Women in Hollywood are in the public eye in a magnified way during awards season. For women over 40, who experience plenty of ageism in the entertainment industry on a regular basis, the red carpets of awards season can become a place of ridicule. Susan Sarandon's cleavage baring outfit broke the internet in 2016, when people slammed her for wearing a black lace bra under her white blazer. It appeared that people didn’t know how to handle seeing an older woman dressed confidently and looking sexy. It also sent a clear message: Pushing back against age expectations can result in tons backlash — but luckily, the women over 40 at the 2017 Golden Globes still weren't afraid to do it.
Stars like Tracee Ellis Ross, Felicity Huffman. Sofia Vergara, and Goldie Hawn rocked cleavage and plenty of skin, a trend that made the red carpet and ceremony feel markedly different than it has in the past. At the 2016 Golden Globes, for example, stars like Jamie Lee Curtis and Judith Light covered up. They looked amazing, but the bare-it-all vibes of this year's Globes could mean the start of an awards season when women over 40 take more risks — and that's something to get excited about.
Interestingly enough, baring of skin on the red carpet went hand-in-hand with strong, powerful statements made by the same women. Ross wore a sensual, figure-hugging dress to the Golden Globes. Not only did she dedicate her award to all women of color, but she also said that she was happy with her age and her career. "It's nice at 44, I like it here," Ross declared during her acceptance speech.
Huffman wore a fierce jumpsuit with plenty of cleavage, and her look wasn't just about looking good at every age — it was political, too. During the red carpet, Huffman told the Hollywood Foreign Press red-carpet host, “I got a pantsuit in honor of Hillary. Love you, Hillary. I’m with her.”
Ross and Huffman's comments felt particularly compelling, especially coming from the same night they chose outfits that some might say are "inappropriate" for women over 40. The idea that women can be happy with their lives over 40 — not to mention speak their minds and be celebrated for it — feels surprisingly fresh. It wasn't just the vocal attendees, either. Sarah Jessica Parker's cleavage-baring white dress and braided updo was a bold look — the kind of thing that the 51-year-old actor rocks frequently. Forty-four-year-old Sofía Vergara radiated confidence in her gold outfit, the cut out shoulders sweeping attention to her cleavage.
By wearing these looks, these women proved that no matter what age you are, the time for amazing, bold fashion (not to mention plenty of skin) never really passes. Hopefully this sets us up for a 2017 award season where actors of every age continue to wear — and say — what feels best for them, not what society tells them they should.