It’s safe to say any live duet between all-conquering, huge-selling music stars Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé was going to make headlines – but when the pair performed at South Africa’s 2018 Global Citizen Festival, people were less focused on the song and more on their dress sense.
While performing ‘Perfect’ at the show – held in honour of the late Nelson Mandela – Beyoncé was decked out glamorously in a large pink dress, while Ed rocked his usual combo of jeans and a t-shirt (a Hoax UK t-shirt, no less). Nothing new for either of them, then – but this sparked a debate concerning different clothing standards for men and women.
One person initially tweeted: “Ed Sheeran is a 27-year-old man. The fact we’ve enabled him to feel it’s ok to dress like this at all, let alone next to Beyoncé, really boils my piss.”
Twitter being Twitter, many people were immediately on hand to voice their opinions and lend some further perspective to the debate.
One reply was: “I get this. Even tho I appreciate good musicians in normal clothes the double standard is ridiculous… what is expected of female vs male artists.” [sic]]
Ed Sheeran And Beyoncé’s Outfits Divide Opinion On Gender Standards. Credit: Global Citizen
Meanwhile, a third person posted: “This photo is v vvv representative of what we expect from men and women at the top of their game, isn’t it?”
But it seems some people weren’t quite convinced by the argument. One user hit back: “It is OK to dress like this, it is OK to wear simple, loose fitting, casual clothing with trainers. If you attack NT folks for wearing clothes like this, then you attack us on the spectrum for wearing clothes like this.”
Another argued Beyoncé’s outfit was a bit too OTT for the performance: “Beyonce is 37 years old and the fact that we have enabled her to feel it’s ok to dress up like this at all, let alone next to Ed really boils my piz.”
Of course, the two are very different musicians – glam is Beyoncé’s go-to look just as much as Ed is famed for his more casual image – and plenty have made the argument that he’d have looked out of character dressed up in his finery.
And as one person tweeted: “Let him wear whatever he wants. He’s not doing anyone any harm.”
As if to take the piss out of the whole thing, Ed has now responded via his Instagram Stories, posting a screenshot of a news article about the furore and a link to Hoax UK’s website, captioned: “Swipe up to ‘get the look’ #dress to impress.”
Wringing every last drop of knowing irony out of the situation, he also added: “Follow @hoax1994 for more of my amazing fashion choices.” Fair play.
I suppose it could be worse – Ed could’ve decided to wear boot-cut jeans (after all, GQ said they were back). Surely that’s an image no one wants to see.
Featured Image Credit: Global Citizen