Aesthetics make it to mainstream, but not our bodies: Mixed reactions emerge as Harry Styles breaks barriers to become the FIRST solo male to grace Vogue’s issue
Breaking the stereotypes, barriers, and its 128-year-old history, Vogue Magazine featured cisgender Harry Styles as its FIRST solo male coverstar on its December issue. Decked up in dressy gowns, breezy skirts and gender-fluid attire, the singer-songwriter de-categorized ‘clothes for men and women’ with his stunning photoshoot.
Styled by Camilla Nickerson, Harry rocked a ruffled tier gown and layered it with a black blazer, all from Gucci. Colourful studded rings accentuated his gender-fluid look furthermore.
For some other shots, Styles wore barrier-breaking shirts, trench-coats, tulle gowns and owned them like nobody’s business. Check out some stills from this stunning photoshoot right here:
While Vogue is pushing its limits to break the boundaries, seems like there’s a long way to go. While many praised Harry and the glossy for challenging the gender-fashion norms, others called out the magazine for keeping it a ‘white cisgender man-centric’ when the spotlight could have been given to a movement-relevant trans-person.
ok ya harry styles’ vogue cover is awesome and i love him but PLEASE dont act like he is the first to break these boundaries when queer and trans people, especially those of color, have been fighting for fluidity and free expression in fashion for decades!
— spook (@kpsapphic) November 16, 2020
Harry styles on the cover of vogue has this shallow gesture for gender neutrality in fashion , cis men using the codes of trans femmeness isn’t progressive ,it’s gestural.
— Ben Dawson (@bendawson110) November 14, 2020
not to hate on harry styles AT ALL but is everyone really celebrating the fact that vogue “finally” put its first cis man on the cover when they’ve literally never even welcomed a trans woman on it?????? just like..... why.
— xen (@notsozenxen) November 14, 2020
— an Obese Turtle Flailing on His Back (@kaitlynbufkin) November 19, 2020
Gender non-conforming writer and performance artist Alok Vaid Menon penned down a strong note saying trans femmes of color are shunned for doing the same and were ‘imprisoned by cross-dressing legislations for decades’. “Do I think that cis white men should be the face of gender-neutral fashion? No. Our aesthetics make it to the mainstream, but not our bodies. We are still dismissed as “too much” and “too queer” because we aren’t palatable enough to whiteness and heteronormativity.” read an excerpt from his post.
Though this cover marks as a stepping stone for breaking the barriers around gender-fluid dressing and representations, it’s a long journey ahead. What are your thoughts on this cover?