Blake Lively and the “double standard”

Lainey Posted by Lainey at September 20, 2018 20:15:26 September 20, 2018 20:15:26

We have discussed extensively on this site how clothes, style, and fashion are part of the work of Hollywood. Extensively. The Hollywood Reporter now publishes an annual Power Stylists list, featuring celebrities and their stylists, and how they put together looks to promote their projects, highlighting the hard work of the stylists, the thought that goes into a press tour wardrobe, or a television character’s clothes, and how a celebrity’s style strategy can lead to more work, particularly for women – and in securing the kind of work that results directly from their clothing, it allows them more freedom to wait for and choose the kind of acting or producing or directing work that they feel most strongly about. 

You are probably tired of me writing about that all the time, pointing out all the instances when fashion is both art and work because you get it, you get it and you don’t need it repeated. But you know what? Not everyone gets it. And you know who may not get it? Blake Lively

Last year, Blake Lively “popped off” at a reporter at the Variety Power of Women event when she was asked about her outfit on the red carpet. Blake was pissed because she felt that it was an inappropriate question on an occasion when she was honoured for how she was leveraging her power to do good in the world outside of acting. The point I think she was missing is that – as we have established, EXHAUSTIVELY – more and more women have turned style and fashion into power and part of the reason she has power and can redirect it towards causes she’s passionate about is because she has the privilege of her public image, which has been built in part on the way she presents herself. And her style is one of the ways she presents herself and expresses herself. 

Duana and I discussed this on an episode of Show Your Work. Here’s what Duana said at the time – and she’s still right: 

“She doesn’t know what she’s reacting to. Just that she’s supposed to/allowed to be indignant and ‘important’”.

And it happened again. 

As you’ve probably seen, Blake is currently promoting A Simple Favor. She has only worn suits on this press tour. It’s a deliberate style statement. And it’s related to the character she plays in the movie. Great. That’s what we’re talking about when we say that the fashion is part of the work. So when Catherine Kallon of Red Carpet Fashion Awards posted a photo of one of Blake’s suits on Instagram recently, she mentioned that this was one of many, many suits that Blake’s been wearing lately….and, for some reason, Blake took exception. Here’s how Catherine breaks it down on her site:

Following her Ralph Lauren look, I joked on Instagram that Blake was wearing her 1,356 suit of this promo tour to which – much to my surprise – she responded “Would you note a man wearing lots of suits during a promo tour? So why can’t a woman? Just sayinnnn. No double standards ladies.” This came a quite a shock considering I have loved pretty much every look during this promo tour, and that I have said repeatedly that I have admired her commitment to rocking suits throughout. I’m not sure of the actual number, but yet another suit was worn in the city of lights. 

??!!!???

And there’s more. When Catherine replied back to Blake, pretty much apologising even though she’d done nothing wrong for a joke that didn’t land, even though, um, most people seemed to get it, this was Blake’s response:

"Nothing but love 💚. I don't expect everyone to like it. Fashion that creates a difference of opinions is the fun part. I totally understand the missed humor. I do the same thing sometimes. Just lookin' to encourage women to do what men do without being teased for it. 😊👍 Yes, even in a space as material as fashion. It all starts somewhere...♥️♥️ and everyone's voice counts."

What the F-CK are you talking about?! What double standard? What is the teasing!?  

Were people not supposed to notice that you’ve been wearing a lot of suits? She herself has talked about why she’s been wearing suits. And director Paul Feig also talked about her suits

Where is the double standard? Were we not supposed to notice that you’ve been wearing a lot of suits? She herself has talked about why she’s been wearing suits. And director Paul Feig also talked about her suits

"We invented the look when we were putting the movie together, back in one of our first meetings with Renée Kalfus our wardrobe designer," Feig said. "As we were finishing up, putting everything together, I had seen a couple of pictures of her in suits, then she contacted me and she said, 'You know what, I'm just gonna keep going with the suits to help promote the movie.'"

HELP.
PROMOTE.
THE.
MOVIE.

Wearing suits to promote the movie. 

So we were not supposed to notice the suits and connect them to the movie? And then go see the movie? Isn’t that working? 

Why, then, can’t a fashion blogger point out one of the suits and how many of the suits without being accused of acting by a double standard? 

Why? 

Because, again, as Duana said:

“She doesn’t know what she’s reacting to. Just that she’s supposed to/allowed to be indignant and ‘important’”.

Check out Blake Lively yesterday, wearing a suit, while promoting A Simple Favor in Paris. Which we are apparently not supposed to mention. Even though the suit is part of the aesthetic of promoting the movie. So please… don’t pay attention to the suit? 

Up next – Sarah’s favourable review of A Simple Favor. With no mention of any suits – because our eyes can’t see them and aren’t supposed to mention how many of them there have been. 

(Thanks Kate!) 
 

Photos:
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