Harry Styles is recreating manly men
"Bring back manly men," said Harry Styles.
Sharing a photo of himself donning a ruffled powder blue suit with a banana in his mouth, Styles took a swipe at the recent comments of Candace Owens, the conservative political commentator who took issue with the singer's latest Vogue cover.
On it, Styles was photographed wearing a dress. But not just any dress - a Gucci ballgown paired with a blazer. He was also blowing up a balloon.
It was the first time that a man had ever graced the cover of Vogue solo, but it wasn't this that Owens (and a good few others) took issue with - it was the fact that a man was wearing a dress, and that people were enjoying it.
“There is no society that can survive without strong men," she said.
"The East knows this. In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack. Bring back manly men.”
But what does it mean to be "manly" anyway?
To provide? To be burly? To wear sweat pants and wife beaters, or the 100th straight cut tuxedo (black) that the world has seen this year?
Styles, and many other men, are redefining what it means to be manly. Just as femininity can be encompassing of all genders, all styles, and irrespective of whether you shave your pits or not, maniless should not be restricted only to those who dress how men have always dressed, and act how men have always acted.
If masculinity means strength, then it must also mean emotional intelligence, empathy, and the ability to grow. It must mean challenging preconceived notions about how men are "supposed' to act. It must mean having the balls to wear a Gucci dress on the cover of Vogue.
What society needs from men is changing, but that does not mean that masculinity must become obsolete. Rather, it's being recreated to make way for a new generation of men who know what it means to be comfortable without being possessive, to be strong without being forceful.
As time goes by, it becomes increasingly clear that there is little room for the policing of style, of expression, or of those who want to challenge societal norms that have for too long restrained men and women alike.
There is, however, room for these men, there is room for other men, and there is room for the men in dresses.