In 2015, a key theme of many films presented at the Cannes film festival was gender equality. In 2015, the Cannes film festival faced controversy and caused a backlash because women were barred entry for not wearing high heels - a dress-code policy that was denied by Cannes' director who later apologised for the "over-zealousness" of his security guards (via). One of the women was Valeria Richter who had been stopped four times by officials before she was finally allowed in (and who cannot wear high heels for medical reasons) (via). Asif Kapadia's wife had also been stopped before she was eventually let in, others were rejected and could not enter at all (via).
"I've taken my heels off as a feminist statement really, because why do we wear them? They're so painful. And pointless, really. You know, I really would like to urge everyone to stop it. Just stop it. Don’t wear them anymore. You just can't walk in them, and I’m so comfortable now."
Emma Thompson at the National Board of Review awards gala 2014
"I just wanted you to know, this red, it's my blood."
Emma Thompson about her Louboutins, barefoot and with martini in hand, at the Golden Globes 2014
And Barbie? She will finally be able "to walk without teeter-tottering on feet that are permanantly arched." The new line "Barbie Fashionistas" (a more diverse collection with 14 different skin tones, 18 eye colours, and 23 hair colours) features ankles that allow her to have flat feet ... and shoes, i.e., the ankles can be adjusted to accomodate both flats and heels. Apart from flat shoes being en vogue at the moment, "freeing her of the tyranny of permanent stilettos might be the most powerful symbolic move". In the past 56 years, Barbie stayed away from flatforms. With her new feet, she can also be more athletic, comfortable and strong (via). But will she be able to get into Cannes next year?
Asking Mariel Clayton who turned Barbie into a psychopath: "Why Barbie?"
"Because I hate Barbie. I intensely dislike the stereotype that the “ideal” female fits no current authentic female form. You can’t get to be Barbie without an ocean’s worth of peroxide, 27 plastic surgeries and a complete lack of intelligence, so it irritates me immensely that this is the toy of choice women give to their daughters to emulate.
At least with boys’ toys like GI Joe and Action Man, these were characters that had personality, depth and purpose, worthy of real imaginative storytelling. Barbie has nothing except clothes and “being a girl,” but what is being a girl? Being a vapid shell (...)? Playing in your kitchen or changing outfits for the umpteenth time so “Ken” will think you’re pretty?
My first picture with Barbie was actually of her committing suicide in the tub, after Ken had dumped her for another man — my wishful thinking on the end of evil influence. I’m not sure why it ended up being Barbie killing Ken, if I am to be honest — I think it’s because I find it really damn funny. Behind the vacuous perpetual lipsticked-smile and soulless eyes lurks the black heart of the true sociopath, just like in real life. I think it finally makes the doll interesting, and I like that contrast between saccharine sweet and pure malevolence."
Related posting: Barbie & Ethnic Marketing
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