Cate Blanchett has millions of new fans after making this excellent point about feminism
Cate Blanchett isn't a woman you'd want to mess with. She's a bomb actress, the only Australian actor with two Oscars to their name, and it looks like she takes her job in the film industry very seriously:
She's a passionate campaigner for feminism, climate change, and sustainable fashion, and she's not afraid to speak her mind about things she doesn't feel are right. The 48-year-old actress is also known for her unapologetic sense of humour and quick wit. Just an A-class human being really.
So when accepting a Style Icon Award at the InStyle Awards 2017 on Monday, Blanchett took the opportunity to touch on a topic that's clearly been on her mind lately. After thanking Stella McCartney, Riccardo Tisci, and Giorgio Armani – the designers she’s worked with this year – she turned the conversation to make a damn fine point about how women dress.
"For me, the true icons of style are always those women who’ve been utterly themselves without apology, whose physical presence and their aesthetic is really integrated in a non self-conscious way into part of who they are, and women who know how they look is not all of who they are, but just an extension of that.
"It’s about women who feel free to wear what they want, when they want and how they want to wear it. We all like looking sexy, but it doesn’t mean we want to f**k you."
The dinner crowd – including Cindy Crawford, Elle Fanning, Brie Larson, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez – laughed, clapped, and cheered after this last line.
She then pointed out the double standards of our society in a humorous comparison of how men and women dress: "No one says to Steve Bannon, 'You look like a bag of trash, do you want me to throw you out?'"
"But the comments that get said about what women wear on the red carpet, if you trawl through those trolls on the internet, just don’t."
Blanchett added that for every style icon there is an "iconoclast", a critic who is there to attack their stance. She finished her speech by encouraging women to challenge the current culture and "break" the fashion mold. "Bring it on, ladies, break it wide open," she said.
See the speech here:
It comes after a related argument was recently brought into the spotlight by a controversial op-ed piece by Big Bang Theory star Mayim Bialik. She spoke about how women present themselves it in relation to sexual assault following the Harvey Weinstein controversy of the past few weeks.
“Those of us in Hollywood who don’t represent an impossible standard of beauty have the ‘luxury’ of being overlooked and, in many cases, ignored by men in power unless we can make them money,” Bialik wrote.
“Women should be able to wear whatever they want. They should be able to flirt however they want with whomever they want. Why are we the ones who have to police our behavior? In a perfect world, women should be free to act however they want. But our world isn’t perfect. Nothing – absolutely nothing – excuses men for assaulting or abusing women. But we can’t be naive about the culture we live in.”
Bialik was widely criticised for victim blaming in her article, for which she has since formally apologised.
The counter-argument from Blanchett urges women to dress however they want, and to openly challenge the culture Bialik refers to, rather than sit idly by. The absolute zinger from Blanchett's speech – "We all like looking sexy, but it doesn’t mean we want to f**k you" – is an excellent point about this whole debate, and people all over the place are praising Blancett for pointing out this obvious, yet often misunderstood fact. All hail Queen Cate.