makes you feel fantastic, I say "go for it". You get to decide the labels you give yourself, in the case that you feel comfortable giving yourself any labels at all. 

Society can and will survive if Harry Styles wants to wear a dress and frolic in a field of flowers.