Harry Styles’ Vogue cover left fans breathless. Now conservatives are fired up too

Pop star Harry Styles wears a blazer and Victoriana crinoline skirt for Vogue's December 2020 issue.
Pop star Harry Styles poses in a blazer and Victoriana crinoline skirt for Vogue’s December 2020 issue.
(Tyler Mitchell / Vogue)

Conservative pundits Candace Owens and Ben Shapiro are under fire after shaming pop star Harry Styles for wearing a dress on the cover of Vogue.

Thousands, including Trixie Mattel, Olivia Wilde, Bob the Drag Queen and Jameela Jamil, have slammed Owens’ and Shapiro’s controversial comments on the December issue of Vogue, which features Styles wearing a ruffled, lacy, floor-length Gucci gown and navy tuxedo jacket, among other stylish looks.

On Friday, the “Watermelon Sugar” hitmaker made history as the first man to appear solo on the cover of the fashion magazine.


“There is no society that can survive without strong men,” Owens tweeted Saturday in response to Styles’ groundbreaking photo shoot.

“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,” she added. “It is an outright attack. Bring back manly men.”

Quick to agree with Owens was her right-wing peer Shapiro, who argued on Monday, “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.”

The backlash to their remarks was swift and sharp from many who believe people have a right to dress however they choose and pointed out that clothing does not have a gender.

“You’re ignoring the fact that no society can survive without fem men, or masc women, or fem women, or people in between all of that,” tweeted “RuPaul’s Drag Race” champion Bob the Drag Queen.

“It’s almost like no society is a monolith and that’s how societies thrive ... through multiple contributions from various demographics.”

Another “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner, Mattel, warned Owens of “a big storm comin’,” while “Legendary” judge Jamil dubbed Styles’ haters “insecure, toxic, woman-hating, homophobic d—heads.” Director Wilde, who recently cast the former One Direction heartthrob in her highly anticipated sophomore film, simply called Owens “pathetic.”


“Harry Styles is plenty manly, because manly is whatever you want it to be,” Jamil tweeted. “He’s 104% perfect.”

“Also ... this was at one time considered very manly,” she added, along with a photo of “The Favourite” actor Nicholas Hoult dressed in a period costume. “Wigs, make up, tights, frills ... maybe this is the comeback of the ‘manly man.’”

Pop musician Harry Styles is the first man ever to grace a Vogue magazine cover solo, and his high-fashion photo shoot does not disappoint.

Nov. 13, 2020

In a viral Instagram post, writer and performance artist Alok Vaid-Menon weighed in on Styles’ Vogue spread — which also included vibrant overcoats, a Victoriana crinoline skirt with hot pink accents, a matching kilt and blazer, and Styles’ signature high-waisted flare pants — “while also remembering that it could only happen because of the resistance of trans femmes of color.”

“Am I happy to see Harry be celebrated for openly flouting gendered fashion norms? Yes,” Vaid-Menon wrote. “Do trans femmes of color receive praise for doing the same thing every day? No.

“Do I think this is a sign of progress of society’s evolution away from binary gender? Yes,” they added. “Do I think that white men should be upheld as the face of gender neutral fashion? No. ... Make no mistake: trans femmes of color started this and continue to face the backlash from it. ... Is that Harry’s fault? No. It’s the fault of systems of transmisogyny and racism.”


In conversation with Vogue’s Hamish Bowles, Styles credited rock legends Prince, Elton John and David Bowie with inspiring him to embrace all kinds of fashion, adding, “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,” the “Fine Line” artist said.

“Any time 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. I’ve never really thought too much about what it means — it just becomes this extended part of creating something.”

See more reactions to Styles’ inspiring cover shoot below.