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IN THE NEWS THIS WEEK: Harry Styles too stylish for some

It’s not the first time we’ve seen ex-One Direction pop star Harry Styles on the front cover of a famous publication however Styles has made history this week by being the first ever male to appear solo on the front page of the highly reputable U.S. Vogue Magazine.

Styles appearance on the cover of the December issue, was unfortunately overshadowed by harsh criticism – something the former One Direction front man has been subjected to before. The singer was photographed in a full-length Gucci dress and black blazer captioned “Harry Styles, Making His Own Rules” leading to a substantial amount of backlash. One notable example included conservative US author Candice Owens tweeting “bring back manly men” among other negative comments concerning feminine men.

Despite the negative criticism, the popstar received an array of positive responses, including many high profile individuals applauding his courage to take on gender stereo types and the barriers that exist of toxic masculinity to become “the face of gender-neutral fashion”.

With the media still influencing our perception of gender roles in society, Style’s appearance on the front cover of Vogue could enforce a monumental shift to this perception. Irrespective of the reactions to the high-profile piece, positive or negative, the publicity Vogue has received has once again started the conversation on gender stereotypes worldwide, a substantial factor in encouraging change in society.

As a male working within a PR agency and overall in a largely female dominated profession, I have seen first-hand the pressures that come from putting yourself out there in an environment with the risk of emasculating criticism… Potentially not on quite such a big a scale! But as Styles suggests in the interview that partnered the controversial photoshoot, when you allow such criticism act as a barrier, “you’re just limiting yourself”.

Regardless of the responses Styles received, nothing can be taken away from the historical significance of becoming the first ever male to star on the cover of the hugely popular fashion publication. And with the last name Styles, it would seem to be a good fit!

By Michael Fitness – PR and Influencer Coordinator at InsideOut PR and #AsSeenON

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