Weeks after wearing a dress for his Vogue Cover story, Harry Styles has responded to Candace Owens’ “manly men” comment. The conservative commentator slammed the singer’s outfit in November, taking to social media to tweet “Bring back manly men” after seeing his cover photo in the magazine. Now, in a new interview with Variety, Styles decided to hit back at her in the best way.
On December 2, the 26-year-old “Watermelon Sugar” singer took to Instagram to share a photo of himself from his Variety profile. This time, Styles was pictured wearing a gray coat cinched at the waist, with a frilly, pleated blouse peeking out from underneath—oh, and he’s eating a banana. “Bring back manly men,” he captioned the post, clearly shading Owens for her comment weeks prior.
“There is no society that can survive without strong men,” the political pundit shared on Twitter on November 14, after Vogue shared photos of Styles wearing a dress on the cover of their December issue. “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,” Owens added, before concluding, “It is an outright attack.”
Obviously, fans of the pop singer rushed to his defense following Owens sexist comments. But Styles had yet to break his silence on her remarks until now. In addition to his subtle jibe over on Instagram, the “Adore Me” crooner addressed his decision to wear whatever he wants in his interview for Variety. “To not wear [something] because it’s females’ clothing, you shut out a whole world of great clothes,” he told the publication, “And I think what’s exciting about right now is you can wear what you like.”
Styles’ response echoes what he said about his fashion preferences in his Vogue interview from weeks ago. The singer made history as the first man to ever grace the cover of the fashion magazine solo, where he was photographed by Tyler Mitchell while wearing a pale blue lace Gucci ballgown and a tuxedo jacket. “What’s really exciting is that all of these lines are just kind of crumbling away,” he said of his fashion choices. “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.”
He told the magazine, “I’ll go in shops sometimes, and I just find myself looking at the women’s clothes thinking they’re amazing. It’s like anything—anytime 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.”