How is Masculinity being redefined by young people?


Seb Koehmstedt, Staff Writer

When former One Direction frontman Harry Styles appeared on the cover of Vogue, it sparked up debates and controversy across the internet. The thing is, Harry Styles wasn’t doing anything wrong. He wasn’t posing provocatively, he wasn’t making any obscene gestures. His only crime, in the eyes of the people, was his iconoclastic choice of clothing. Styles was wearing a dress.

Harry’s baby blue Gucci dress was most notably attacked by Candace Owens who said, “There is no society that can survive without strong men. The East knows this. In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack. Bring back manly men”. The response was overwhelmingly negative, and coming from a crowd that is overwhelmingly young. To quote Candace, “This is not a coincidence”.

Millennials and Gen Z have been toppling the antiquated beliefs of generations before for quite some time. Many members of the youngest generations share many of the same stances on issues such as sexuality, racism, transgender rights, and individuality.

“Harry sets a good example for expressing your individuality rather than conforming to society’s standards” said Lucas Rowe. 

Things that have long been held as taboo for men such as painting your nails or wearing jewelry, not to mention dress/skirt wearing, are now commonplace among the youngest generations.

“I don’t think clothing nor painting your nails has a gender” said Brooklynn Carlen. Many of today’s young celebrities can be seen exercising their prerogative on this topic, such as Young Thug, Jaden Smith, Ezra Miller, and Jack Dylan Grazer. 

The image of “strong men”, which was the only acceptable archetype for generations, has gradually fizzled out. As gender roles have gone out of favor and a more open-minded view of gender has been adopted, a common stereotype of how men should be and behave has gone by the wayside.

“Men not being put in a box or having to always be something they’re not is very harmful. Being who you want without labels is a necessity everyone should express” said Taylor Siplon. 

Generation Z is known for many things. They are the generation with the shortest attention span, the generation that can’t take their face out of their phones, the generation that lacks face-to-face communication skills. They are also the generation of the future, a future that, thanks to them, will be one of acceptance.