Harry Styles: Blurred Lines, Genderless Norms

Harry Styles made history this weekend, as he became the first man to appear solo on the December cover of the Vogue magazine. Not only that, but he also posed wearing dresses and skirts, generating a lot of reactions.

Harry Styles has always been all about tearing down gender norms, there’s no boundaries, especially within fashion. For him, there’s nothing more important than being true to himself. He embraces all parts of himself. What Harry likes, Harry wears, no matter what.

“If I see a nice shirt and get told, ‘But it’s for ladies.’ I think: ‘Okaaay? Doesn’t make me want to wear it less though.” – Harry Styles for teenVogue 2019

Style’s wardrobe ranges from pants, long coats to dresses, skirts, ruffles, and pearls. He’s definitely not trying to draw attention, as he expressed he just think it looks cool. Harry is just trying to have the time of his life and have fun with his style (no pun intended). There’s not really a meaning behind why he uses clothes that are designed for women, he’s just simply having fun.

“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.” -Harry Styles, Vogue 2020

His sister, Gemma Styles, said in the Vogue interview that while she hated when their mom dressed them up as kids, Harry always loved it. He added that he always liked fancy dresses and he would participate in school plays for the sake of using tights.

Wearing whatever he likes is a matter of appreciating fashion and style, and of course, having fun. Harry’s philosophy is that if you like it, you should wear it and rock it, no matter if it’s too loud, if it’s too colorful, or too flamboyant; if you feel amazing in it, wear it and feel like the world is yours.

Just like his music, Harry was finding out his identity as a solo artist in his first album, tumbling around. In his second album he was more experimental and freer, and it also reflects on his clothes. Style said we’re in a time to open up, learn, and listen. There’s no need to be one thing or another, today is more about to be good, which has led to loosen the parameters in fashion and other fields. The lines that divide what’s for who are already blurring. He encourages everyone to not set up barriers and stop limiting yourself, just embrace your likings.

In 2019, Harry Styles was asked if he identified himself with any sexuality and he expressed he has never felt the need to do so, reminding us that it’s okay not to label yourself. Identity is an evolutionary process.

“The moment you feel more comfortable with yourself, it all becomes a lot easier.” –  Harry Styles for teenVogue 2019

Designers confirm Harry is redefining what means to be a man with confidence; without toxic masculinity, embracing his feminine side naturally. In fact, he thinks there’s much masculinity in being feminine, as looking vulnerable and delicate makes you elegant in some sort of way.

Harry has been in touch with his feminine side since little, we could say it’s already a habit. For him, gender norms are merely a social construct, he was taught to be whoever he wants to be and to be comfortable with himself. And it should be like that for everyone. The world needs to start normalizing these aspects and start breaking the norms of “pink for girls, blue for boys”.

Harry is definitely an inspiration for those who might be afraid of embracing their preferences. And like him, there are many artists who also are not afraid of embracing their feminine side, take Bad Bunny for example. He likes to paint his nails, weas pink clothes, and even dressed up as a woman for his video ‘Yo Perreo Sola’. This doesn’t mean he’s less manly, he just likes having fun.

Bad Bunny for his MV ‘Yo Perreo Sola’

BTS is another example. For one of the versions of their album Map of the Soul: Persona, they appear wearing elements that are associated with women such as pearls, sandals, purses, and pink clothes. Asian men are usually used to this, since they even wear makeup on a daily basis. When the Asian culture started to become popular on the Western side, people went crazy and quickly labeled them. For Asian men, wearing makeup is so normal that not wearing it makes you the weirdo. Their skincare routine is stricter than girl’s. The primordial thing for them is to look clean. It’s not being a girl, is a matter of hygiene!

BTS for Map of the Soul: Persona

Nowadays, we see more boys with painted nails and even wearing nail art. There are more guys not ashamed of liking colors that usually are associated with women. This generation came to break the norm and I think that’s amazing! This generation is more focused in creating a better world than being preoccupied if a person uses skirt or pants.