Wrinkles on the Red Carpet

When the Oscars ended Sunday night, the film awards season came to a close. The red carpets haven’t been wrinkle-free, as female celebrities continue to demand to be recognized for their work rather than what they wear.  On Jan. 11, the Golden Globes’ co-host Amy Poehler, actress, comedian, writer and producer, demanded through a Tweet that reporters focus on more than the dresses:  “The #RedCarpet is open and we want the media to #AskHerMore!  Let’s go beyond the ‘who are you wearing?’ and ask better questions! #GoldenGlobes.”

This was met with a lot of support on Twitter, but little change on the carpet. The Screen Actors Guild Awards featured a Mani Cam — a miniature red carpet and a camera dedicated to the fingernails and jewels of the stars — complements of E! Online.  Jennifer Aniston, Julianne Moore and Reese Witherspoon refused to put their hands in Mani Cam, but Sofía Vergara, Laverne Cox and Sarah Hyland walked their bejeweled fingers down the mini red carpet.

Last year’s award season featured Elisabeth Moss flipping off the Mani Cam at the Golden Globes. As E!’s 360 Glam Cam was panning the length of her body, Cate Blanchett crouched down in front of the lens and asked “Do you do that to the guys?”

In their attempt to show the discrepancy between the questions men and women are asked on the red carpets, BuzzFeed asked Kevin Spacey if he was wearing Spanx at the 2014 Academy Awards, to which he replied “BuzzFeed is so f***ed up,” and left.

Celebrities often get their red carpet looks for free in exchange for mentioning the designer’s name on camera.  Anne Hathaway was reportedly paid $750,000 by Tiffany & Co to wear its jewelry at the 2011 Oscars.  The celebrities could boycott the carpets, but that is unlikely to happen, as the more they are on camera looking good, the more their brands are worth.

Cara Buckley, writing for The New York Times, wrote, “If celebrities ‘do a series of good looks’ on the red carpet … they are better poised to land lucrative contracts.”

Considering E! had a countdown to the red carpet starting at 10:30 the morning of the Oscars and, the day before, ABC aired a program dedicated to the “highlights of previous Oscar ceremonies including the fashion, flubs, and faux pas,” there is no end to the market for the glamor of the red carpets.

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