While most female celebrities were zipping up their gowns in preparation for last Sunday’s Golden Globe awards, actress and nominee Evan Rachel Wood was stepping into a pair of pants and adjusting her suit jacket.
Wood chose to forgo the expected gown, and instead, she went with a black pair of slacks, a black suit jacket, and a white high-neck blouse.
When asked about her attire by E! News host Ryan Seacrest, Wood responded, “This is my third nomination, I’ve been to the Globes six times, and I’ve worn a dress every time, and I love dresses. I’m not trying to protest dresses, but I wanted to make sure that young girls and women knew that they aren’t a requirement, and that you don’t have to wear one if you don’t want to- to just be yourself because your worth is more than that.”
This is not the first time Wood chose to ditch the dress and instead wear pants when attending a high profile event, and hopefully it is not the last, as her message is an important reminder to all women–and men.
It is too often that people look to women who choose to wear suits as “crazy feminists who are trying to protest dresses.” What is important in Wood’s message is that she makes it clear that she is not trying to protest dresses. In fact, she says, “I love dresses.” She is trying to prove the point that it does not matter if a woman wears a dress or a suit, as a woman’s worth is more than what she chooses to wear.
This message comes at an important time where women are judged too harshly for the clothing they choose to wear. This recent prom season, the Internet was full of stories of young women who were not allowed into their dance because of what they were wearing.
In one case, Alexus Miller-Wigfall, a Pennsylvania teen, was given a one-day suspension because her school believed that the dress her mother designed for her (which featured a high neck and long sleeves) was “too revealing.” In another case, Shafer Rupard, a high school senior from North Carolina, was kicked out of her prom solely for wearing a pair of red pants.
What is so harmful about these acts is that they tell women that what they are wearing is more important than their character, and that they do not have the right to decide for themselves what they want to wear or what they feel comfortable wearing.
Thanks to Wood, who turned what could have just been another red carpet into an opportunity to make a positive statement, hopefully more women will have the confidence to say no to dresses, but only if they want to.
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