Through decades of neglect by popular culture, queer people have often turned to those in the media that have a voice to speak for them. From Judy Garland to Lady Gaga, professional Hags have watched over gays like fairy (no pun intended) godmother. One roach in particular who slipped through the cracks happens to be none other than X-Factor contestant, Harry Styles. A hard 28, this actor in training has proved even film does not justify his lack of charisma, once again leaving the alphabet community in disarray. But what do I know? I’m not going to see the movie.
Over the years, Styles has been known to nonchalantly wave around dinky dollar-store pride flags for a handful of minutes at his concerts. This has been met with a baffling amount praise for a from an array of people who all share the sentiment of wanting to shag him. Much like the good ol’ British chap charm that had initially landed him a career, he was consistently dodging expectation to do anything more than prance alongside a rainbow flag in a frilly top that exposed his muscles. And as his hair got longer and clothes baggier, one might expect the public request he take a shower. Instead, he was consistently cited as someone people were attracted to. It is not to say that he should be discouraged from self-expression, but he is not cutting it. From one oversized bed sheet to ill-fitting skirts with sloppy make-up, Styles has no right to fumble the fashion game so hard. Especially with the amount of money put into his stupid little brand. Instead, he has continued to latch on to his conventional looks in order to justify these baffling outfit choices, when plenty of men had been outdoing him years prior.
While Prince was fighting the restricting expectations of being a black man in America prior to the changes in discussion regarding masculinity, we now live in a world where Harry Styles gets to allude to giving head in one song and receive incessant radio play! These were men who were doing things that mainstream thought had not yet fathomed. Seeing Harry in clothes coming from 5 separate outfits feels like we are forgetting everything that has happened before him. He is not reinventing the wheel; in fact I don’t even think he’s changing the tire!
Take a more recent example in Young Thug who, like Prince before him, had to brush off constant criticism towards his fashion references through instances like his ‘Jeffrey’ album cover. He might not have been as publicly criticized the way Harry has been. However, holding this discourse in the rap community is in an arguably harder conversation to have with the rather restricting expectation for men.
On the topic of rap, no one known holds more current infamy than Canadian rapper, Drake. Perhaps it was the teenage acting career or bizarre relationships certain Stranger Things actresses, but Drake’s occasionally jarring integration into in the rap genre has brought on a slew of criticism throughout his seemingly never-ending career. But why is that his involvement with the queer community feels so wrong it’s right?
To call Drake’s allyship unique is definitely one description. Some may argue it is nonexistent. Drake is some guy, from Toronto. That should never be forgotten. However, there is no expectation for Drake to amount to anything more than some man who finds himself in various queer spaces. Yes, Drake has referred to himself as a lesbian and recently released an album using various house beats with an unmistakable oontz-oontz quality. Hell, I’m sure he’s hit on Young M.A before, I’m sure it would be difficult to resist. Who was the last lesbian Harry Styles was seen with?
Whether it was his constant collaborations with Nicki Minaj and Big Freedia to his crunchy high notes and Mariah Carey house remix sample, Drake has presented himself as someone who has incidentally existed alongside queers both big and small. Not to say he was particularly sought out, nor was he necessarily asking for it, but it somewhat feels necessary to be reminded of from time to time.
Drake’s allyship feels almost like a ‘freebie.’ Modern day representation is unlike anything culture has seen before and people like Lil Nas X and Marceline the Vampire Queen are doing more than is ever expected of Drake. Harry on the other hand feels forced down my throat everywhere I turn. If his deluded perception of Don’t Worry Darling and its impending doom has anything to say about the state of himself as an artist, here’s to hoping that the population will soon be rid of idolizing the bare minimum. And no more standing ovations for film school Timothée and his ill-fitting embarrassment of a top! No, not Armie.
Categories: matt mcgotty, news, wt staff