When there is one rule for me, and another rule for him…
Once Upon a Time there was a talented actress. Her skill and beauty won her the hearts of generations, and she reigned over their television screens, laptops and iPads as Queen, or “Khaleesi” [Kah-Lee-Sea}, Daenerys Targaryen. But despite exuding regal authority in her role, and being known for paving her own path, actress Emilia Clarke is just as much a slave to the double standards of social-expectation as the rest of us.
Game of Thrones actress, Emilia Clarke, was half way through her list of public appearances for the promotion of her upcoming film, Terminator Genisys—released in Ireland 3rd July—when she slipped and suffered a stress fracture injury. The young actress struggled on, and made every one of her scheduled appointments with crutches and a smile.
The media went wild, praising her from a height for her bravery and her skill of wearing high heels while on crutches. ENTERTAINTHIS! gushed
“let’s just admire how chic the girl looks — in heels! — on a pair of lame crutches.”
Pic from OC Images
While The Daily Mail choose to say
“Even more impressive was her choice of chic black heels to walk around in, no easy task when one is relying on crutches.”
All media outlets seemed to follow the same; ignoring the fact she needs two people to help her from a car, and despite describing her movement as “hobbling”, they congratulate her “bravery” wearing heels.
Now hold up! Just hold that thought for a second. The woman is on crutches for an injury. What would you do if your daughter came downstairs in heels while on crutches? You would send her right back up those stairs and call her an idiot for putting her health at risk, that’s what! Sure can’t she look just as gorgeous going out with her friends in a pair of nice yet supportive flats?
But Emilia Clarke is a famous actress, and with that comes the obligation to go through hours of hair and makeup, and to arrive in a designer outfit with matching, and just as expensive, designer heels—regardless of whatever ailment may be making this “duty” less than convenient.
And so, the media now bows down to Miss Clarke’s courage and skill, as she fights through the pain in the name of good style. The message being; if you’re a woman, appearances are more important than your health.
Pic from Seventeen Magazine
Terminator star Emilia is not the only actress to recently catch the media’s eye while promoting an upcoming film. This time, they noted what was wrong straight away. American beauty, Selena Gomez was splashed across every site and publication for her stunning attire while promoting Hotel Transylvania 2 in Cancun, Mexico. Where Miss Gomez dazzled in a scarlet two piece with a daring slit, nude heels and simple makeup, her co-stars Adam Sandler and Kevin James turned heads for quite the opposite reason.
The well-known comedians stood either side of her in ill-fitting t-shirts paired with shorts, sweatpants and sneakers. James wore a peaked cap while Sandler sported messy stubble. It is clear Selena had spent numerous hours preparing for her arrival at the exclusive event. In stark contrast to this, both men looked as though they had just rolled out of bed. Seventeen Magazine was one of the first to call them out, posting the inserted picture with the line
“These premiere pictures are a powerful reminder that women are held to an impossibly high standard of beauty that men just are not.”
If a picture says a thousand words, then this picture is the perfect summation of double standards between what is socially expected from women.
Pic from Internet search
The double standards between men and women do not end at fashion. Earlier this year, in an interview with The Wrap, Maggie Gyllenhaal revealed
“I’m 37 and I was told recently I was too old to play the lover of a man who was 55. It was astonishing to me.”
Unfortunately, this is nothing new in Hollywood, with women’s romantic roles having a much more limited lifespan than that of their male counterparts. However, it seems men gain a lot more sympathy than women in such situations. Many of you will remember a young Gwyneth Paltrow getting into trouble over comments regarding her co-star in The Perfect Murder, Michael Douglas. At the time, the 25 year old expressed her discomfort, playing a romantic role alongside a man
“old enough to be my father”.
Shortly after the film’s release, she stated
“Either I was too young for the part, or he was too old for it. I’m not surprised it flopped.”
Her comments were met with disdain, as the public’s reaction was not to empathize with her awkward predicament, but to condemn her for her ageist comments towards a well-respected actor. Douglas went on to say she was
“better known for her love life than as an actress”.
Gwyneth Paltrow and Michael Douglas in The Perfect Murder
Celebrities have it tough, but double standards enforced by social expectation is not restricted to those living in Tinsel Town. We are just as much the victim of it. Women being obligated to wear heels and have perfect makeup for work every day dare they appear “tired” or “unprofessional”…
Women being expected to be virtuous and pure while men are excused with the old phrase “boys will be boys”…
Women being expected to lose the baby weight, while regaining her strength and looking after a new child, despite the fact men don’t go through nine months growing a life inside of them…
All these little things that are so common place, we never think to speak up and say “NO! I don’t care what you expect of me, this is the reality and I’m OK with that.”
So please ladies, the next time you feel bound to do something you really do not want to do, because of social expectation, channel your inner Queen, and with flourish and a flick extend the royalist of all the finger and say “Double this!”