Who are you wearing?

This story has also been published in the Emery Weal, SAIT’s weekly newspaper.

Does red carpet attire promote sexism?

Cate Blanchett walks onto the red carpet, wearing an all-blue gown as reporters incessantly ask, “Who are you wearing?”

The cameras flash over and over to catch the latest commodity of the day. They follow the walking advertisement until they find something newer and better.

Sequinned dress by designer Zuhair Murad. (Photo by Miriam Johnston/SAIT Polytechnic)
Sequinned dress by designer Zuhair Murad. (Photo by Miriam Johnston/SAIT Polytechnic)

Meanwhile, Leonardo DiCaprio is asked about the making of The Revenant and the culmination of his career. The cameras zoom in on his face, showing how proud he is of his accomplishments.

For the past two years, the #AskHerMore campaign has been largely supported by female celebrities such as Reese Witherspoon and Cate Blanchett.

The campaign encourages reporters to start asking female celebrities more, other than what they’re wearing, and even to steer clear of asking about their attire altogether.

It seemed as if the campaign was a success at the 88th Academy Awards on Feb. 28, as almost no reporters asked or mentioned what an actress was wearing directly to their faces.

Reporter Robin Roberts even mentioned that she was sorry for “breaking protocol” when complimenting Cate Blanchett’s dress.

The Oscar’s host, Chris Rock, controversially made fun of the movement, both provoking outrage from supporters and sparking arguments as to why it doesn’t really matter.

“You’re not allowed to ask the women what they’re wearing anymore,” he said. “It’s a whole thing, ‘Ask her more.’”

He continued on to poke fun at the campaign saying, “they ask men more because the men are all wearing the same outfits.”

“If George Clooney showed up with a lime green tux and a swan coming out of his ass, someone would go, ‘Hey, what you wearing George?”

Feminists who support the movement took to the Internet to express outrage at the host who was supposed to address the lack of black nominees and instead chose to attack another group of people.

Now, many of these people try to express that the movement itself isn’t really saying stop asking women what they’re wearing, but instead that women should be asked the same and as many pertinent questions as their male co-stars.

As a member and great supporter of a group that is systematically discriminated against, it’s hard to believe that Rock would support any kind of discrimination, even portraying female celebrities just as walking mannequins.

Ricardo Patiño, a business administration student at SAIT, said he thinks that asking a woman what she’s wearing is rude.

“I think those kinds of questions are impolite, even more so in a show such as the Academy Awards,” said Patiño.

“However, we also have to look at the intention of the reporters when they were asking the questions.”

Should fashion be completely excluded from red carpet events? One might wonder what the point of the red carpet would be.

It is also important to ask why the same celebrities still dress in beautiful designer clothes if they don’t want to be asked about them.

We all know that if they didn’t, they would get ripped apart and talked about on the next episode of Fashion Police.

No matter how hard they try to avoid attention and talk about what really matters, their attire would be the focus.

The campaign is not simply about clothing, it is an example. This movement is trying to stop sexism in one of the most visible places on earth: Hollywood.

Hollywood needs to take a stand and show the world that it needs to follow suit.

This story has been illustrated by my vine, it is featured on my blog, Who are you wearing?: Vine