KORENICH: Double Standard in Hollywood

KORENICH: Double Standard in Hollywood

As social media becomes more prevalent in everyday life, what individuals post is judged more harshly. Instagram is all about crafting a perfect image. Celebrities use Instagram, as well as other sites, to post about their daily life, spread awareness about their favorite brands and products and announce their album releases. Photos that celebrities post always get a lot of attention, no matter what the image may be. Unfortunately, photos that female celebrities post are critiqued while similar photos that male celebrities post are praised.

Everyone has scrolled through Instagram and seen a shirtless pic of someone like Justin Bieber. Scrolling down the comment section, there are tons of comments complementing the celebrity on their appearance. Similarly, look at the comments on a photo of Selena Gomez or Demi Lovato, in which the celebrities are scantily clad and the comments section is full of comments putting the female celebrity down and questioning her decision to post such a revealing photograph. Social media is one of the platforms where the double standards in Hollywood are most prevalent.

It is hard for celebrities to face constant negative feedback, and these comments can serve as a bad message for their followers. If young people follow a female celebrity who is constantly being berated for the photos they post, it sends them the message that they shouldn’t dress like that, and, if they do, they will be fiercely judged.  In a world where social media already establishes an “ideal” body image, especially for girls, this is a terrible reinforcement. And even more so, this is far too similar to people always asking the question “what was she wearing,” after someone was sexually assaulted.

These examples move over to the red carpet, as well. Walking down the red carpet, women are asked who they are wearing, who did their hair and what makeup products they use. In comparison, men are asked about more in depth topics such as their roles in upcoming movies or other outside projects they are working on, rather than just their relationship status or what designer they are wearing. Women are valued for what they wear, while males are valued for their accomplishments.

Male celebrity red carpet interviews are always about their work in film, music or whatever their talent may be. Females rarely get asked about topics surrounding their actual work; and if they do, it’s after they have already answered the questions about their wardrobe. While many people might be interested in knowing about the beautiful gowns and dresses that these celebrities are wearing, it is still a bad reinforcement of the idea that women only matter for their appearance.

In 2014, Nicole Kidman refused to answer Ryan Seacrest when he asked who she was wearing. She even went as far as to pretend she did not understand the question. This and other instances led to the creation of the #AskHerMore campaign, started by the Representation Project in an effort to get women on the red carpet to be asked deeper questions.

In the tabloids, many articles feature a female star who has gained weight — critiquing how they gained those extra few pounds over Thanksgiving or still haven’t lost their baby weight. Although men are criticized for their weight as well, it is much less frequent and often only when there is significant weight gain rather than just a few pounds. Women seem to be watched much more carefully for their weight than men are. After tabloids critiqued Tyra Banks’ weight gain in a photo of her in a bathing suit, she clapped back on her show in front of a live audience with her eloquent speech about body positivity.

Female celebrities are also more judged for topics such as their marital status, why they do or don’t want to have children and the age of who they are dating. This goes back to the comparison of men being the only ones who get asked detailed questions about their actual work.

In general, there is definitely a double standard in Hollywood for how men are treated versus women. It seems like this has been going on for ages, and it is hard to say if it will change anytime soon. With more and more women’s equality movements going on, perhaps sometime soon this Hollywood double standard will be addressed.

In an attempt to flip the script, Elle.com has started asking men similar questions on the red carpet such as, “How did you get ready?” Chris Pratt spoke out saying he surely couldn’t relate to what women in Hollywood felt, but that he too could relate to struggling with body image. Initiatives that bring awareness to the double standard so prevalent in Hollywood today help to reduce these perceptions and change attitudes toward women for future generations.