Seeing Double [Standards]

If you’ve been on the Internet within the past few days, you have surely seen the picture of Selena Gomez looking flawless in a satin red bandeau and skirt combo at the premiere of her new film, Transylvania 2. And if you’ve seen her solo picture, you’ve also seen the picture of Gomez with her two co-stars, Adam Sandler and Kevin James, who looked less than put-together for the red carpet.

The dissonance in this photo almost needs no explanation: a gorgeous young starlet is all dressed up, but is flanked by two actors who looked like they have just rolled out bed. Because of the striking difference in appearance between Gomez and her male counterparts, the Internet has erupted with claims of sexism and the presence of a double standard in Hollywood. In my opinion, this is yet another example of a double standard that manifests itself not only in Hollywood, but also in other areas of life.

Last year, an Australian TV news anchor made headlines for wearing the same navy blue suit everyday on air. The anchor said he pulled the stunt in support of his female co-workers who have had to endure comments and criticism from viewers about their appearance. After wearing the same suit for a year, the anchor found that no one made a comment about his wardrobe, saying, “No one has noticed; no one gives a sh*t. But women, they wear the wrong colour and they get pulled up. They say the wrong thing and there’s thousands of tweets written about them. Women are judged much more harshly and keenly for what they do, what they say and what they wear.” This anchor’s experiment proves that sexism is not reserved for the stars of Hollywood; it is present whenever people (women, specifically) are delivered to the forefront of society.

It seems that any female in the public eye is subject to criticism based on appearance, while men rarely face comments on their outfits or their looks. How many times have we heard of a man being criticized for the way he styled his hair, for his choice of blazer on a red carpet or for a blemish on his face? Never. But how many times have women been criticized for these very things and more? Nearly every day. There is clearly a double standard present – women need to look flawless in order to dodge criticism while men can seemingly get away with anything without fear of comment.

However, since this photo of Gomez, Sandler and James has made its way around the Internet, the tables have turned; it is the men this time that are facing the criticism for their appearance. And although men in general don’t deserve to be the subject of public scrutiny just as much as women don’t, this is probably the first time such criticism has been voiced toward famous men based on their appearance.

Because of the stark dichotomy between Gomez, Sandler and James, the double standard revealed itself in a very uncomfortable way to the public, and sometimes, discomfort breeds change. To me, this photo might be the catalyst we as a society need to at least begin to tackle this double standard; we are all clearly talking about the photo and everything that’s wrong with it, so maybe this will lead to a discussion on how we can fix this issue as a society.

Agree? Disagree? Either way, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop me a comment below!



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