“I’ll go in shops sometimes, and I just find myself looking at the women’s clothes thinking they’re amazing,” he said in the interview. “There’s so much joy to be had in playing with clothes. I’ve never really thought too much about what it means—it just becomes this extended part of creating something.”
“Now I’ll put on something that feels really flamboyant, and I don’t feel crazy wearing it,” Styles continued. “Clothes are there to have fun with and experiment with and play with. What’s really exciting is that all of these lines are just kind of crumbling away.”
And, while clothing isn’t gendered, that hasn’t stopped U.S. conservative dimwits from feeling “threatened” by Styles’s new looks, labelling it as the end of masculinity as they knew it… lol. Candace Owens, a Black Republican and right-wing commentator, called the pictures an “outright attack” on society 🙄 before declaring that society needs to “bring back manly men.” Elsewhere, alt-right commentator and anti-"WAP"-per Ben Shapiro called the fire fits a “referendum on masculinity for men to don floofy dresses,”—1) as if that is a bad thing, 2) it hasn't been happening for decades, 3) pack it up plain t-shirt and jeans wearing Ben Shapiro, it’s called fashion sweetie 💅.
Anyway, a number of celebrities and Styles stan accounts have come forward to defend our boy for expressing himself, including Olivia Wilde and Elijah Wood, but it’s Logan Paul that has us most surprised. The infamous YouTuber brought up the reaction to the Vogue cover story on a recent episode of his podcast, Impaulsive, where he explained that the people criticising Styles might not really understand what it means to be “manly.”
“What is manly to you,” he asked. “What does it mean? Is manly like being comfortable in your own skin and being comfortable with who you are? Regardless of what people think about what you’re wearing?”
Then, when his co-host George Janko said the cover wasn’t “manly,” Paul popped off and let him have it.
“You’re the type of person that will look at it and say ‘No, man gotta be a man, can’t wear dresses.' Suck a d**k bro! I would do this in a heartbeat.”
“I’m listening to you telling me you ‘don’t wanna judge people’ and then watching you judge people,” he added. “So, yeah. I’m listening. I’m not getting angry. I’m just calling you out for your flaw.”
As a Gen Z-er, it feels weird to see this become such a controversial discussion catapulted into the zeitgeist. (So much so, that I wrote about it for Syrup.) On TikTok, we have boys embracing their femininity, dressing up in skirts and crop tops, donning bomb dot com makeup looks, and not shying away from talking about their feelings. As Elijah Wood put it best, “masculinity alone does not make a man.”
Header image source: Jerrod Harris and Karwai Tang, Getty Images.