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Is It Actually Sexist to Ask a Woman What She's Wearing on the Red Carpet?

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Anyone who's ever watched a red carpet ceremony during awards season knows the shtick. The stars emerge from tinted vehicles and begin the journey down the carpet and eventually to the venue. Along the way, they're interviewed by everyone from faceless newspaper reporters to seasoned E! personalities like Giuliana Rancic and Kelly Osbourne. If they're nominated for an award, you can bet they'll be asked some questions about the film they acted in, but let's be real, viewers really tune in to ogle the fashion.

In recent times, red carpet ceremonies have been causing a stir when it comes to the questions the female stars are asked and the overall way they're treated. Ever since Cate Blanchett called out E! for slowly panning the camera up and down her body as if she were being judged in a beauty pagaent, women in Hollywood have taken up the platform of changing how they are respected and viewed at these events. Stars like Reese Witherspoon have been vocal about their support for the #AskHerMore campaign, which calls on red carpet reporters to focus on more than just appearances.

While there's definitely something bordering on objectification when it comes to asking a celeb if she's been on a diet for awards season or by asking her to show off her nails to a "mani cam," there's a very solid argument to be had about the fashion itself. To the designers behind the iconic gowns, the hairstylists behind the beautiful updos, their work is art and the stars are simply showcasing it. Completely ignoring that art would be disrespectful in a completely different sense.

But to just focus on looks alone is belittling to these women who evidently have much greater accomplishments beyond just looking pretty in a floor-sweeping gown. On Sunday, the day of the Oscars, Lena Dunham voiced her support of the campaign in a clever Tweet: "Ask her about the causes she supports, not her support garments." Of course, one might argue that these pre-shows are a complete frenzy, and therefore not the best time for reporters to ask meaningful questions, but take ABC's Robin Roberts for example—she and Julianne Moore got to talking about something way more meaningful than her appearance: Alzheimer's research.

What do you think about sexism on the red carpet? Is anyone necessarily at fault?


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