We are all Jenny Beavan.
The Oscars this year was interesting. There were accusations of white washing which led to people boycotting because of the lack of nominations for black actors. Then there were the winner’s using their power to advocate their causes, from climate change to the refugee crisis to sexism to racism. All of these are extremely important causes but do you know what really pissed me off? The reaction from the audience when Jenny Beavan won an Oscar for best costume design.
Jenny hasn’t had a great month. Instead of being recognised for her multiple wins for the costume design in Mad Max, she’s been in the papers about the negativity she’s received about her appearance.
Stephen Fry referred to her as a bag lady at last month’s Bafta’s and now she’s seen all the folk who didn’t clap for her plastered all over the press. Yes they started clapping as she got to the stage but that is not the point — The looks of judgement and disgust spoke a million words.
Now, here’s some information for you. Jenny Beavan has been nominated for 10 Oscars and won 2. She’s been nominated for 11 Baftas and won 3. She’s worked on numerous films including Mad Max, Gosford Park, both Sherlock Holmes films, Jane Eyre and Sense & Sensibility…Just too name a few. The woman is a costume design genius and has been recognised for her immeasurable talent over and over.
And these peoplethink it’s okay to judge her based on her appearance?
When Jenny Beavan was asked by The Telegraph about the recent drama she had this too say — ‘I am very happy to talk about it. I don’t do frocks and absolutely don’t do heels, I have a bad back. I look ridiculous in a beautiful gown. This was a homage to Mad Max and I obviously didn’t get it quite right at the Baftas, the scarf was meant to be an oil rag. This is Marks & Spencer with Swarovski at the back, I had a bit of a shoe malfunction and the glitter fell off. I just like feeling comfortable and as far as I’m concerned I’m really dressed up’.
She took the criticism like a champ and who am I, or you, or anybody to judge her? Jenny was comfy, knew that it would suit her and she thought she looked like a rockstar — Which she did. In a world of glitzy glamourous gowns and women who might not have had a meal that day, it was really refreshing to see.
I think a lot of women have been where Jenny Beavan was at the Oscars. Whether it’s the school bullies taking the piss out of the way you dress, your boyfriend saying he doesn’t like the top you’re wearing or people sniggering in the street as you walk past them, I think the majority of us can put our hands up and say we have been judged purely on our appearance at one point or another.
Sadly chances are we can also probably say we have taken the piss out of someone else for what they are wearing which needs to stop. It’s hard enough to get by in this day and age without being unable to express yourself through what you wear due to fear of being mocked.
So next time you see someone in rainbow flares, chains and spikes or a too short dress don’t laugh to yourself. Praise them for not giving a fuck and being true to themselves.
In a nutshell, all I’m trying to say is that a lot of people were enraged by the reaction of the Oscars audience and a lot of people can relate — We have all been Jenny Beavan at one point in our lives.
Let’s just try not to be the Oscars audience eh?