Liam Payne smacks down fragile trolls whining over Harry Styles wearing a gorgeous ballgown

Harry Styles and Liam Payne

Liam Payne has spoken out to smack down trolls attacking his former One Direction bandmate Harry Styles for wearing dresses.

Styles has followed in the footsteps of many, many, many musicians before him by embracing gender-fluidity in his clothing, speaking about his love of dresses in November as he graced the front cover of Vogue in a tiered ballgown.

The singer’s choice of clothing inevitable anger from Donald Trump’s internet fan club, with right-wing mouthpieces Ben Shapiro and Candace Owens lashing out at Styles.

With predictable fury, Shapiro raged: “Anyone who pretends that it is not a referendum on masculinity for men to don floofy dresses is treating you as a full-on idiot… The POINT of Styles doing this photo shoot is to feminize masculinity.”

Donning a tin foil hat, Owens volunteered: “There is no society that can survive without strong men. The East knows this. In the west, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack. Bring back manly men.”

Liam Payne praises Harry Styles for ‘great’ Vogue cover

The comments led to a widespread backlash against Owens and Shapiro, with former One Direction star Liam Payne among those coming to the defence of his former bandmate.

Appearing on radio show Capital Breakfast with Roman Kemp, Payne said he thought the Vogue cover was “great”.

Harry Styles and Liam Payne of One Direction perform in 2015

Harry Styles and Liam Payne of One Direction perform in 2015 (Getty/Kevin Winter)

He added: “I think he’s enjoying himself and he’s free to do as he wishes, and, you know, I just think that people don’t need to be so bothered about stuff.

“There’s been a lot more stuff going on this year than whether or not he’s wearing the right clothes in someone else’s mind. Just let him go on with it, he’s enjoying himself.”

Praising Styles, Payne added: “He’s never really lost himself, even in spite of everything. After the band we didn’t speak for a long time, actually, and then I remember seeing him, it was actually at a Jingle Bell Ball, backstage for the first time in a long time.

“He’s still the same guy he always was when we left each other in that dressing room as the band kind of stopped for a little bit.”

Former One Direction singer has pushed back at haters

Styles posted his own oblique response to Owens last month, sharing a photo of himself in a blouse below the caption “bring back manly men”.

The picture was taken from a Variety spread, in which Styles directly addressed Owens’ remarks.

“To not wear [something] because it’s females’ clothing, you shut out a whole world of great clothes,” he said.

“And I think what’s exciting about right now is you can wear what you like. It doesn’t have to be X or Y. Those lines are becoming more and more blurred.”