Black dresses at the Golden Globes? In a sweeping change, most actresses will eschew color at this year's award ceremony in protest of sexual "abuse, harassment and the imbalance of power."
The bold decision, led by actresses like Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington, will send an emphatic message to red carpet interviewers that they don't want to talk about fashion. Instead, they want to focus on the problems plaguing Hollywood. The first catalyst? Harvey Weinstein. The second? Tarana Burke, the creator of the #MeToo movement.
Since Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey broke the groundbreaking story on Harvey Weinstein in The New York Times actresses in Hollywood have come forward in droves to share their stories of assault and harassment. But before there was the #MeToo movement, there was the #AskHerMore initiative.
Reese Witherspoon and Eva Longoria helped promote the #AskHerMore movement in 2015, urging journalists to inquire about actresses' projects, not their dresses. “This is a movement to say we’re more than just our dresses,” Witherspoon told Robin Roberts in 2015. “There are 44 nominees this year that are women and we are so happy to be here and talk about the work that we’ve done. It’s hard being a woman in Hollywood, or any industry.”
That statement from three years ago sounds a whole lot like Eva Longoria's quote to The New York Times this week. “This is a moment of solidarity, not a fashion moment,” Longoria told the newspaper. “For years, we’ve sold these awards shows as women, with our gowns and colors and our beautiful faces and our glamour. This time the industry can’t expect us to go up and twirl around. That’s not what this moment is about.”
Many actresses say their bright-colored frocks and embellished gowns have distracted from far more important discussions. For at least two years Witherspoon, Longoria and others have been trying to talk about their projects on the red carpet. And their efforts have often fallen on deaf ears.
“Wearing black is an opportunity to talk about all the other things that we’re doing,” Kerry Washington told the Los Angeles Times. “We’re saying that we are three-dimensional, fully realized human beings as women. We are participants in this entertainment industry, and we have something to say.”
Famed stylish Cristina Ehrlich — whose clients include Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Alison Brie and Allison Williams — says actresses are viewing fashion differently this year.
“People aren’t using words anymore like, ‘I want to look sexy.’ It’s more about, ‘I want to look like I’m a woman of power. I want to look like a woman who is standing my ground,'” Ehrlich told Variety.
On a red carpet typically filled with bells and whistles a sea of black will inevitably make an impact. How? By finally forcing fashion writers and red-carpet interviewers to focus on something else. Black dresses erect a wall and make a clear statement: "I'm not here to talk about slits and ruffles."
But some style experts think the decision to wear black was misguided. “The idea that everyone is just going to wear black — that’s not actually a symbol!” Tom Fitzgerald of Tom & Lorenzo told ThinkProgress.org. “It’s a dress code, and not even a very interesting one. Because I would wager that one-third of your average red carpet is black anyway. People default to that color… It’s not going to be this watershed fashion moment.”
Kathryn Simon, publicist and brand developer at Kathryn Simon Creative, agreed. “[Black is] so tired. As a statement in fashion, what are they saying with this blackness? It doesn’t have any meaning for me in this context… It’s not very innovative to me. I’m not sure what it’s saying. I’m powerful because I can wear black?”
Simon and Fitzgerald would have preferred white. “What does [Shonda Rhimes] have Kerry Washington wear all the time [on Scandal]? White. Because she’s commanding. She doesn’t wear black,” Simon told ThinkProgress.
At Hollywood Take we disagree. Black is underwhelming. And that's the point. Don't look at the dresses. Don't listen to the baubles jingle. Look and listen to HER.
Do you agree with the decision to wear black? Let us know your take in the comments section below!