Our TikTok Video Went Viral, Here Is Why.
In a video posted to our TikTok last week, we talked about Harry Styles’ Vogue US December 2020 cover which was revealed on November 13. Harry Styles became the first non-female solo Vogue Cover Star. What is especially great about it is that he starred on the cover in a dress. The musician has certainly faced obstacles for challenging gender norms and still gets criticized by many days today. But it is safe to say that Harry Styles may be the most praised ‘trailblazer’ for breaking gender norms. In our TikTok video, we felt it was important to question whether black male and non-binary artists receive similar praise for doing the same thing, and having done so for many years already.
In our video, we listed names of black celebrities who challenged/challenge gender norms like Prince, Miss J. Alexander, Dennis Rodman, Yves Tumor, and many more and asked TikTokers for their opinion. 600,000 views, 170,000+ likes, and 2300+ comments later, it’s safe to say we got it. While there were comments which were ignorant, many contributed positively to the conversation.
User @theannoyingbottom wrote that this conversation is about race “because POC are ignored and their voices aren’t heard.” Others wanted to talk about Jaden Smith, and the media backlash he received for trying to challenge norms, user @zarria.peterson even going as far as to say people “bullied him to the point where he doesn’t even dress the same.”
TikTokers also pointed to Asian idols, user @d4n133.3 wrote that “Asian idols have been doing this for years now, the difference is that it’s focused on eastern fashion rather than western.”
Even devoted Harry Styles fans addressed the difference in representation, like user @cerealfan that wrote although they love Harry “it’s ignorant to not think that he gets more praise than minorities when it comes to fashion.”
We really enjoyed reading through the comments and are thankful that so many of you contributed to a positive conversation. It’s safe to say that despite receiving some uneducated answers, many in the TikTok community agreed with us as to the lack of attention that black male and non-binary artists receive.
What’s important now is not only to continue highlighting the work of POC but also to understand why they are often overlooked in the first place in the realm of fashion. From western history to a lack of diversity within the upper echelons, we must continue to fight for a more inclusive world of fashion.
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