- Harry Styles appeared on the cover of Variety's 2020 Hitmakers issue and cleverly responded to conservative commentator Candace Owens, who previously called his Vogue cover — in which he posed in a dress — an "outright attack" on "manly men."
- Styles posted an image from the photoshoot on Instagram with the caption: "Bring back manly men."
- In the photo, the singer was biting into a banana while wearing a custom-made blue suit with frills.
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Harry Styles reacted to conservative commentator Candace Owen's criticism of his Vogue cover by quoting her own words.
On Wednesday, Variety released their 2020 Hitmakers issue with Styles, who they crowned the Hitmaker of the Year, on the cover. To celebrate the new cover story, the 26-year-old singer posted an image from the photoshoot on Instagram with a clever caption.
"Bring back manly men," Styles captioned the photo, which was taken by photographer Parker Woods.
In the image, the "Watermelon Sugar" singer wore a custom-made blue suit with frills from Palomo Spain as he bit a banana.
Elsewhere in the photoshoot, Styles donned clothing from Gucci, a brand that he's worked with for years.
His Instagram caption was a direct dig at Owens, who called his December 2020 Vogue cover, in which he wore a blue Gucci gown, an "outright attack" on "manly men."
"There is no society that can survive without strong men," Owens said in mid-November, quote tweeting a post from Vogue in which the singer spoke about his fashion sense and creative freedom.
"The East knows this, she added. "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. It is an outright attack. Bring back manly men."
In a follow-up tweet, Owens doubled down, saying: "I'd like to clarify what I meant when I said 'bring back manly men.' I meant: Bring back manly men."
Owens went on to receive waves of backlash as Styles' fans defended and praised his magazine cover.
Stars like Jameela Jamil, Olivia Wilde, Zach Braff, and Elijah Wood all rallied behind the "Fine Line" singer. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and controversial YouTube star Jake Paul also spoke out in support of Styles.
Styles himself addressed his Vogue cover for the first time during his Variety interview, saying: "To not wear [something] because it's females' clothing, you shut out a whole world of great clothes."
He continued: "And I think what's exciting about right now is you can wear what you like. It doesn't have to be X or Y. Those lines are becoming more and more blurred."
Fans who saw Styles' "bring back manly men" caption applauded the singer.
"Today Harry Styles proceeded to end Candace Owens by posting a picture with a banana in his mouth and captioning it 'Bring back manly men.' Best day ever," Twitter user @kiwifenty wrote.
Another fan shared a meme of Sue Sylvester from "Glee," who vowed to "create an environment that is so toxic," in an effort to take down the glee club.
In the edited meme, the quote read: "I am going to end Candace Owens' whole career."
"Firstly he owned the phrase, then he attacked with it. Can you believe how powerful this man is? like him or not, that was amazing and you have to respect him. Bring back manly men," fan @SilaTheClown said.
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