An actress stands next to her male co-star for the latest movie the two are in together. A reporter walks up to the two stars to be interviewed, and the first question is directed at the male co-star. He’s asked about the personal challenges he had playing this part because of the complex character he played. The actress is poised to answer a similar question, only to be offered an inquiry on what designer made her dress.
At the most recent Victoria’s Secret fashion show, a reporter from TMZ was backstage asking models what they were most excited to eat after the show, Mic News reported. When he came to model Magdalena Frackowiak and asked her the question, her disgust was apparent. She promptly denounced the question, telling the reporter that his ill thought of query only served to make her look stupid. She urged him to ask her a more intellectual question, saying this kind of question makes her seem like she’s starving herself.
Reporters have been criticized in the past for only asking women very limited questions that tend to be sexist. While men get asked about their career goals and the struggles of playing a role, women are asked about their diets, clothing or love lives. It’s not just women that take pride in their garments, after all. Male celebrities step out in equally as luxurious brands, but that fact is often overlooked.
Female celebrities have begun to take a public stand against such sexist questions. On the 2015 Emmy red carpet, comedian and actress Amy Poehler started the #SmartGirlsAsk campaign, aimed to pose more thought-provoking questions to the actresses at the awards event. Reese Witherspoon took advantage of the #AskHerMore hashtag to post an Instagram photo of other questions reporters can ask women. An organization called Makers even compiled a list of potential questions reporters could ask actresses at the 2015 Academy Awards.
“This year’s Academy Awards honor women in an incredible variety of roles and the red carpet should reflect that,” the organization said.
Some female celebrities, like Beyonce, consider themselves to be feminist. Although feminism is often misunderstood to be man-hating, it actually means equality between genders. There are many other issues feminists fight for, such as equal pay and equal treatment. In the celebrity realm, though, asking both genders the same type of questions is one way to begin promoting equality.
Elle Magazine even made an effort to “Flip the Script” by asking men the typical questions women are asked on the red carpet. Although this was done to show the different ways men and women are treated by reporters, there isn’t anything wrong with asking men how long they took to get ready or what designer they’re wearing. Men, like women, get well-dressed for these events. There is a certain glamour aspect to red carpet events, and viewers want to know the answers to questions pertaining to that aspect.
Men and women should both be asked these questions, along with the deeper questions about things like their career. There needs to be a balance in the questions asked to both genders to create equality in how men and women are treated.
Even if reporters want to know the answer to surface level questions for women, they can ask them the same questions they ask men. Women are often asked about their diets, but why not ask them if they had to undergo training for a certain role instead of only asking them about eating habits or food restrictions?
Balancing the types of questions that are asked will show a more complete picture of celebrities, providing a chance to appeal to audiences more than just materially. Having a balance of surface level and deep questions will portray the celebrities as the multifaceted people they are.
When women walk down the red carpet, it’s important to remember they are more than the expensive, sparkling dress they may be donning. They have career goals, families and personal struggles, too. Ask them questions that reflect this side of them.
Ask them more than what they’re wearing.