Making Sense of Debates on Harry Style’s Fashion with Religious Studies: Authority, Legitimation, and Authenticity

Callie Mastin graduated this August with a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and International Studies with a minor in French. Callie was a student in REL 105 with Professor Griffin in Spring 2022.

Harry Styles on the cover of Vogue magazine.

It’s no secret that Harry Style’s use of gender non-conforming fashion is a hotly debated topic. When Styles, wearing a custom Gucci dress, appeared on the front cover of Vogue as the first solo male cover in Vogue’s history, both fans’ and critics’ reactions were mixed. While some people appraised Styles for breaking down traditional barriers between men’s and women’s fashion, others accused Styles of appropriating non-binary fashion. Over the course of the last unit in our semester, we have explored Martin’s concepts of legitimation, authority, and authenticity claims as they relate to religion and other cultural concepts or phenomena. For the purposes of this blog, the ways in which Martin’s concepts can be applied to the discourse surrounding Harry Styles’s Vogue cover will be analyzed.

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