#MeToo and dressing for defiance at the Golden Globes

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will know all about the significance of this year’s Golden Globes to women around the world, in the acting industry and beyond. This year, instead of actresses making statements with their fashion choices, they made a statement with just a colour and a message.

Dressed all in black and loaded with bullets of reprimand to kill, these ladies, and happily their male counterparts, proved that time is up for “the elephant not in the room”, Harvey Weinstein. Not to mention all of the other men who have harassed and assaulted female actresses.

While Natalie Portman made the jab, “and here are the all-male nominees” for the Best Director award, Oprah wowed with her Lifetime Achievement acceptance speech. She promised that “a new day is on the horizon” for all the young girls watching, impressing the fact that #TimesUp will be no passing trend but a lasting legacy in the entertainment industry. Dressed all in black, the men wearing their #TimesUp pins and the women donning their defiance, a refreshing sense of unity and support dominated the evening. Indeed, there were few red carpet interviews which didn’t engage with the movement.

However, the Time’s Up dress code was not the only fashion choice to raise attention at the Golden Globes, as several female attendees raised uproar on Twitter for choosing to dress in bright colours, accusing them of deliberately sabotaging the movement. Bianca Blanco received particular abuse for her slashed red dress, with Twitter users asking “aren’t we tired of this brand of sexy?” and claiming that “to show up in a gown that’s not only bright red but extremely skimpy seems like a crass f*ck-you to the whole movement.” However, others were quick to use the social media platform to point out the hypocrisy in judging women for their risqué outfit choices. Ellen Shockey on Twitter pointed out that “words like ‘skimpy’, ‘slutty’, ‘nasty’ and implying someone is a ‘stripper’ due to how much skin they’re showing stem from the exact attitude towards women that caused the #TimesUp movement. This kind of attack on her body and how she’s chosen to present it is NOT ALRIGHT.” Blanco herself also responded to her critics, explaining that in her culture, black is considered an inappropriate colour for celebratory events, and reminding users that “the issue is bigger than my dress colour #TIMESUP.” Indeed, it would seem that her critics shot themselves in the foot for shaming her for her fashion choices when the whole point of the Time’s Up movement is to bring attention to the inappropriate commodification and objectification of women in the entertainment industry. Blanco was still making a valid stance in support of the movement.

Indeed, there was much talk of hypocrisy at the event, even among those staying true to the dress code. James Franco, winner of Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his part in The Disaster Artist, was heavily criticised for wearing black and a #TimesUp badge when he himself has been accused by various women in the industry of sexual harassment and assault. Meanwhile, Lena Dunham was admonished for attending the Time’s Up meeting and posing for a photo, despite not having taken part in the initiative.

Overall, this year’s Golden Globes made waves quite unlike it ever has before. Beyond Time’s Up, highlights included the emotional standing ovation for presenter Kirk Douglas, aged 101, for his outstanding services to the industry, and Hugh Jackman’s face when he realised he’d lost to James Franco for the Best Actor award (and the inevitable meme frenzy that will follow). The 2018 Golden Globes are sure to be creating a storm for a long time, and will go down in history for its potent political message.

Image: Surdumihail via Picabay

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