Recently, model and wife of John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, wore a black Yousef Akbar gown to the 2016 AMAs. The dress featured a striking torso-high slit above both sides of her body, meaning a large portion of her legs and hip bones were visible. The dress of course, is subjective. You may like it, you may not. The big ‘news’ however, was that Teigen’s dress meant any movement or breeze left photo ops that included glimpses of particularly body parts, causing some photos to be blurred out.
This happens on occasion to celebrities, particularly women. The expectation to wear extravagant, exciting outfits to every public event has become part of the celebrity lifestyle. And when these outfits are shocking, revealing or even make slip ups, the media have an utter frenzy.
Women in the limelight have been under ridicule for ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ for a majority of their life on camera. No celebrity female is free from the constant threat of paparazzi excitedly looking for any embarrassing moment to snap up on their cameras. This, of course, comes with the career, but it seems women in particular are getting the shorter end of the stick when it comes to public humiliation.
We’ve all seen them; a nip slip or what have you being caught on camera and printed on the front page of a magazine. While there is a definite decrease in the amount of unflattering photos (taken by what we would only call perverts in the real world) of celebrities stepping out of their car or relaxing by the beach, there are still plenty of paparazzi relishing in any opportunity to humiliate these women. Even a woman who intentionally shows her body off (say, Rihanna’s Swarovski crystal gown circa 2014) will still be susceptible to ridicule over her natural body.
In this case, Teigen has a dress that deems her ‘practically naked’, a comment that connotes shame and classlessness on the culprit, while greedy paparazzi pine over the opportunity to get a headlining photo. After the event, Chrissy Teigen took to social media to sarcastically apologise for offending anyone with her ‘hooha’.
So why do we care? Is it just some way to make ourselves feel better about not having celebrity status ourselves? Are we publicly shaming women because it makes ourselves feel better? Many people, including women themselves, take to the stage to name and shame any woman who feels confident and proud of their own body and honestly, it’s boring, lazy and uninspiring.
Whether your opinions on nudity are conservative or not, everyone deals with wardrobe mess-ups, no matter how careful they are. The full blown media-explosion over one dress seems nothing but unproductive. Let’s, instead, applaud Teigen for her daring dress choice and praise her for her confidence. A wardrobe malfunction isn’t headlining news, let’s stop being terrified of the female form and instead focus our energy on the more important things in life.