Conservative political pundit Candace Owens faced backlash after criticizing musician Harry Styles for his groundbreaking appearance on the issue of US Vogue.
Breaking gender norms, the former One Direction member wore a Gucci dress for the photoshoot and became the first-ever male solo model to grace the cover of the popular fashion magazine.
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“There’s so much joy to be had in playing with clothes,” said the 26-year-old in the magazine’s interview.
“I’ve never thought too much about what it means–it just becomes this extended part of creating something.”
But Owens, a staunch Trump ally who notoriously encouraged Black and Latino voters to register as Republicans, disagreed with the “Watermelon Sugar” singer’s point of view.
“There is no society that can survive without strong men,” she tweeted.
“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.”
There is no society that can survive without strong men. 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. https://t.co/sY4IJF7VkK
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) November 14, 2020
Fans of Styles, including celebrity admirers like Elijah Wood and Olivia Wilde, were quick to defend the singer and shut down the conservative firebrand.
i think you’ve missed the definition of what a man is. masculinity alone does not make a man
— Elijah Wood (@elijahwood) November 16, 2020
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) November 16, 2020
SO TRUE OLIVIA pic.twitter.com/Hx2gDbC5IR
— masa (@bbyfaceharry) November 16, 2020
Harry Styles can pull/lift 500 pounds with just his upper body. That’s more than enough to handle the dead weight of your career, Candace.
— claudia (@romiioi) November 15, 2020
harry styles is doing everything right. so funny to see these conservative people getting so heated because he’s pushing gender norms in the dopest way. MEN AND WOMEN CAN DRESS HOWEVER THEY WANT. it’s 2020. shut up, your small mindedness is showing.
— Jonah • WHY DON’T WE (@JonahMarais) November 16, 2020
I truly feel sorry for people who are scared of a man taking a pic in a dress but who aren’t scared of an out of control pandemic of Orange Monster who is truly threatening our way of life. Priorities, I guess.
— Adam Newman (@adamnewman1) November 16, 2020
ay yo we can critique her homophobic + misogynistic narrative without bashing her looks. take the high road baybee
— matt (@mattjbernstein) November 16, 2020
Candace Owens really thinks that The harry styles needs her opinion. He can wear whatever he wants pants skirts dresses shorts it's none of your business. It's really sad that is the 21st century people are still close minded like that. He is on VOGUE honey deal with it. pic.twitter.com/OAqx4PCH7h
— not_harry_styles (@Yyyyy26481452) November 16, 2020
Writer Brandon Friedman challenged Owens’s notion of “manly men” by referencing the recent marches led by White nationalist groups like the Proud Boys.
Assuming Candace's definition of "manly men" means those most capable of attracting a suitable female mate, I'm pretty sure Harry Styles will fare 100% better in a dress than any of the body armor-wearing losers wandering city streets whining about not being replaced https://t.co/pUBZoL7EXE
— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) November 16, 2020
Meanwhile, fans continued to give the singer high praise for flawlessly owning his sartorial elegance.
Harry Styles in a dress, blesses my eyes everytime! pic.twitter.com/VvGoDmtXw3
— alone.enola._ (@alone_enola_) November 16, 2020
It’s such a joy watching @Harry_Styles following the footsteps of many music icons (Prince, Bowie, @gracejones, @AnnieLennox, Freddie Mercury, Kurt Cobain, etc etc) who’ve shown that that clothes don’t have a #gender! https://t.co/k0ZDDYnkrO
— Julie Tarney (she/her) (@MySonWearsHeels) November 16, 2020
Good morning to Harry Styles slaying in a dress on the cover of Vogue and a reminder to wear WHATEVER makes you happy pic.twitter.com/J8VXOsGH9h
— mace ᴴ ◟̽◞̽ (@cuntrolharold) November 16, 2020
Harry Styles looks amazing in everything he wears and i stand by that. pic.twitter.com/WFNqgStbYq
— vas happenin (@vas_happeniinn) November 16, 2020
Harry Styles is plenty manly, because manly is whatever you want it to be, not what some insecure, toxic, woman-hating, homophobic dickheads decided it was hundreds of years ago. He’s 104% perfect. 🤘🏽
— Jameela Jamil 🌈 (@jameelajamil) November 16, 2020
SAY IT LOUDER. LOOK AT THE POWER HE HOLDS. pic.twitter.com/qr6gyxoo3p
— em ᴴ ♡ ᴰᵂᴰ (@adoreyouharrye) November 16, 2020
In the Vogue profile, Styles―who has never come out as LGBTQ―said he loved to dress up in women’s clothes and isn’t concerned about societal conventions around male and female fashion.
“Clothes are there to have fun with and experiment with and play with… when you take away ‘There’s clothes for men and there’s clothes for women,’ once you remove any barriers, obviously you open up the arena in which you can play.”
“I’ll go in shops sometimes, and I just find myself looking at the women’s clothes thinking they’re amazing.”
And he looks absolutely ravishing in dresses, no matter what narrow-minded individuals may think.