Runway or award ceremony? Quit clutch cams and focus on talent

Sophia Mackey, Reporter, Artist

After every award show, opinions fill the Internet and fads appear on store shelves, evaluating women on their award show outfits rather than commending them for actual awards. The minute after the ceremony ends (and sometimes before the last award has even been presented), best and worst dressed lists flood the Internet, and suddenly these award ceremonies become runway shows.

While admiring celebrities’ extravagant outfits play a major role for some viewers, the articles posted afterwards barely discuss the fashion anyways. Instead, these articles act as a battleground for famous women. Often times the media creates unnecessary tension and spite between women who wear the same outfit. Publications seem to grade the women as homework assignments and pit them against each other to judge who wore the ensemble better rather than applauding both for their accomplishments and individual style choices.

This harsh judgment overshadows the reason these women attend the award shows in the first place: to gain recognition for their performative talents. A woman could discover a cure for a terminal illness, and magazines would still probably judge her on whether her skirt matched her eye shadow and shoes.

Take Lena Dunham as an example. While she hasn’t found a cure for any illnesses, she writes, directs, and acts in her own award-winning television show, Girls, and now writes books on the side of her already-jam-packed career. Despite all of these massive accomplishments, when she arrived at the Emmys for her due recognition, magazines laughed and judged her for the pink layered tutu she wore. Her accomplishments wrongly played second fiddle to her suspect style choices.

Reputations can be easily damaged as a result of the mindless fashion criticism. These celebrities work for practically their entire lives to reach the point they are at now. Then, when they succeed, their work comes down to one specific outfit at one specific award show, as if that defines how hard they worked and continue to work.

For a much more captivating article about the Emmys or the Oscars, magazines should focus on certain celebrities’ struggles and accomplishments. These articles would run on for pages and gain more credibility, not to mention viewers as fans of celebrities would read and share these stories. This superior form of journalism would shine positivity onto an unnecessarily negative topic.

Next time an awards show comes on, dismiss the importance the media places on  fashion and acknowledge that these celebrities’ dedication and talent finally won them an Emmy.