The 75th Golden Globe Awards held on January 7th, and the 60th Grammy Awards held on January 28th, forever changed the meaning of Red Carpet fashion.
Actors, actresses, and musicians challenged the typical Red Carpet attire that is so glorified by talk shows and magazines alike and instead donned items in protest of Hollywood and the music industry’s deep-rooted problem with sexual assault and gender inequality. At the Golden Globes, black was worn by many to stand in solidarity with victims of sexual assault, and at the Grammy’s, white flowers were pinned on garments or white was worn by performers.
The fashion, which has been associated with movements such as “#MeToo” and “Times Up,” chiseled away at the silence that has been so lasting in the media industry. By wearing these garments, artists broke down the terrifying and often dangerous wall that exists in front of speaking about sexual violence—and allowed many artists at the award shows to speak openly about Hollywood’s long lasting problem.
For example, Natalie Portman raised the issue of a male-dominated category in her nominee announcement, something that she likely would not have done if the award ceremony was not already protesting through fashion. And Kesha, along with other female artists, performed an emotional Grammy performance of “Praying,” a song directly targeted at her assaulter. Kesha’s performance, in conjunction with the performer’s all-white ensembles, showed the audience that the fight in Hollywood is just beginning.
Although the demonstrations were strong at both events, female performers continue to face inequalities in the workplace. Grammy Producer Ken Erlich urged women to “step up” even though female nominees dominated Grammy categories, and just days after Aziz Ansari’s fashion protest at the Golden Globes, news broke about a date gone bad with Ansari that raised questions of the apparent activist’s true character.
Though the fashion of the Golden Globes and Grammy’s did not end the disparity between men and women in the performance industry, it created a space for these taboo situations to be talked about. Both performers and the general public are being made more aware of the fight against sexual violence through this fashioned protest, and future pictures of the 2018 Award Ceremonies will reflect this time in history where a peaceful protest was utilized to fight back against a poignant societal issue. Though performers like Kesha and many others have been kept in silence by their assaulters for many years, the fashion demonstrations are showing men and women that this history of silence is on its way to an end.
Sources: The Grammy Awards, The Golden Globes