At the Screen Actors Guild Awards® (or indeed, any other award show) there is a tremendous amount of oohing and ahhing over what the ladies are wearing. The men? Not so much. Did anyone ask Bradley Cooper what stylist did his hair or where his cufflinks were from? Did anyone mention to Leo DiCaprio that they’d like to see the state of his nails on the E! News “mani-cam?” Nope. Because the reporters were all too busy asking them questions about their performances in their respective nominated movies — What was it like working with Dave and Marty again? What’s up next, work wise? etc…
Let’s face it: That’s what guys talk about, while women are reduced to discussing their frocks and jewels. Why is this? I felt a massive sigh of relief when I read that Oscar®-winner and straight-talking Aussie actress, Cate Blanchett, called out the predictable, yet casual, red carpet sexism she experienced.
The Blue Jasmine star noticed that a camera had aimed to capture her from the bottom of her dazzling Givenchy gown all the way up her body. Quickly crouching down to stop the camera operator mid-act, she wagged her finger at him and asked, “Do you do that to the guys?” At the time, Blanchett was being interviewed by E! News‘ Giuliana Rancic. The Glam Cam (as it is known) is there to capture the amazing designs that the stars wear to such award occasions. Isn’t it affronting that women seem to be celebrated for what they are wearing, rather than what they have achieved in their careers? Let’s not forget that Blanchett has received an Oscar®, three SAG Awards®, and three Golden Globes®. Plus by attending such a ceremony, is it fair that women are objectified with cameras leering over every move they make? Isn’t that just one step away from the paparazzi trying to take revealing photos of female celebs exiting cars “gracefully”?
When Blanchett was promoting Blue Jasmine in London last September, she told Sky News: “I’m reading a book by [Australian feminist writer] Anne Summers called The Misogyny Factor, and I feel that all of the steps forward that we’ve made … a lot of those have been rescinded. [...] Conservatism is affecting the way women perceive who they are in this world.”
Meanwhile award-winning writer Caitlin Moran in her 2011 book How to Be a Woman concluded that feminism would be succeeded, “when a woman goes up to collect the Oscar® for Best Actress in shoes that aren’t killing her. Nicole Kidman in flip-flops. That’s my end-point.” Moran may joke, but we all know the pain high-heeled shoes can bring, especially ones that we’ve never worn before. Yet celebrities appear to be under immense pressure to look an ideal way — both in the shape they’re in and in what they wear. Why aren’t they bucking the trend and throwing on a pair of comfy sneakers that will have them dancing through ’til dawn? So far, Kristen Stewart is the only actress I’ve noticed to have ditched the heels for a pair of old Converses.
I salute any woman in the public eye who chooses to stand up to the blatant difference in expectations we have put between the sexes. A woman who isn’t afraid to call out any reporter for asking surface questions about her appearance without asking about her craft, her experiences, or her successes first. I’m not saying that us ladies don’t love a great frock or drool over the perfect heel — all I’m saying is we’re not just the sum of these parts.
Photo credit: Pacific Coast News