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Harry Styles made history as the first solo man to appear on the cover of Vogue. In the December 2020 issue set to come out on Nov. 24, Styles, the former member of One Direction, discusses his life during COVID-19 and his creative process. Digitally, Styles also treats viewers to an acoustic version of his song “Cherry” with an accompanying cover video.
Styles has much to be proud of in his career, sell- ing over 70 million One Direction records, touring around the world as a solo artist and even acting in the oscar-nominated film Dunkirk. Aside from his countless achievements, something that is truly special about Styles is not only his raw talent and contagious personality but his sense of fashion and ability to break societal norms.
In his cover photoshoot, Styles sports a Gucci light-blue lace dress, kilted skirts and mix-and-match patterns. Of course, no look of Styles would be complete without accessorizing with multiple rings and nail polish. According to vogue.com, Styles said, “There’s so much joy to be had in playing with clothes. I’ve never thought too much about what it means—it just becomes this extended part of creating something.”
His joy in experimenting with fashion is evident not only in his Vogue cover shoot but also in his fashion history. Whether it was coming to the 2019 Met Gala in a black sheer shirt with a bow tie and pearl earring or dressing in extravagant suits while on tour, Styles has never shied away from making bold fashion choices. It is these choices that have made Styles a fashion icon and symbol for embracing one’s true self.
In society, clothes are often associated with gender: dresses are for girls, and suits are for boys. Jewelry and sequins are feminine, and blazers are masculine. In his fashion choices, Styles transcends these stereotypes. He dresses in what he feels best in, regardless of how others perceive it. In his Vogue interview, Styles said, “I’ll put on something that feels really flamboyant, and I don’t feel crazy wearing it. I think if you get something that you feel amazing in, it’s like a superhero outfit.”
By dressing in traditionally feminine clothes and becoming the first man to be featured on the cover of Vogue by himself, Styles shows that we as a society need to stop looking at everything in terms of gender. If a boy wants to rock a pink dress studded in diamonds, that’s amazing. If a girl wants to don a sleek black suit, that’s wonderful.
It is role models and rule-breakers like Styles who help society progress into a more inclusive and creative place. I hope that boys and girls around the world learn from Styles and allow themselves to be just as fearless, unique and authentic as he is.