The Academy Awards, or The Oscars, are Hollywood’s biggest event of the year. Actors, actresses, and other members of Hollywood’s elite join together in a night to celebrate the best of the best in movies and film. The Oscars are always pretty entertaining to watch on some level, even if they do seem to drag on for hours.
Before the awards even start, press surrounds the red carpet outside the theater, talking to all of the celebrities they can get their camera on. They ask actors, “what was your favorite part of filming?” or “what inspired you to do this role?” Meanwhile, the actresses get asked the really hard-hitting questions such as, “what are you wearing” or “how did you lose all that weight for your role?”
While society is getting better about sexist remarks in the media towards both men and women, there are certain special occasions where societal norms are remembered in Hollywood, mainly at award shows. While men get asked questions of significance and meaning by the press, women mainly get asked about their choice of fashion and make-up choices.
Many actresses and even actors are stepping outside of their societal norms taking action against the gender targeted questions they are so frequently asked. Anne Hathaway has frequently spoken out against the questions about her body and her appearance while speaking to reporters about her role in “Les Miserables.”
While speaking to “Today Show” host Matt Lauer the day after Hathaway suffered a wardrobe malfunction which was caught on camera, that seemed to be all Lauer wanted to talk about with Hathaway. Hathaway played Fantine in “Les Misérables,” a single mother who turns to selling her body to keep her daughter alive. While Hathaway did acknowledge that the malfunction had in fact happened, she brought the subject back to her character, Fantine, and how she is “sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants,” Hathaway said.
What would happen if the Hollywood press asked these same questions to actors? During the red carpet press during this years’ Academy Awards, popular website, BuzzFeed, asked “House of Cards” actor, Kevin Spacey, the questions that actresses frequently have to answer on the red carpet. You can tell by his responses that Spacey is taken aback by the questions. He’s probably thinking, “Season 2 of ‘House of Cards’ just came out and all you can think to ask me is about my hair?”
Welcome to the club, Spacey.
If more actresses like Hathaway decided to speak up against the questions about their bodies, make-up, and fashion choices, I think reporters would stop asking these silly questions when female celebrities have so much more to talk about in their lives. Or, if the press decides to keep pestering female celebrities with questions about their appearance, they need to make the actors feel at home, too, as BuzzFeed so wonderfully did with Spacey.
Little girls who are aspiring to be actresses or dream of a life in Hollywood should be able to watch the Oscars and know it’s not their appearance that matters, but their talent and passion for their work instead.