Harry Styles Once Revealed How Redefining Masculinity to Embrace Vulnerability Made Him Better Songwriter
Harry Styles has emerged as a trailblazer who encourages the need for vulnerability in the ever-changing world of modern masculinity. Let's dive into Styles' journey to redefining masculinity, which eventually led to better songwriting.
Styles made headlines in 2018 and 2019 for his remarks about masculinity and the significance of vulnerability in his life. These conversations revealed not only his evolution but also the changing societal conventions and expectations around gender and identity.
One of the most profound effects of Styles' effort to redefine masculinity was visible in his lyrics, per Bustle. Styles discussed the transforming effect of being transparent and vulnerable in his creative process in a 2019 Rolling Stone profile. "I’m discovering how much better it makes me feel to be open with friends,” Styles said. “Feeling that vulnerability, rather than holding everything in." He stated that allowing oneself to be vulnerable rather than suppressing his emotions has a significant impact on his songs.
Styles went on to say that his music became a vehicle for him to express a wide spectrum of feelings, from happiness to despair, from self-pity to self-reflection. He said, “For me, it doesn’t mean I’ll sit down and be like, ‘This is what I have for dinner, and this is where I eat every day, and this is what I do before I go to bed. But I will tell you that I can be really pathetic when I’m jealous. Feeling happier than I’ve ever been, sadder than I’ve ever been, feeling sorry for myself, being mad at myself, being petty and pitiful — it feels really different to share that.”
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Styles revealed, “I feel pretty lucky to have a group of friends who are guys who would talk about their emotions and be really open. My friend’s dad said to me, ‘You guys are so much better at it than we are. I never had friends I could really talk to. It’s good that you guys have each other because you talk about real sh*t. We just didn’t.’”
Styles revealed his unorthodox upbringing with Timothée Chalamet for Vice's i-D in November 2018, having been raised mostly by his mother and sister. He admitted that his upbringing was not typical of the classic "man's man" atmosphere. During this period, Styles began to question traditional ideals of masculinity, leading to a more thorough understanding of himself.
Styles added, "You have this idea of what being masculine is and as you grow up and experience more of the world, you become more comfortable with who you are. Today it’s easier to embrace masculinity in so many different things. I definitely find – through music, writing, talking with friends, and being open – that some of the times when I feel most confident is when I’m allowing myself to be vulnerable. It’s something that I definitely try and do."
Styles redefined masculinity beyond his music. It showed itself in his dress choices as well as his overall aesthetic expression. Styles rose to prominence for his gender-fluid fashion style, which challenged established notions of what men should wear. Styles' flowered outfits or his Met Gala performance in a black-laced Gucci ensemble demonstrated a courageous dedication to self-expression. Designers and fashion fans praised him for his sense of self-expression and ability to communicate via clothing.
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