BY NATALIE ACCARDI
THIS JUST IN: women can do more than smile and put on lipstick, sources say.
Women in the public eye are incessantly bombarded with questions about their appearance rather than questions of substance. We need to stop making a woman’s appearance her most valued feature because other than wearing clothes, women are active participants in society.
It doesn’t seem to matter if a woman has garnered the most prestigious of awards because the world needs to know who designed her outfit. Are these reporters aware of the inverted pyramid?
Actress and feminist, Connie Britton, stars in a biting satire produced by “The Representation Project” confronting the tendency of reporters in Hollywood who bombard celebrity women with trivial questions about their appearance.
The video was made in an effort to get reporters to ask these women about their accomplishments and talents instead of the usual empty jabber about clothes and hair.
“The Representation Project” has started #AskHerMore to spread awareness of this problematic and blatantly sexist habit of reporters. Here’s a quick lesson in feminism: it’s sexist because it reinforces the negative stereotypes that women only want to talk about superficial subjects and that women are most valued for their superficial qualities.
In the video, Britton turns a common sexist question women celebrities are asked into a segway to speak about our societies need to whittle women down to just their looks.
“And after years of being asked about my healthy, shiny hair, I’m thrilled to share my beauty secret with you:it’s feminism,” Britton said.
Britton educates us on how feminism is responsible for a woman’s right to vote (the 19th amendment), the preservation of women’s bodily autonomy (Roe v. Wade), a woman’s right to be in any federally funded program or activity without the threat of discrimination (Title IX), the Violence Against Women’s Act (VAWA), the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and more.
When a second actress enters the scene and asks, “But what if I don’t need feminism?” Britton responds with, “Trust me girl, you do” and then they commence in shaking their head, a fake smile plastered on their face and their locks gleaming. They were obviously paying homage to hair product commercials that reinforce the message that a woman’s confidence stems from how she looks. In reality, silky smooth hair isn’t going to change the value or worth of a person. Only reporters for subpar magazines think that.
The entire video was set up like a commercial for a hair product except the bottle was labeled “FEMINISM” and the commercial actually informed the world about something that matters. “The Representation Project” utilizes film to call out and take down stereotypes in order to help everyone reach their fullest potential. Other than participating in this thoughtful critique of our society’s view on women and their value, Briton is the star in “Friday Night Lights” and “Nashville.”
The video ends with a “medical side-effects disclaimer” except for once the medicine doesn’t have the potential to give you suicidal tendencies or kill you.
“Side effects of feminism may include the passage of the equal-rights amendment; providing an education to the 62 million girls worldwide currently denied one; a culture where gender-based violence is considered unacceptable, perpetrators are held accountable, and victims are not shamed; a fair budget for women’s reproductive health; the wisdom to ignore angry rants in the comments section of this video, and dry mouth,” Briton said.
There are two things that bother me deeply about the superficial questions women celebrities are asked regardless of how accomplished they are in their pursuits. The first is that the reporters probably absorbed nothing in their time as journalism students. The second and most important reason is it continues the malicious cycle of women being valued for their looks rather than who they are and what they’ve done.
Feminism informs women that they are more than their appearance. It calls out sexism and misogyny while the rest of the world wants women to smile and shut their mouths.