A Man On The Cover Of Vogue After 88 Years!
We know we are a week late on this already, but let’s talk about it anyway. This is a big deal not only for the magazine or the aforementioned man but also for the direction in which human society and its culture is evolving.
Wait, what’s up?
So for those of you who are still living under a rock, Harry Styles has graced the cover of the Vogue magazine for its December issue. And ever since the photos have been put out by the magazine, Harry Styles on the cover of Vogue has broken the internet.
So what’s the big deal with Harry Styles’ Vogue cover?
The big deal is that he’s the first man to feature on the cover solo. This means that though men have featured on the magazine’s cover before, it has never been a solo photo. The interesting thing is that this monthly magazine has been in existence since 1892, that’s 128 years.
Though, we would like to mention that Vogue was initially a newspaper, and then transformed into a magazine exclusively for women only in 1909. Its first cover with a coloured photograph came out in 1932, so we guess it would be more accurate to say that this is the first time in Vogue’s 88 years that it has put a man solo; since it started putting out such covers.
Wow, what is he wearing?
If you look up the cover, you can see that he’s wearing a dress with a blazer. And it’s not just his cover photo outfit that is making news, there are many more photos of him wearing what we conventionally consider women’s outfit on the other pages of the magazine.
What can we observe here?
Well, one thing for sure is that the world is evolving. Male celebrities are going more gender neutral, rather than sticking to typical men’s clothing. With eboys sporting nail paints and long hair, to pop icons not leaving out traditionally women’s attire from their fashion choices, this new androgynous phenomenon has gained more acceptance in pop culture than ever before.
It has allowed men to explore fashion and try out new things. This is a luxury men did not have earlier. Only a handful of them dared to venture out in this territory (for instance, David Bowie).
Firstly, a lot of times clothing as a form of expression is dismissed off as a means of fuelling vanity, and something that men, especially, are not supposed to look towards. Men are expected to not put the effort into how they look, and the only time they are expected to do so are during formal events. And formal wear for men includes the classic pant-suit, and now the kurta and half jacket in some places.
Secondly, women have all options open for them, but the case is not the same for men. Women can wear conventional women’s clothes and typical men’s clothes as well. If a man was to wear women’s clothes or tried putting on makeup, he can prepare himself to be laughed at.
And thus, the fashion industry focuses mostly on styling and experimenting with women. This creative industry kept itself inside the box that said – fashion was meant for women only. Even though we did have new trends surface for men sometimes, they were seldom and were usually not very different from what was already existing. Subsequently, fashion magazines stuck with women on their covers, because that was the audience they were appealing to.
What does this say about men’s fashion?
Harry Styles reached his global fame when he was a part of the boyband One Direction. Currently on a hiatus since 2015, the band members are carrying on with their individual activities. It was only then that Styles started experimenting with his style, as he was not sure whether doing so would be a good idea when he was a part of the band. It’s kinda funny how just some items of clothing were something a man had to think twice about because he thought that it could affect his and his bandmates’ careers.
According to the interview in this Vogue issue, Harry Styles has mentioned how he thinks that women’s clothes are amazing. We can all agree that some of the women’s dresses do seem quite airy and comfortable. Not only that, they look like a lot of effort has been put into making them, whether it is the silhouettes they create or the eye pleasing prints they come in.
And we aren’t just talking about high fashion clothes, this is about the daily wear that is available to women as well. Whereas as for men, it’s just usually a tee or a shirt or maximum a kurta that is available for daily wear, and most of them don’t even have detailed prints or designs. Let alone daily wear, even men’s fancy clothes aren’t that fancy. Fashion designers need to come up with something for men.
A note to fashion magazines:
Please do something like this more often! It helps people get out of the box that we have been put inside where only certain things are available for each gender. Fluidity will allow individuals to be who they are, feel less guilty about how they are, allow their personalities to blossom, and subsequently become the best human being. Because it is only happy individuals who are the most productive, help others and help the world grow.
Also, you all will only help yourself grow as well, as you’ll end up creating a larger audience, larger customer base and demand for your products. Thus, this is not only good for social progress but is also highly prudential for the fashion industry.
A thank you note to Vogue and Harry Styles:
Thank you for doing this. It must have taken a good amount of courage to experiment with something like this and put it out to the scrutiny of the world. We are pretty sure this effort has given a boy or man somewhere more confidence, made a parent or a friend more accepting, and a community more open. Because in the end, the world should allow individuals this simple liberty to wear what they like.