As a Fashion and Beauty blogger and enthusiast, award shows, fashion shows and celebrity events are exciting moments to follow and write about. We love to talk about who stars are wearing, our opinions on their dresses and how good their makeup and hair looks. There are countless blogs, magazine articles and TV shows all about red carpets and runways. However, there is often a misconception in society that if a girl enjoys talking or reading about these things then she is superficial, brainless and vain. But just because we enjoy to indulge in these things doesn’t necessarily mean we are superficial, shallow or don’t have a grasp on the deeper things in life.
Comedian Amy Poehler has recently teamed up with The Representation Project to promote the #AskHerMore campaign, due to her growing tired of women just being asked “who are you wearing?” in red carpet interviews. Joan Rivers originally came up with the phrase and it has been used on the red carpet ever since. Many people are interested in who a celebrity wears and who designed their gown, hence why every female celebrity is asked the famous question. And understandably so; fashion can be seen as a work of art by designers and celebrities spend hours finding and putting together the perfect look for one big event.
However, the issue at hand is that women on the red carpet are only asked about their clothes and never asked about more important or deeper topics, compared to their male counterparts. It’s ok to ask about pretty dresses and fashion as long as you ask about the woman wearing them too. The Representation Project posted about the campaign in February 2014 on their blog, saying “We’re using the hashtag on Twitter to send suggested questions to reporters, in real-time, whenever they risk devaluing the accomplishments of women in Hollywood, and to spark deeper conversations in front of a national television audience.”
Before the Oscars 2015, Reese Witherspoon showed her support for the campaign to #AskHerMore on her Instagram and Facebook page. She posted a picture of questions that should be asked more as well as explaining that the #AskHerMore campaign is “meant to inspire reporters to ask creative questions on the red carpet” such as “what accomplishment are you most proud of?” and “what potential do filmmakers and characters have to make change in the world?”.
Kerry Washington also had some wise words to say on the red carpet when asked about the #AskHerMore campaign. When asked about the campaign she said “I think it’s great to kind of highlight the fact that women are multifaceted — that we can talk about the world as much as we can talk about our gowns.”
This isn’t the first time celebrities have spoken up about sexism within the media. During an interview for Spider Man, Emma Stone was asked about her hair and her boyfriend Andrew Garfield commented that he is never asked questions like that. Emma then said “You get asked interesting, poignant questions because you are a boy”. Similarly Scarlett Johansson responded to an interview saying “I get the rabbit food question” when asked about her diet compared to the deeper questions about character that Robert Downey Jr. was asked. Cate Blanchett also famously interrupted an interview to ask “do you do that to the guys?”, when a camera panned up and down her body on the red carpet. Celebrities such as Julianne Moore and Jennifer Aniston have also refused to take part in the “mani-cam” during interviews.
Sadly, there are many examples of how sexism does still exist in many areas in our society, despite the great accomplishments made by women, and the red carpet example is only a small one. For example, in her acceptance speech for the Best Supporting Actress award, Patricia Arquette highlighted that many women still do not receive equal pay to men. Although she has been criticized for complaining about the wages of multi-millionaire actresses, the basic messages of “wage equality” and “equal rights for women” in the speech still stand and are important issues that need to be tackled.
The #AskHerMore campaign isn’t rejecting talking about fashion and beauty altogether. It is correctly highlighting that there should be more equality with the questions women are asked compared to men, with less focus on their bodies or appearance. Just because someone likes fashion doesn’t also mean they are less intelligent or don’t have strong views on world issues. Women have an opinion too, and it’s about time it was fully heard and respected.
(Picture Souces: mic.com, storify.com, Upworthy, thewrap.com, DailyMail)