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I’m sure if you have opened any social media app, specifically Twitter, in the last couple of weeks, then you have seen the iconic Harry Styles and the photoshoot he did with Vogue.

Why is this such a big deal you may ask? Well, Styles just so happened to be wearing a dress on the cover, and there are many people who have said that this is an issue. 

But what exactly is the issue here?

woman staning barefoot in a flower garden holding a basket of yellow flowers
Jill Wellington/Pexels

The issue with this, for some people, is the fact that he is a man in a dress. That this somehow emasculates him and makes him too feminine, but there is nothing wrong with a male who is in touch with femininity. But in fact, this photoshoot has now become revolutionary.

This is the first time vogue has ever featured a solo photoshoot of a man in a dress and skirts, paving a major path for gender-fluidity and just the overall concept that clothes should not be gendered.

People should be free to wear whatever they want. Clothes have no gender.

Harry Styles Martini

This photoshoot, while may not seem like much at first glance, has helped the conversation of masculinity and femininity shift, as it has been doing so in the last couple of years. The expression of the people has become more broad and expansive, and this photoshoot represents that movement from the once binary way of thinking into now more broad.

It is an even greater deal because of the magazine it was in, Vogue has been known to not care for gender-fluidity and androgynous clothing in the past. This marks a great achievement in the discussion of masculinity and femininity, as a once “nonsupporter” of gender fluidity has now put a man in a dress on their front cover.

Rihanna on Vogue magazine
Photo by Charissie Kenion from Unsplash

The issue that stands is whether or not people want to grow and progress to see that gender is a social construct, and therefore so are clothes. There are those stuck in the past, where only womxn wear dresses and men wear suits, and they believe that this is unacceptable; but it is due to the normalcy of the times in which they wore that. The norm was once that only womxn should wear dresses, but that has changed. The progression of understanding gender has only begun and will continue to grow, as there is more of an acceptance of this type of thing than there once was. 

It should not matter what someone else is choosing to wear, if you believe they look ridiculous, then you leave them to be ridiculous, but do not force someone to wear what they are not comfortable and happy in. Clothes are a form of self-expression and should not have to rely on the topic of gender, we should be able to freely express ourselves as any gender. Clothes have no gender, so let Harry Styles wear a dress if he wants to, because frankly, he looks great in it.

Jade Zuniga

UC Riverside '24

I am a first-year Psychology major who is looking to improve my writing skills. I love listening to music, watching movies, drinking boba, and playing with my cats.
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