Singers Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran recently performed at the Global Citizen Festival. People aren’t talking about their performances, however, but their clothing choices.
Twitter user Shon Faye tweeted out a photo of the pair’s performance.
On stage, Beyoncé wore an extravagant pink dress, while Sheeran wore his signature outfit of sneakers, jeans, and a t-shirt layered over a long-sleeved shirt.
Faye lamented Sheeran, as a ’27 year old man’, has been ‘enabled to feel it’s ok to dress like this’, especially next to Beyoncé.
People tweeted out their agreement with Faye, pointing out this showed the double-standards of what are expected of women vs men.
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
The tweets imply that men and women are held to different expectations, especially in entertainment and celebrity industries. These opinions believe that while Sheeran is expected to wear an outfit like this, and further, allowed to, the expectations for an artist like Beyoncé, as a woman, are different.
Others disagreed with these sentiments.
yes, i too go to concerts for the singer's outfits https://t.co/VGmyYJGpQz
— hotlaps (@SirHotLaps) December 4, 2018
How this includes a conversation about autism
Another user, Ian Winter, furthered the conversation. They said criticizing clothing like Sheeran’s is a criticsm against people on the autism spectrum.
They wrote: ‘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.’
NT refers to neurotypical, or people who are not on the autism spectrum.
Winter is saying that if people criticize Sheeran, a neurotypical individual, for wearing this type of clothing, they are ‘attacking’ people on the spectrum for their similar clothing choices.
‘I know Shon is trying to shine a light on the different standards for men and women,’ Winter continued, referring to Faye’s original tweet. ‘But it shouldn’t be at the expense of us.’
For people on the autism spectrum, some clothing can feel too restrictive or uncomfortable.
More users responded to Winter, questioning bringing a discussion of ableism into a discussion about gender standards.
Beyoncé and Sheeran collaborated on the 2017 song Perfect together, a single from Sheeran’s third studio album, ÷ (aka Divide).