Stop praising male celebrities like Harry Styles and Kanye for wearing heels. They are not heels.

Stop praising male celebrities like Harry Styles and Kanye for wearing heels. They are not heels.
Harry Styles at his ‘Dunkirk’ premiere ANGELA WEISS/Getty Images
Harry Styles at his ‘Dunkirk’ premiere ANGELA WEISS/Getty Images
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If you’ve scrolled through any given fashion website these past few days, you’d think Harry Styles was the most progressive embracer of dressing outside gender norms on the planet, here to save us from gendered, boring, structured clothes for the rest of eternity.

You see, the man has been wearing shoes that are not entirely flat, like these little red ones, which he wore to the London premiere of his film Dunkirk.

Harry Styles at the London premiere for ‘Dunkirk’
Harry Styles at the London premiere for ‘Dunkirk’ AP Images
Harry Styles at the London premiere for ‘Dunkirk’
Harry Styles at the London premiere for ‘Dunkirk’ Vianney Le Caer/AP

And these rather fabulous Gucci rainbow shoes, which he wore doing press for the film in California.

Harry Styles doing press for ‘Dunkirk’
Harry Styles doing press for ‘Dunkirk’ Getty Images
Harry Styles (and his shoes) doing press for ‘Dunkirk’
Harry Styles (and his shoes) doing press for ‘Dunkirk’ Getty Images

That, you see, has lead to headlines like: “Harry Styles Wore Heels and People Are Freaking Out,” and “Harry Styles Is Wearing Rainbow HEELS, and My Wig Has Been Snatched,” which one outlet really did write when they shared the post online.

For a bit of clarification: Are these shoes great? Yes. Are they heels? No, they are not. They, if anything, are shoes that feature a higher stacked heel. They are not heels. This little mix-up as to what really constitutes a heel in this modern era is something we’ve been seeing for a while now, with outlets bending over backwards to praise any man who dares to wear a boot with a heel higher than a quarter of an inch.

In April, Vogue wrote an entire article about it. “Should Men Wear Heels? Why Kanye, Justin Bieber and Harry Styles Are On To Something,” the article was titled, and then they showed pictures of West, Bieber and Styles all wearing boots with the slightest bit of height at the heel.

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Harry Styles performing in 2016
Harry Styles performing in 2016 Getty Images
Justin Bieber out in 2017
Justin Bieber out in 2017 Getty Images

Even Marco Rubio got credit from Vogue for wearing heels.

Marco Rubio not wearing heels while campaigning in 2016
Marco Rubio not wearing heels while campaigning in 2016 AP Images

None of these are heels; they are merely boots. If a woman were to wear these shoes, they’d be identified as boots. If you go on Asos right now, you can see that a ton of their boots for men come with a little height in the back, because that’s how some boots are made. But these are not heels, nor will they ever be.

Some Asos boots
Some Asos boots Asos

Perhaps the most frustrating aspect isn’t the boots themselves but the way these stories are so often framed. Men wearing heels is not some radical act, or statement on gender norms. In reality, men have been wearing heels for hundreds of years.

It’s really not a biggie. Famous men in heels have made it to red carpets before. Remember American Horror Story’s Denis O’Hare at the Golden Globes in 2016?

Denis O’Hare at the 2016 Golden Globes
Denis O’Hare at the 2016 Golden Globes Jordan Strauss/AP

That was a man in heels — looking absolutely wonderful, might we add.

Men in true heels have made fabulous appearances on runways, too.

A model in the Hood By Air Fall 2016 show at New York Fashion Week
A model in the Hood By Air Fall 2016 show at New York Fashion Week Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

And in music videos:

Source: YouTube

Men in heels aren’t some foreign concept, or an impossible feat.

Rather than waste our time on this, let’s normalize the idea of men in real pumps please, and then Vogue can write that trend piece.