In 2014 the Representation Project started a social media campaign called ‘Ask her More’ where they encouraged red carpet reporters to ask women about more than just their outfits and hair styles. This year Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls organization jumped on this and gave it more steam steam when they promoted it to their readers, encouraging them to directly tweet certain reporters with question suggestions.
The media has certainly started to take notice of this and some have joined in the movement in their own way. Elle Magazine, Buzzfeed and even specific celebs like Reese Witherspoon publicly acknowledged the need for better questions for women on the red carpet.
The idea was that instead of ONLY focusing on a woman’s outfit, why can’t she get asked the same questions that men get asked. You know, questions about the roles they are nominated for and the very reason they are even walking the red carpet in the first place? It doesn’t just extend to film industry award events. It’s for pretty much any red carpet. The awards season just happens to be the “Super Bowl” of entertainment where we see the most amount of red carpet interviews.
It is an important movement, and much needed challenge to the industry. Which is why it was hard for us to stomach article like this one on Time.com which describes #askhermore as the “dumbest” hashtag. The writer complains it takes the fun out of a normally frivolous night and makes reporters stumble over themselves trying to not ask vapid questions.
Or this article in NY mag’s The Cut which calls the campaign “deeply misguided” because the red carpets are apparently not about celebrating film achievements, it IS about focusing on the outfits.
We thought of writing responses to these dismissals, but then realized we didn’t need to. It’s better for the argument in favor of AskHerMore to come from the actresses themselves to explain why it is necessary. Enter Diane Kruger, who spoke to Yahoo UK at the recent Elle Style awards and spoke about why she does NOT want to only be asked about the designer dress she is wearing.
One of the biggest problems, she says, lies with the reporters themselves and the reason they aren’t asking deeper questions.
“A lot of journalists in this industry don’t even go to see the movie. They stand on the red carpet and they don’t really know what this person has done or what they’re in so it makes it a little superficial. I’m not saying it needs to be super deep and intense all the time but it would be nice, as a woman, to be asked other things.”
I hope Time and The Cut are reading, and even Fox news contributor Stacey Dash who said she was appalled that Best Supporting Actress winner Patricia Arquette would use her winners platform to speak up about an important issue: wage equality.
According to Stacey, President Kennedy passed an Equal Pay law in 1963 which is still in effect today. Sure, but that doesn’t mean people abide by the law, Stacey, just a heads up! We are quite sure she’d be singing a different tune if her male counterparts were found to be getting paid more than her for the same gig.
But it wasn’t even her comments about wage equality that left us scratching our heads, it was the fact that she believes celebrities using their elevated public platform to speak up about important topics was taking away from the glamor of the night. All she would have to do is look on websites like Style.com Elle, Vogue, Glamour, Marie Claire, Huffpost Style and more to see that there was no less emphasis on the incredible outfits worn by both men and women. It’s about perspective (see the supercut Upworthy made above).
How much emphasis does the media put on a woman’s appearance vs a man’s on the red carpet? How much more do men get asked the in-depth questions about their careers than women? It is a GOOD thing these norms are being challenged and called into question!
Thank you Diane for emphasizing (and hopefully putting to rest any remaining argument about the validity of this movement) that while female stars don’t mind being asked questions about their dresses, they would also like to be asked more about what they have to offer than simply their looks. Amen and Amen.