Now that I live in LA, the Oscars have a special personal meaning – that I should avoid downtown because of the traffic. But of course the Oscars mean more than that – it’s a night where artists get to see if they have won one of their industry’s top honors, which – especially for the women and femmes – will likely be completely overshadowed by people’s opinions of their dresses, hair, make-up, and bodies.
Much of this talk will be steeped in fatphobic terms like “flattering,” and that will be amplified for the fat people whose options are massively limited because most designers refuse to dress them and because people discussing their “fashion” will have already been bathed in fatphobia, including the idea that, for fat people, the only appropriate use of clothing is to create optical illusions to try to make us look thinner.
Once again, we – and especially women and femmes – will be given the message loud and clear that how we look is far more important than what we have achieved. I’ve discussed this before and there are plenty of things that we can do if we’re not onboard:
- When talking about the Academy Awards, focus your conversations on what the nominees and winners achieved – actually discuss their work.
- Talk about the Oscars’ continued lack of representation of marginalized communities (including People of Color, and women, and non-binary people – who are literally left out of award categories that are divided on a gender binary) and share the writing for people from these groups.
- Share Janelle Monae’s incredible opening performance
- Talk about people who used “fashion” to make an important statement.
- Don’t click on “best and worst dressed” lists. Consider the possibility that people who are grown ass adults are allowed to wear whatever they want, and that if we don’t like it the correct solution is to not wear it, not to take to the internet to engage in what is often pretty difficult to separate from any other cyberbullying – this goes double for people in marginalized communities.
- Just say no to Fashion Bashing
- Speak out against body shaming and fashion bashing when you see it – on your friends’ social media, in the comments sections of articles about the Oscars, etc
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3 thoughts on “Let’s Have Better, And Less Fatphobic, Conversations About The Oscars”
I loved this use of fashion. https://www.standard.co.uk/insider/alist/natalie-portman-oscars-embroidered-cape-snubbed-female-directors-names-a4357726.html
That’s another world entirely…until it’s skewed values and western white, sexist culture oozes into the rest of the planet. In that value parade of right and wrong people, we are at a cross roads, a few powerful black films do not a sea change make when so many ‘nothin but thin white people’ movies come out by the gross every year. For such a small community, with such narrow minded views on human value to have an over large effect on the rest of the planet is scary.
A couple of decades ago, I came across a book that had pictures of the best and worst Oscar dresses by some ‘famous’ fashion guy (yes, a guy). I was looking through it, and saw two very similar dresses, but one was in the best group, and one in the worst. There wasn’t a good reason for this distinction, because the differences were so minute.
Since then, I’ve never bought into the best and worst dressed lists because it is clearly opinionated bullshit.
I do love the glam, but we definitely need way more diversity and way fewer people freaking out when someone colors outside the lines.