When in the public eye, it’s no secret that being scrutinized for everything you do is, unfortunately for the celebrity in question, just part of the job. Who you’re dating, where you’re holidaying and what you’re working on next are all of interest to fans and has been the case for well over three generations of famous people. And while celebrities might privately despair the attention that comes with their jobs (we agree that unannounced cameras and pushy paparazzi are not ok), there are some elements of the celebrity career that count as standard issue. Being critiqued on what you’re wearing is one of those things.
While men aren’t generally asked who they are wearing on a red carpet — although this is changing thanks to uber-stylish men like Timothée Chalamet and Donald Glover — that probably has something to do with the fact they almost always don some version of a black and white tuxedo. No shade to the designers who make said tuxedos, but a shimmering ball gown which took three months to hand-sew might be of more interest to the general public. And these ball gowns are more often than not worn by women.
Fashion is a huge industry, with a huge public interest. Magazines, websites and entire TV stations are dedicated to dissecting and discussing what designers make and their affect on society as a whole. When a celebrity steps out in an interesting outfit, it definitely counts as grounds for discussion. When that celebrity is attending an official event as part of their job, there really isn’t any reason not to discuss it.
It's a problem so prevalent, according to Olivia Munn, that the actress has chosen to speak out about. Calling out fashion blog ‘Fug Girls’ for critiquing an outfit she wore to a community awards ceremony, Munn shared a two page damnation of media and blogs who comment on a woman’s clothing choice. In it, she suggests that blogs like Fug Girls (who make joking comments about celebrity outfits they don’t particularly like) are playing into the “suppression of women” and that criticising a woman’s outfit is part of what “propagates the idea that our worth is predominately (and singularly) tied to our looks.” And while, yes, Hollywood and the celebrity paradigm has a fair way to go when it comes to celebrating women for their talents and not just their looks, choosing to call out a fashion blog rather than say, a splashy tabloid or a worldwide TV network, seems a little bit redundant.
Yes, the women behind Fug Girls didn’t like Munn’s outfit. Yes, they called the outfit “terrifying”. But did they mention her body shape, her face, her hair or anything remotely attacking her femininity or worth as a woman? They just didn’t like her outfit.
Asking a woman what she’s wearing in the public arena isn’t a crime — and it’s definitely not anti feminist. And if someone like Munn, who most likely makes tens of thousands of dollars off wearing a designer on the red carpet — with the sole intention of being asked exactly who she's wearing — is applauded by critiquing two fashion bloggers just trying to make a buck, then where have we gotten with feminism anyway?
Judging a woman solely on her looks is redundant and awful. Judging her outfit because you think it looks a bit tacky and outdated, just like the Fug Girls did? Well, it seems like Olivia Munn might be going after the wrong target here.