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A resounding f**k off to all who branded Emily Blunt a diva at the Mary Poppins premiere

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Kayleigh Dray
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Emily Blunt at Mary Poppins Returns' European premiere on the 12 December

Apparently Emily Blunt is “not so sweet” for daring to go indoors when she gets cold, and seriously, what the f**k?

Emily Blunt is already receiving rave reviews for her performance in Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns. Indeed, the film isn’t officially out in UK cinemas until 21 December, but the actress has already received a Golden Globe nomination for her reprisal of the magical nanny – no small thing, when you consider the fact that Julie Andrews, who first breathed life into Poppins back in 1964, left such very big shoes to fill.

However, it seems as if the tabloids can’t deal with the concept of a ‘practically perfect’ woman. Which may go some way towards explaining why the Daily Star decided to run an entire article on Blunt’s “not so sweet” behaviour at the film’s European premiere on the 12 December.

“Emily was complaining to her assistant she was cold,” insisted the tabloid’s predictably scandalised sources.

“During her chat with premiere host Edith Bowman she moaned her hands were freezing but tried to laugh it off. [And], as soon as she walked down the stairs after the interview she was seen hissing at her assistant ‘get me inside now’ and they stormed inside.”

Right. So, if we translate all of that vitriol into, y’know, language employed by actual human beings, it seems Blunt committed the terrible faux pas of walking the red carpet in near-freezing temperatures and fulfilling her press duties, before going inside London’s Royal Albert Hall to warm up.

Someone alert the elders, please: Blunt’s gone positively rogue!

Some people have suggested that Blunt only has herself to blame for catching a chill. That she could have chosen a warm jumper and jeans combo over her formal gown. That she ought to have teamed her royal blue dress with a practical winter coat. That her male co-stars – Colin Firth and Lin-Manuel Miranda – wore suit jackets and nobody stopped her from doing so, too. That a shirt and tie combo isn’t really that warm, actually, and the men didn’t kick up a fuss (guess the gender of the person who filed this final comment, I dare you).

Maybe all of the above is true. Maybe. But it’s also just as likely – more likely, even – that Blunt is contractually obligated to show up for her (unheated) red carpet premieres in full glam instead of a loose weave sweater. 

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The red carpet is a notoriously uncomfortable place for women. Cast your mind back, for example, to February 2018, when Jennifer Lawrence was photographed in a glam Versace gown in 3 degree climes. Standing alongside her were her male castmates, Joel Edgerton, Jeremy Irons, Matthias Schoenaerts and director Francis Lawrence, all of whom were rugged up for London’s chilly weather with shirts, boots, jumpers and thick, heavy coats (the actress later insisted that it was her decision, and her decision alone, to wear the gown, thank you very much).

A couple of months later, in May, Kristen Stewart made international headlines when she went barefoot on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival. Stewart, who was a jury member at this year’s festival, kicked off her Louboutin stilettos in front of a bank of photographers shortly before heading in to the gala premiere of Spike Lee’s film BlackKkKlansman – no doubt a mark of her distaste for Cannes’ ‘ban’ on women wearing flats on the red carpet. 

And, just a few weeks ago, Beyoncé’s performance at the Global Citizen festival in South Africa raised eyebrows when Ed Sheeran stepped onto the stage alongside her. Mainly because she was dressed in a bespoke, sculptural fuchsia gown by Ashi Studio, and he’d rocked up in a T-shirt and baggy jeans. Naturally, the resulting images provided a much-needed social commentary about the way women in the public eye and men in the public eye are asked to present themselves. 

It’s no wonder, then, that Anna Brüggemann has been using the hashtag #NobodysDoll throughout 2018 in a bid to urge female actors attending film festivals to “ditch high heels and tight dresses” in favour of trainers and comfortable clothes.

“The red carpet is like a throwback to the Fifties,” she told the Guardian.

“Women are expected to squeeze into tight-fitting, low-cut dresses and totter on impossible heels in order to serve the gaze of those who’ll judge whether they are marketable or not. It’s time we had different images to look up to, of headstrong, unconventional women.”

Brüggemann said the #MeToo movement inspired her campaign. “It’s about asking when does a woman become that object that men feel they have the right to take for themselves, to decide everything from how she looks, to how low-cut her outfit is,” she said.

“When #MeToo happened, and all these beautiful Hollywood actresses said ‘it’s time for more equal rights and we should all be feminists’, I thought, well, equality begins when we women really stop thinking about our bodies as something we have to improve.”

She also pointed out the frequent outfit changes women are expected to undergo during a film festival or premiere.

“An actress friend of mine recently said she was fed up changing into at least four different outfits for the opening parties. She pointed out it was in that time the men were doing all the important business deals.”

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Yes, there’s no doubt that the red carpet demands a great deal more from women than it does men. But, as the articles about Blunt have since proven, it really does seem to be a case of “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. She played by the rules, she wore the glamorous gown, she braved the cold, and yet she was still vilified. She was branded a diva – one of the ultimate slurs for women – because she dared to admit that she felt the chill on one of the year’s coldest nights so far. She saw her character pored over and dissected by the press, solely because she dared to voice the opinion that she was a little bit chilly, actually, and might it be OK if she step inside to warm up.

I mean, really? Jesus. Surely, in 2018, it’s time we stop bowing down to the patriarchy’s skewed views and helping them to discriminate and bully our fellow females into submission. That women shouldn’t have to be so grateful to be on the red carpet that put up with discomfort/behave themselves/refrain from expressing any sort of human emotion. That we acknowledge the fact that women aren’t robots (surprise!). Because so what if Blunt wanted to wear that dress on the red carpet, and she loved it so much that she decided to wear it without a coat? That is her bloody prerogative, and doesn’t make her immune to the shivers. It’s mid-f**king-December, you guys, and the thermometer is at an all-time low. 

Above all else, maybe we should start f**king putting heaters out at the outdoor premieres if we expect Hollywood’s finest to walk up and down them dressed in chilblain-inducing couture. Just a thought. 

Image: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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