On Sunday Ed Sheeran and Beyoncé performed a duet at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 in Johannesburg. The performance went well, but the internet was soon in an uproar about the artists’ very different outfits, igniting a gender debate.
While Beyoncé wore a bright pink ruffle dress by Ashi Studio, Sheeran performed in his signature casual look: jeans, sneakers and two layered crewneck shirts. Twitter users claimed the contrast showed a gender-based double standard in the music industry.
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. https://t.co/xLEcNXVuX7
— Fat in Public (@garlicmeg) December 4, 2018
This photo is v v v v representative of what we expect from men and women at the top of their game, isn’t it? https://t.co/cfeLw8n1aI
— Daniel (@sillyolddaniel) December 4, 2018
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 pic.twitter.com/Q6XqgTFuvQ
— shon faye. (@shonfaye) December 4, 2018
Others argued that the outfits were simply representative of the stars’ different celebrity images — and had nothing to do with gender.
It ain’t that deep, Beyoncé likes showing off her outfits, always has, while Ed Sheeran is a casual guy who wears casual outfits no matter the circumstance, quit making everything a gender issue in our society it’s the reason there are so many issues in the first place
— Lee (@lee2525rickard) December 4, 2018
Nobody is EXPECTING a woman to dress like that. Beyoncé chooses to because she has gave herself that image. Ed Sheeran is being himself and not conforming to “standards” .. surely that’s the better of the two??? I hate people pic.twitter.com/0nFhvH3zne
— Kato (@alsoknownaskato) December 4, 2018
Others criticized complaints aimed at Sheeran for what he wore.
let him wear whatever he wants. He’s not doing anyone any harm. https://t.co/XTU1bbdJ8M
— Naomigalloway (@mattebitch) December 4, 2018
As for Beyoncé, she didn’t look bothered at all by the dramatic difference between their outfits and seemed much more concerned with Sheeran hitting the right notes during the performance.
The way Beyonce opened her eyes when he messed up that note 😭 pic.twitter.com/9X42s4SRJb
— KARREUCHE WALLY (@eloenzeeo) December 3, 2018
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