As of late, it seems like body positivity is all anyone can talk about. It's become a sort of buzzword — something tacked onto articles or actions to make things sound more relevant or politically correct. The danger of this, of course, is that body positivity can begin to lose its meaning — its progressive, activist core. But at the 2015 Emmy Awards, there were some body positive moments worth highlighting nonetheless.
While it's difficult to know whether someone is doing something with feminist or body posi or self love motives behind it, I honestly think anything that normalizes and even celebrates elements of existence that have been marginalized, objectified, or targeted in any way is body positive. Whether that means stepping outside in a crop top and short shorts as a plus size woman, refusing to conform to ideals of "femininity," trumping notions of "aspirational" beauty, or living by the mantra that age is just a number, breaking any kind of socially ingrained "rule" tied to aesthetics and "beauty" is always going to be body posi in my book.
The Emmys in particular have a history of being body positive. From celebrating plus size women both on stage and on the red carpet to pointing out the ridiculousness of feeling like you have to wear makeup, the awards show has long been a source of body love. At the 2015 event, this remained true.
1. Women Over 30 Rocking Cut-Outs
Wearing anything with cut-outs — especially ones placed anywhere near the tummy or side tummy — is a feat I'm sure is difficult for most when you consider just how afraid we are often made to feel about our bodies. At tonight's ceremony, however, women over 30 rocked the cut-out trend flawlessly — from Laverne Cox to Amy Poehler to Allison Janney. Not only did they remind us that life doesn't stop once your 20s are over, but they reified the notion that you can continue to rock whatever the hell you want for as long as you want.
2. Allison Janney Admitted That She Carries Blotting Papers
When accepting her award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Allison Janney tossed away her blotting papers, simultaneously admitting that, you know, her skin isn't perfect. Blotting cloths and papers basically suck up the oil from your face, and having oily skin isn't exactly a beauty-related trait we're told to aspire to. By refusing to be unapologetic about, erm, being human, Allison Janney reminds us all that it's perfectly OK to sweat or have greasy skin. And yes, even if you're a woman.
3. Danielle Brooks' Rule Breaking Dress
As a plus size woman, I'm pretty familiar with all the "rules" set for my body type: Don't wear bright colors. Don't wear maxi dresses. Don't wear anything that's going to totally hide your silhouette nor anything that will hug it too much. Don't have any fun with your wardrobe. Ever. That's why Orange Is The New Black's Danielle Brooks' dress is so special to me. It breaks every single rule, and as she turns and spins and glides, she looks like an ethereal body positive hero.
4. Kate Mulgrew's Halter Top
Kate Mulgrew will forever be Captain Janeway in my heart — probably because both actress and character seem so independent, confident, humble, and at ease with themselves. And Red? Well, don't even get me started. At Sunday night's Emmy Awards, Mulgrew opted for a halter top. It's a design I hear women of all ages claim not being able to "pull off" because of the level of exposed shoulders and chest. At 60, Mulgrew proves that every single sartorial rule in the book is meant to be broken.
5. Sophie Turner's Pant And Top Combo
If there's one thing red carpets seem intrinsically tied to when it comes to their female attendees, it's the gowns. Dresses in general are linked to constructs of femininity. Like most clothing, they've become gendered. But words like "femininity" and "masculinity" and everything we associate with them are totally subjective — and, in some ways, totally useless. For the 2015 Emmys, Sophie Turner said goodbye to Sansa Stark's wardrobe and hello to something way more androgynous. She dressed her body in a way that made her comfortable, for whatever the reason. And that's definitely body posi.