Harry Styles Vogue Cover Controversy


Alexandra Fennelly, Editor-in-Chief

     In the December issue of Vogue Magazine, Harry Styles made the front cover as an influential artist. Harry Styles’ career started when he joined a boy band with Louis Tomlinson, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Zayn Malik called One Direction. In 2015, the band went on a break and hasn’t been back since. Since then, Styles had his acting debut in the film “Dunkirk” in 2017 and has released two albums, “Harry Styles” and “Fine Line”. His most recent album “Fine Line” has gotten a lot of recognition on the radio and throughout his fan base, earning him three Grammy nominations and the title of Variety’s “Hitmaker of the Year.”

     Throughout Styles’ career, he has always been someone who was comfortable in his skin and has always shown his authentic self. On the recent cover of Vogue, one outfit of his  stirred up some backlash. The image was of him in a dress. At first, the responses were just from people who supported him and they loved it. They admired how comfortable he was with clothing and looked up  to him for that.

      Then, a tweet from author and political activist Candace Owens went viral. “Bring Back Manly Men” was the tweet in response to the magazine cover that caused outrage with people, who said that the definition of manly is not represented by a person’s clothing. The fact that we are still dealing with gender stereotypes in 2020 is very upsetting. The comment made by  Owens was not only unnecessary, but was just made to hurt someone. 

     The director of the film “Don’t Worry Darling” which Styles is acting in, Olivia Wilde, reacted by calling Owens “pathetic.” To which I agree. Owens is very outspoken with her ideas, whether they hurt someone or not. Since this post, Harry clapped back at Owens by posting another picture from his Variety shoot on Instagram and captioning it, “Bring back manly men.” Styles didn’t seem bothered by this comment, but judgmental attitude towards people because of what they are wearing can be dangerous and have negative consequences.

    I believe that clothing is clothing.  It shouldn’t matter what gender you are, or who you identify as, if you want to wear “girl’s” clothing, wear it. If you want to wear “men’s” clothes, wear them. People need to worry about themselves instead of caring about what others are wearing.   I had two questions that I would have liked to ask Owens after reading her tweet: How does Harry Styles wearing a dress affect your life? And how does tweeting this positively affect you?

     The big take-away from this Vogue magazine cover and Candace Owens’ comment is that we have a long way to go to ensure everyone is not being judged for what they wear. Wear whatever you want and don’t worry about what anyone says because the truth is that when someone criticizes your clothing, it is usually coming from insecurity.