It’s no secret that women have always been scrutinised by the media for their appearances, and that this can be seen at it’s worst within celebrity culture. But the good news is that we are taking baby steps towards a more equal future. In the light of International Women’s Day, which will take place on Sunday March 8th, the stars themselves are speaking out about the way women are treated in the entertainment industry. The latest social media trend – #AskHerMore – aims to pick apart just one aspect of male-female inequality by questioning why many of the talented women who have walked the red carpet for decades aren’t asked about anything beyond their style.
The hashtag #AskHerMore was designed by The Representation Project to discourage the traditional question “Who are you wearing?” and urges reporters to ask women on the red carpet more about their accomplishments, aspirations and creative endeavours. It asks journalists to press more personal or ‘creative’ questions ranging from “What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken that you feel has paid off?” to “What potential do filmmakers and characters have to make change in the world?” and has been quickly gaining traction with both men and women on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram over the past week.
It’s by no means sexist to ask a woman what designer she’s wearing on the red carpet, particularly as the Academy Awards exude extravagance all over, the gowns are often beautiful enough to claim a certain spotlight of their own, and many of the stars have also previously agreed to promote the designers of their dresses, jewellery and accessories. However, when it’s the only question that women are asked at an event created to celebrate the hard work and talents of both men and women in the creative industry, it’s time to take a step back and ask whether there are some more creative, empowering, and overall more interesting questions which can be put forward.
Reese Witherspoon actually used her appearance at the Oscars to publicise the campaign, following a beautiful post of her outfit for the evening with a post on Instagram in which she announced that she’d love to have the opportunity to answer some more exciting and personal questions this year, and stating “There are so many amazing, talented nominees this year..! Let’s hear their stories”.
Diane Kruger also supported the trend, stating at the 2015 Elle Style Awards that she is bored with the questions she is typically asked on the red carpet and telling one reporter directly “There are so many things I think you would ask a man that you wouldn’t ask a woman… I’m not saying it needs to be super-deep and intense all the time, but it would be nice, as a woman, to be asked other things.”Diane is just one of a number of actresses who have highlighted the importance of #AskHerMore in 2015, along with Patricia Arquette, who spoke out about the importance of equal pay for women during her acceptance speech at the Oscars this year.
This movement matters as it is just another step towards gender equality in the public eye, and a reminder that even something as simple as a hashtag can make a difference to the way women are treated by the media. This year, the celebrity couture outfits of the Oscars were breathtaking, and events like this are a wonderful excuse for the stars to dress up and show the world how fabulous they can look, but let’s be honest – would any reporter stop at asking Leonardo DiCaprio what outfit he was wearing and for a close-up of his fingers for the Mani-Cam? #AskHerMore is about shifting the focus of the media from looks alone to the achievements and opinions of the stars – both male and female – who work hard for the awards they are given each year. In the words of Reese Witherspoon, “This is a movement to say we’re more than just our dresses.”
Photo Credits: newsdaily.com