Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence hit the headlines this week for wearing a revealing dress in a promotional photoshoot for her new film
Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence hit the headlines this week for wearing a revealing dress in a promotional photoshoot for her new film.
I know what you are thinking. Surely only a Hollywood actress not wearing a revealing dress in a photoshoot would be worthy of comment, but we live in strange times.
Jennifer was on the roof of a London hotel on a freezing February day, a million goosebumps on display in her plunge-front, split-to-the-thigh Versace gown.
She looked fabulous and no one would have cared a jot were she not posing with her male co-stars, all of them wrapped up in three layers apiece; warm jackets and scarves, nice big boots, mummy’s boy cosy vests, the lot.
How depressing, said concerned feminists, antennae forever attuned for she-slights, real or imagined. To them, the image seemed to say everything about female objectification in Hollywood.
Despite everything that has happened, male stars are allowed to just be, while the female stars still have to be sexy. And I think they have a point.
Not so, cried Jen. Why hide the gorgeous dress from photographers? She was a supporter of fashion, after all, and this was about style, not titillation.
‘Nobody can tell me what to wear and not what to wear. It’s my choice to wear a dress that I feel fabulous in,’ she told my colleague Baz Bamigboye in yesterday’s Mail. ‘Feminism is equality. It’s social, political and economic equality.’
What does that mean? That she can wear what she pleases.
Well, quite. Good on Jen.
However, I do wish that Hollywood actresses and their equivalents in the fashion and music industry would be a little more honest about what is going on here.
Miss Lawrence wearing her lovely frock was neither a feminist nor an anti-feminist act, it was just good old-fashioned showbiz.
From Marilyn Monroe, in her second skin sequins, to Cher, in her peek-a-boo Bob Mackie creations, beautiful young stars have always known that much of their power and box-office appeal depends on their allure and razzle-dazzle.
Who was going to pay attention to Lawrence’s co-star Jeremy Irons’ grizzled face next to her attention-grabbing blaze of her creamy cleavage? Absolutely no one, and it is hard to see any equality in this age-old marketing advantage so enthusiastically embraced by the sisters.
And why not?
Jennifer Lawrence is pictured leaving the Claridges Hotel today in a very casual outfit. Jennifer did not raise a smile to the camera and went straight into her vehicle without saying a word
Jennifer Lawrence seen heading to a press conference for ‘Red Sparrow’ on February 20 (right) and is pictured at the media event (left)
Jennifer Lawrence during the ‘Red Sparrow’ photocall at The Corinthia Hotel on February 20
However, I might start a support group on behalf of all overlooked, old-boy actors such as Irons, and call it The National Truss.
Anyway, that’s just one reason why it is getting irksome hearing all these female stars complaining about the objectification of women while wearing not much more than two strips of tit-tape and a pair of invisible knickers.
Even as the Time’s Up and Me Too protests continue to dominate red carpets and award ceremonies, one can’t help but wonder if these stars are actually part of the problem and not, as they so fondly imagine, the solution.
At the Golden Globes and the Baftas recently, actresses wore black to denote their allegiance to the causes, while at the Brit Awards in London this week, female pop stars carried white roses as a mark of their support.
These movements are protesting against sex crimes in Hollywood and elsewhere, while pushing for greater respect and equality for women. Sexy black dresses? Long-stemmed roses? Hardly a sacrifice or an act of sedition that might actually make a difference, are they?
In this diamond-drenched citadel of privilege and prestige, female celebrities are making a lot of noise, while being really, really careful not to do it in a way that might impact detrimentally on their careers. Even for one second.
Women such as Jennifer Lawrence may mean well, but in one glamorous swoop they seem to ignore collective responsibility while citing their individual freedom to dress as sexily as possible in a bid to attract the male gaze, all in the name of commerce
While they are to be admired for trying to inject meaning and principle into the award season, from the cheap seats all it looks like is self-serving aggrandisation masquerading as concern.
If the system is so rotten, why not refuse to take part in a ceremony that celebrates it? Or perhaps swap the boobilicious glamour and endless leg shows for the anodyne embrace of overalls? That would have certainly forced industry chiefs and millions of viewers to sit up and take notice.
Instead, it was business as usual, complete with va-va-voom outfits, and on with the show. The awards ceremonies proceeded smoothly. The women all looked sexy and gorgeous in their monochrome gowns or clutching flowers like diligent maids of honour.
Perhaps they actually looked even more attractive, with that air of piety adding to their monstrous lustre.
Everywhere you looked, there was no loss of cachet and position for these women, just the echo of their repeated exhortation that This Is Wrong And Things Must Change.
Women such as Jennifer Lawrence may mean well, but in one glamorous swoop they seem to ignore collective responsibility while citing their individual freedom to dress as sexily as possible in a bid to attract the male gaze, all in the name of commerce.
It seems a muddled narrative upon which to launch a feminist cause. But, as usual in Hollywood, different rules apply. Ones that benefit them, not us.
Minnie Driver’s real message to Oxfam: Don’t show me up!
The actress Minnie Driver (pictured) has resigned from Oxfam after 20 years, to ‘send a message’ about the recent sex scandal that has engulfed the charity
The actress Minnie Driver (right) has resigned from Oxfam after 20 years, to ‘send a message’ about the recent sex scandal that has engulfed the charity.
What message might that be? The first rat off the sinking ship message? The message that says, I am outta here, as this might reflect badly on my personal brand?
What good does this cowardly behaviour do, except to prove that Minnie might be a mouse, after all? Archbishop Desmond Tutu and singer Tallia Storm have also done the same, which seems to be too easy.
Why not stay on board and use whatever power they have within the organisation to make sure this doesn’t happen again at Oxfam?
Minnie says she is ‘devastated’, but has emerged, reputation intact, from the fiasco.
What about the poor unfortunates on the ground that she has been so keen on helping for all these years?
Bye bye to them.
£25,000 knives for a wedding! What’s wrong with a toaster?
My parents started their married life nearly 65 years ago with £8 in the bank and a single wedding gift of a radio.
Still together today, they considered themselves blessed, then and now.
So heaven knows what Mum would make of Tatler magazine’s ultimate wedding gift-list, which includes a £25,000 set of knives, a £590 cashmere throw, an £11,520 poker set and a £2,850 decanter featuring a stag-head bottle stopper.
Well, I do know actually. She’d say: ‘Och, what a lot of nonsense.’
Then bake some more shortbread on the trays she has had for about half a century and knit Dad a kipper for his tea, while wondering why today’s wealthy couples can’t be content with a matching toaster and kettle from John Lewis, just like everyone else.
No skis please, we’re British
Honestly, I have tried my hardest, but the Winter Olympics have been a proper old bore this year.
Too many Brits crashing out of competitions early, while Clare Balding spouts encouraging inanities, like a nursery teacher shepherding her clumsier charges through a tumble tots class.
Let’s face it. We Brits are no good at winter sports, including all these new-fangled ones involving skidding along a pipe before doing a somersault.
Dom Parsons of Great Britain brakes in the finish area after his second run during the men’s skeleton competition at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea
Such depressing acrobatics, devoid of artistry.
However, there is one area in which we shine.
Why not go back to old-fashioned winter sports skills, such as the ones depicted in the film, Where Eagles Dare? Broadsword calling Danny Boy? Why not!
Brits with excellent moustaches could take part in events such as the Cable Car Escape, Skiing Through The Trees, The Chase To The Airfield, Blowing Up Bridges, Shooting The Guns From The Back Of The Bus and so on.
Perhaps we could have a separate event for women, in which we could pour ourselves a glass of wine and Quietly Muse Why Clint Eastwood Looks So Handsome in a Nazi Uniform. Or perhaps not.
The Queen of fashion — and crushing snubs
The Queen is full of surprises. I loved her turning up at London Fashion Week
The Queen is full of surprises. I loved her turning up at London Fashion Week.
Sitting on the front row, she was fascinated, energised and easily the best-dressed woman in the room.
Vogue boss Dame Anna Wintour may have had her sunglasses and her try-hard Alexander McQueen print dress — but it was no match for ice-blue tweed, stonking diamonds, smart shoes and a personal style that has transcended all fashion for decades and always looks just right, no matter the occasion.
Queenie also turned up unexpectedly in Channel 4’s Working With Weinstein, broadcast on Tuesday evening.
The documentary showed a clip of the disgraced Hollywood mogul being introduced to HM at Buckingham Palace some years ago. ‘I made a film called The King’s Speech,’ he boasted.
‘Did you?’ she said, before turning to the next guest. He looked slightly crushed, which was cheering.
- It’s beyond belief that there was a three-day tribunal hearing about police officer Thomas Hooper stealing a tin of biscuits. In the end, he was found not guilty of nicking the nick’s Hobnobs. And you wonder why the police say they don’t have time to investigate your burglary.