The (Sexist) Problem With Tina Fey And Reese Witherspoon’s Oscars Dresses

February 29, 2016

Two women wear purple, internet breaks. Every guy wears exact same thing, no one cares.

So the Oscars are over, and they were just as spectacular as they always are. With Chris Rock’s pointed hosting job highlighting the whiteness of pretty much everything, the triumph of Mad Max taking six awards, and the elation the world felt as the sublime Leonardo DiCaprio finally took home the golden statue, you’d think there’d be plenty to talk about. However, for some reason unbeknownst to both God and man, the story of the night was something quite different…

Tina Fey and Reese Witherspoon wore similar dresses, and now the internet is broken.

Yep, T-Fey and R-Wiz rocked up to the awards looking hot AF, but in pretty identical purple strapless dresses. In any other industry, this wouldn’t be such a big deal. However, in the world of Hollywood, which is an excruciatingly visual universe, it’s the equivalent to finding life on Mars. Articles gently criticising their stylists are being penned left, right and centre, the ‘who wore it better?’ trolls are coming out to play, and the dreaded meme monsters are starting to rear their ugly heads – because two actresses wearing the same dress at an awards show is apparently worth this much attention.

And the most ironic part? Every single man on the red carpet (also looking hot AF) was wearing pretty much the exact same thing as each other. And, as per usual, nobody has said a word.

Notice a common thread?
Notice a common thread?

The issue of actresses being judged on their appearance before their craft has been a hot topic over the past couple of years. Cate Blanchett famously dissed reporters last year when they asked her about her dress, prompting them instead to pose her a deeper question. This obsession with female fashion even got to the point where the media brought out a ‘mani cam’ (a little camera allowing actresses to show off their perfectly manicured nails) at last year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards.

Here’s the thing: I actually don’t have a problem with actresses being asked about their gowns while on show. If you wear something that gorgeous, people are going to want to know who the heck made it. I know I do. My issue is the lack of interest in anything other than the frock and jewels. On the flip side, men in Hollywood, who, contrary to popular belief, also rely on looking a certain way to get a role, spend just as much time, effort and money perfecting their appearance for the paparazzi. It’s not in the name of vanity, it’s their job to look fabulous – but these particular professional efforts are ignored.

So my solution is this: ask women about their dresses, but also ask them about their characters, craft, hopes, dreams, goals as an actress – you know, everything men get hounded about. And by the same token, ask men about their suits, designers, hair and the rest of their general appearance, as well as questions relating to their performance.

As in every profession involving men and women, actors and actresses do the same job. That job involves a combination of looks and talent. Therefore, it stands to reason both genders should be asked questions about each. Oh, and leave Tina and Reese alone – if girlfriend wants to flaunt purple, girlfriend should be allowed to do it.

Comment: Do you care what women think about the roles they play? Or would you just rather hear them talk about their fashion choices?


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