Tuesday, February 24, 2015

What's wrong with the #AskHerMore movement

Maybe you've seen or heard the hashtag "AskHerMore" on social media recently in reference to the red carpet interviews at award shows. It's a movement where women are beginning to call out the reporters and people who only ask them about who they're wearing and how their nails are done and so on. I'm all for asking women more important questions than just what designer they chose to wear and why, but I have to admit that I think the movement has some major holes in it.

Now hear me out: I feel this way because many of the women making these types of statements are still taking hours to pick out the perfect dress, do their hair, makeup, accessories and everything else. I think if women are going to be so offended to be asked about their dress and their nails, they shouldn't play into it so much. The red carpet has always been about best- and worst-dressed lists, who wore it better and what designers appear most on these celebrities. The red carpet is essentially a grand runway, and all of these women still play into it by spending hours to get ready, wearing the brightest dress and wearing million-dollar accessories.

And that's not a crime. It's fun! How many of us would love to get dressed up like that? It might be a little shallow, but I'm sure at least half of those people love getting glammed up for the big night. And I'm guilty of looking through all those best-dressed lists because I like fashion and I like to see all those different looks.

Do I think reporters should be asking more in-depth, important questions? Absolutely. But I don't think asking who designed their dress is a horrible question, and here's why: Some designer spent hours designing and creating that dress (I'm looking at you, Lupita). Many of them are custom-made, and it's just as much an art as anything else. Those designers deserve to get recognition for their creations, too, just like the stars are being recognized for whatever they've done. It's not like I'm watching to find out who made Emma Stone's outfit so I can go out and buy it — it's a sincere shoutout to the people helping those stars look so glamorous.

I 100 percent agree that reporters should ask better questions than these. They are notorious for treating women as if they only care about the fashion aspect. And this movement might be a good start. It's definitely garnering plenty of attention, and that's great. But my biggest question is why are we still allowing second-rate reporters to do the job? E! is not known for asking tough questions or reporting on actual news in a serious way. So are we really going to blame them for asking stupid questions? I have never liked E! or related programs, and I don't believe they count as real journalists because their mission is gossip. That means the question we should be asking is when will these award shows start working with real news teams to cover these programs? I think BuzzFeed would take them up on it.

Women definitely deserve to be asked real questions other than how long it took them to get ready and "Would you like to see your movie nominated next year?" (I mean, seriously? Is there more than one answer to that question?) I think there is still an audience for fashion-related questions, but it doesn't need to be all about that. All I'm saying is that we need to consider why #AskHerMore has become a necessary movement in the first place and how we expect it to change.

Related: Why "basic" needs to stop and The choice to have children.

(Image courtesy of Reese Witherspoon's Instagram)

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