Written By: Nicole Chedraoui
There are two known rules to the universe. You don’t wear socks to bed, and you don’t say bad things about Harry Styles on Twitter. You just don’t. Well a lady by the name of Candace Owens, thought that she could somehow defy the laws of the universe and come for stylistic legend Harry Styles. This is how it went.
I suppose before I get into the whole scandal, I should give you some backstory. Harry Styles–world renowned singer, songwriter, and former member of the smash band One Direction–is pretty much known for being uncontroversial. Styles’ whole brand is “Treat People with Kindness,” which is a community he has created for his fans, reminding them to always keep an open mind and think before you judge. Styles is known for his positive disposition, and with his 10 years in fame, he has remained largely unproblematic. From old legends to rising artists, Styles has quite literally only left positive impressions on those around him. Stevie Nicks has described Styles as the most kind and grounded young man she has ever met, calling him the son she never had with not a singular toxic bone in his body. So the moral of the story, Harry Styles is basically the human version of a Golden Retriever.
Styles is the epitome of a modern man, with an open mind, endless creativity, and a love for all things fashion, expression, and gender-fluidity. In the beginning of his career, you wouldn’t see Styles clad in anything else besides a pair of black jeans and a white tee. It was really towards the end of One Direction that Styles began to blossom into his unique and fashionable self. It’s no secret that One Direction’s management was very limiting and judgmental towards this progressive idea of feminine men, and because of this, Styles found himself in a cycle of self-loathing and internal conflict. So you can imagine how beautiful it was for Harries around the world to see Styles grow in his love for feminine fashion, as well as his love for himself. From his electric yellow and purple suit at the Brits to his black ruffled and lace suit at the Met Gala, it’s safe to say Harry has finally embraced a feminine style that not only looks incredible on him, but truly makes him feel good. However, perhaps his most daring fashion statement yet came with the announcement of Harry’s cover appearance on the 2020 Issue of Vogue. Harry is the first solo male to ever appear on the cover of american “Vogue,” and proud would be an understatement to fans and celebs all around the world.
The cover consisted of boujee apparel from some of the world’s top designers, and call me biased, but I don’t think Harold has ever looked better. Clad in a blue, long, ruffley-ball-gown, Styles was really eating up the camera and all of our hearts. From beautiful ball gowns to patterned skirted kilts and luxurious white tulle skirts, nobody had ever seen Styles glow in such a way of happiness, style, and power. In this issue of Vogue, Styles was interviewed about his life thus far, and what it’s like to be a feminine male in today’s society. Styles says,” I think if you get something that you feel amazing in, it’s like a superhero outfit. Clothes are there to have fun with and experiment with and play with,” the 26-year-old explained. “What’s really exciting is that all of these lines are just kind of crumbling away. 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…It’s like anything — anytime you’re putting barriers up in your own life, you’re just limiting yourself. There’s so much joy to be had in playing with clothes.” So, obviously, even just through this one excerpt, you can tell that Styles doesn’t look at fashion as something that should be limited to gender, that clothes themselves really don’t have a gender, they are simply just fabric used for expression. It’s safe to say it was a good day to be a Harry Styles stan, and for the first few days, all he received was praise from fan, and people who have never listened to him alike. So obviously, thus far you are probably confused on what the big scandal is. A man chooses to wear feminine clothing. Simply fabric that flows down your body. Well, the internet stayed a positive and welcoming community until one fateful day Candace Owens, a conservative commentator, got a hold of Harry Styles Vogue photoshoot snapshots.
Appalled is an understatement to define what Owens felt when she saw these pictures. She downright stated that Harry Styles wearing this dress was an attack on America and an attack on manly men. So obviously, since we all wanted to hear her hate on a newfound happy human being, *please sense my sarcasm*, she took to Twitter to completely annihilate the photoshoot. She first posted a video on her Instagram story expressing how “This is the last thing America needs right now.” Later she tweeted, “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.” Whew. I am going to give you a few seconds to digest that. As I said in the beginning of this article, if there is one thing you don’t do in this universe, it’s come for Harry Edward Styles. The media simply exploded. Fox News, CNN, BBC, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok alike, the whole world was simply stunned. Because this wasn’t a matter of Candace Owens hating on Harry Styles; no, this was so much bigger, this was Candace Owens hating on men expressing femininity. A whirlwind of politicians and pristine members of Hollywood alike immediately voiced their opinions on this attack.
It’s only appropriate to start with those who agreed with Candace first, because let’s just say if we were to compare those who agreed vs disagree, the majority of the world pretty much tore Candace to shreds. Up first, we have no other than Ben Shapiro! Good Ol’ Ben had probably the most to say after finding these posts and subtweeted Candace when voicing his opinions. First up, he retweeted Matt Walsh in his tweet that stated: “Candace Owens is trending because a bunch of whiney idiots are mad that she said men who wear dresses aren’t manly. Her statement, of course, is true and utterly self-evident, and would have provoked no other reaction as recently as a decade ago.” Ben later goes on and says, “the Left knows this of COURSE. The point of Styles doing this photo shoot is to feminize masculinity. Otherwise why would it be headline worthy for Styles to don a dress?” To that I say, Shapiro underestimates how loved Harry Styles is, for no matter what he wore, this photoshoot was going to be headline worthy. He later said, “What Candace Owens says is perfectly obvious. Anyone who pretends that it is not a referendum on masculinity for men to don floofy dresses is treating you as a full-on-idiot. Pretending that men dressing like women does not feminize men is ridiculous, particularly coming from the same people who are celebrating Styles BECAUSE he is feminizing masculinity.” Whew, who knew men wearing a different type of fabric could get someone so angry, amirite? NOW, let’s move on to Donald Trump Jr.; yeah you heard that right, the President’s son literally had something to say about this too. He retweeted a picture on an old man in a dress and said, “Us gender-normative bigots just don’t get it,” with a laughing emoji. Clearly he was trying to make a point that he finds it funny people are calling him a bigot because the hateful behavior he was exhibiting clearly doesn’t make him a bigot (I really hope you guys sense my sarcasm). Honestly, if you ask me, these politicians should have more important things to worry about, like, I don’t know, the global pandemic that continues to kill millions, but clearly focusing on Harry Styles Vogue photoshoot was the more pressing matter this week. Now, I think it’s time we talk about all of the love and support Harry has received.
Amidst all of this grief, it truly is incredible and beautiful to see all of the love that was shown Style’s way after Candace. To none of the fans’ surprise, Style’s has stayed quiet about this situation because, if there is one thing we know about him, he doesn’t like to give attention to negativity, and he truly is our “Treat People With Kindness” king. The first to comment on this situation is renown Hollywood actor and director Olivia Wilde, who is closely working with Harry right now as she is directing the upcoming film Don’t Worry Darling, where Harry has the leading role. Once Olivia saw this Tweet she kept it sweet and short, simply stating, “You’re Pathetic.” Elijah Wood from Lord of the Rings later tweeted, “I think you’ve missed the definition of what a man is. Masculinity alone does not make a man…in fact, it’s got nothing to do with it.” Star Jammela Jamil from The Good Place also joined in, “Harry Styles is plenty manly, because manly is whatever you want it to be, not what some insecure, toxic, woman-hating, homophobic *bleep* decided it was hundreds of years ago. He’s 104% perfect,” Jamil tweeted. Actor Zach Braff also came to Styles defense and posted a photo of Styles in a dress and said: “Our whole lives boys and men are told we need to be manly. Life is short. Be whatever the heck you want to be.”
Perhaps the most surprising supporter of Harry is no other than Logan Paul. While he doesn’t have the most clean reputation on the internet, he certainly gained a lot of respect in his recent Impaulsive podcast episode when he stated, “What is manly to you? 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?”
Those receipts are only some of the millions of positive tweets he received; Harry seriously broke the internet. People who have never even met/cared about him jumped onto this scandal feet first because truly it isn’t about Harry at all–it’s about Candace and people villanzing men expressing femininity. Long story short, Candace was absolutely destroyed. But was she going to take this L? ABSOLUTELY NOT, no Candace Owens clapped back harder on a 9 minutes Instagram story, and allow me to introduce you to some of the highlights. “Alright guys, Bring. Back. Manly. Men. Who would’ve known that would’ve caused an absolute firestorm?” Candance sweety, you know what you were getting yourself into, but anyway continuing. “Of course this caused a firestorm because the left hates anything normal. If there is anything that looks remotely normal, the left sees it and they want to tear it down. First off, let me just clarify something, when I originally tweeted about this, this was not an attack on Harry Styles.” Hmm, okay Miss Candace.
“Harry just happened to be the man in the dress, but really it was more of an attack on Vogue and this culture in general that is trying to be shoved down our throats. Women should want to go to work, you don’t need a man, shave your head, dye it pink, make yourself ugly, right? Because that’s feminism!” Candace stated. Candace, sweetie, feminism is defined as “the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.” And as for “make yourself ugly, that’s feminism!” I feel bad that society has led you to believe that is what feminism is. I hope Candace knows that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it most certainly is not to be judged on societal standards. Anyway, she continued by saying, “Terms like ‘toxic masculinity’ were created by toxic females. Real women don’t do fake feminism. Sorry, I’m not sorry. If I see a man in a dress, I think he’s a crackhead. If you see a man on the streets wearing a dress, you assume they have mental issues”, she stated. I will leave this up for your interpretation, but I have never once thought this when I have seen a man in a dress. “I would never allow my kids near a man that is wearing a dress, but I don’t need to pretend that this kind of stuff is normal, because it’s not normal, nothing about this is normal. For everyone that keeps throwing me these rockers that wore dresses, okay they were also all on drugs! Do you think a man wearing a dress is really happy? No! Of course not! They had mental issues”, Candace exclaimed. Yes, because the correlation between what you wear affects your chemical imbalances, look out guys, don’t wear ruffled fabric, it will give you depression! She ended her rant by simply saying, “Sorry, not sorry.” Well Candance Owens, I believe you should say sorry. I understand having different opinions, and I understand that maybe some people have been raised in environments that don’t support the feminization of men. What I will never, ever, condone, is hating on an innocent human being, millions of innocent human beings actually, because this wasn’t just about Harry, this was about all of the men around the world who are brave enough to be themselves.
Life is too short. Wear whatever you want.
The Herald loves you no matter what, so wear whatever the heck makes you feel good.