Though the red carpet can be a place for amazing fashion, it can also lead to some unfortunate body shaming. Body snark on the red carpet generally runs rampant, but there has also been a great deal of body positivity shining through in recent years, with the apparent goal of combatting the body shaming norm of times past.
My hope for every red carpet event held in the future would be that the sartorial choices made by celebs could be appreciated whilst Hollywood's talented women and men are simultaneously valued for more than just their bodies. With that, I also want all body types to be respected and celebrated, no matter how they are dressed — which unfortunately seems to happen very little.
In hopes of reining in this year's Emmys with as much body positivity as possible, why not pay tribute to all the body positive moments of Emmys past? Perhaps the 2015 red carpet correspondents and journalists will focus on body positivity instead of using terms like "flattering" to describe women's figures.
In hopes of the 2015 Emmys being the most body positive red carpet event ever, here's a look back at all of the times the awards show got it right.
1. Amy Poehler And Tina Fey Calling Out Sexist Objectification
During the 2013 Emmys, comedy BFFs Tina Fey and Amy Poehler made hilarious commentary during host Neil Patrick Harris' opening monologue. "We got some advice," Poehler began. "Take your pants off! Twerk it," Fey continued. When he refused, they said that "it might be de-grading, but we'd be de-grateful."
The entire point of the segment was to show how sexist double standards in Hollywood put women's bodies under a microscope and constantly objectify them. It was a pretty great moment of feminist body positivity at the Emmys.
2. Lena Dunham On The 2014 Emmy Red Carpet
Lena Dunham wore such an amazing outfit to the 2014 Emmys that I can't even take it. Since remotely plus size and fat women are often given a laundry list of things that "aren't suitable for their body types" (which includes anything poofy), it can be very liberating to say "eff it" and simply wear what you want. Just look at how gorgeous she is in her multi-layered tulle skirt. It's probably the most body positive outfit to ever grace the Emmys red carpet.
3. Sarah Silverman's Boob Joke
Sarah Silverman practically stole the show at the 2014 Emmys, with everything from the liquid pot pipe she kept in her clutch to her prolific acceptance speech about quantum physics. However, this moment from the red carpet was definitely body positive as well. Silverman told red carpet correspondents that her breasts are two different sizes. Since this is usually considered a "flaw" in women's bodies, her words about the reality of her own chest did wonders to combat boobie shame.
4. Gabourey Sidibe's Fierceness
Gabourey Sidibe is my body positive role model, and her look from the 2014 Emmys was so fierce. Quite frankly, any woman of size who shows up on a red carpet being unapologetically herself is body positive in my book.
5. Kit Harington Admits To Being A Nudist
At the 2014 awards, Kit Harington from Game of Thrones confessed to Giuliana Rancic that he's a nudist. What could be more body positive than loving your body in its natural form? I love Harington's frank honesty and want to see more genuine interviews like this one.
6. When The #LikeAGirl Commercial Won An Emmy
Do you remember that amazingly powerful Always ad campaign #LikeAGirl? Well, it turns out that it's won the 2015 Emmy for Best Commercial. If you aren't in the loop, the video asks girls and boys to do various things like running and throwing a ball "like a girl," to prove the double standards maintained in athletics between men and women. This is a win both for feminism and body positivity.
7. The Inside Amy Schumer Song "Girl, You Don't Need Makeup" Winning An Emmy
"Girl, You Don't Need Makeup" from Inside Amy Schumer has won the Creative Arts Emmy for 2015. The song examined how the "no makeup" movement is built on hypocrisy, and instead celebrated women's natural beauty.
8. Amy Poehler's Smart Girls Taking Over The Red Carpet
Sexism and body shaming on the red carpet may soon be coming to an end for good, thanks to Amy Poehler. As of 2014, Amy Poehler's Smart Girls teamed up with the Television Academy to change the types of questions women on the red carpet are asked. Those who use the hashtag #SmartGirlsAsk will be able to ask the Emmy red carpet walkers intelligent questions for themselves.
9. Gina Rodriguez's Emmy Campaign
CBS and the CW put together this amazing campaign to promote the TV show Jane the Virgin for the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy nomination. This quote was actually by Rodriguez herself, said when she won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series at the 2015 Golden Globes. I love that CBS and the CW chose this quote about not having to fit the skinny standards of Hollywood to promote the series, which is incredibly empowering for Latinas, and all women.
10. When Hayden Panettiere Redirected Questions About Her Pregnant Body
Hayden Panettiere was asked on the 2014 Emmy red carpet about her pregnancy cravings and quickly redirected the question, like a champ. Ugh, all pregnancy-related questions just need to stay off the red carpet for good.
11. When #AskHerMore Took Over The Red Carpet
In 2014, The Representation Project created the social media campaign #AskHerMore to encourage interviewers to talk to their female interviewees about more than just their dresses and hairstyles. It was not only mega successful, but went viral, and opened up the floodgates of exposing sexism on the red carpet. Yay for valuing women for more than just their bodies.
12. Taylor Schilling Shuts Down Breast Objectification
This was such a cringeworthy moment, but Schilling handled it like a red carpet pro. At the 2014 show, Access Hollywood's Billy Bush asked her a really sexualized question about her dress being taped to her body, presumably so that she wouldn't have a nip slip. Schilling acknowledged that everyone had already seen her nude on the show and then said, "Let's not talk about that," to redirect the conversation. Boom.
13. Melissa McCarthy Winning An Emmy
Melissa McCarthy won an Emmy in 2013 for her role in Mike and Molly for Best Comedy Actress. It was a such an empowering moment for fat women everywhere. To see someone like us up on stage winning a prestigious award felt totally validating.
Here's hoping there's much more to come in 2015.
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