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Brie Larson wore a low-cut top on TV – and misogynists lost their s**t

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Kayleigh Dray
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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 02: Brie Larson attends the 2019 LACMA Art + Film Gala Presented By Gucci on November 02, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)

The Captain Marvel star is once again trending for “gross sexist objectification reasons”, and are we really not above this yet?

Brie Larson – feminist, award-winning actor, Stylist guest editor, and all-round awesome human being –hosted Jimmy Kimmel Live on ABC last night. She chatted with Jamie Foxx and Molly Hopkins, deftly tackled the elephant in the room that’s the new Cats movie, and proved herself to be an incredibly witty and charming talk-show host. 

Unfortunately, though, a lot of people on Twitter didn’t want to focus on any of that. Instead, they made a point of acknowledging the fact that – newsflash – Larson has breasts.

Posting a drooling emoji, one man tweeted: “Brie Larson guest host Jimmy Kimmel my god.”

Another added: “I can’t stop thinking about [Brie] on Jimmy Kimmel.”

However, buried among these and the other (less savoury) tweets, came a timely reminder from one of Larson’s fans.

“Brie Larson is trending for gross sexist objectification reasons,” they pointed out, “so let’s make it trend instead because she’s awesome, a great actress, and made MRAs and incels online lose their goddamn minds this year.”

It’s not the first time that this has happened. In 2017, Larson wore a khaki jumpsuit with a low-cut neckline as she sat down on The One Show sofa with her Kong: Skull Island co-stars, Samuel L Jackson and Tom Hiddleston.

Disappointingly, daytime TV viewers (and we use the term ‘daytime’ incredibly loosely, as the show aired at 7pm) couldn’t handle it. At all.

“Ummm, that’s quite a lot of breast for 7pm on a Wednesday,” wrote one.

Another added: “Why is it acceptable for some actress to sit on prime time TV showing her bloody chest – show your talent, not your breasts.”

Yes, they really described the standout star of The Room as “some actress”. Yes, they really called it her “bloody chest”.

And the comments grew even more incensed and ridiculous from then onwards.

Some even went so far as to praise The One Show host Matt Baker for maintaining eye contact with Larson throughout the interview, suggesting it is perfectly acceptable for a professional male presenter to do away with treating women like intelligent human beings and, instead, ogle their cleavage.

At the time, Larson chose not respond to the ridiculous furore over her outfit. However, for her appearance on ITV’s Lorraine later that week, she opted for a high-neck number.

One infamous tabloid newspaper, clearly taking this as a sign that their misogynist bullying had done the trick, ran a picture of the actor underneath the headline: “She got the memo! Brie Larson covers up in a high-neck blue lace dress on Lorraine… a day after her controversial pre-watershed busty display”.

Thankfully, amongst the rampant sexism, were a few voices of reason.

“If Brie Larson upset you, get your priorities straight,” wrote one. “You watch The One Show, for fuck’s sake. Be more concerned about your life than what Brie wears.”

Another wrote: “If a woman wants to show off her boobs, let her do it, damn it. No one has the right to shame anyone.”

“Brie Larson is Captain Marvel,” pointed out another feminist. “She can wear whatever she damn well likes.”

Hear, hear.

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It seems thoroughly ridiculous that, in this day and age, women are still measured by impossible beauty and sartorial standards.

Earlier this year, one major fashion magazine announced that “the cleavage is over”, clearly assuming that women everywhere can pluck their breasts off and tuck them away under the bed until they’re fashionable again. President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has urged female staffers to “dress like a woman” – an incredibly sexist statement that sparked outcry on Twitter.

And it doesn’t stop there; women are constantly measured in terms of cup size, dress size, weight and thigh circumference, hair colour (woe betide any woman who dares bare her greys), and makeup application (we’re slammed for applying it on the train, for applying too much, and for not applying it at all).

Brie Larson on Lorraine
Brie Larson on Lorraine

This sort of judgement and criticism is primarily reserved for women, and it will always be there. Going back to Larson’s appearance on The One Show: nobody once looked at Samuel L Jackson and remarked on his outfit – in fact, in 2014, a male TV presenter wore the same suit every day for a year to see if anybody would notice

Spoilers: they did not.

By reducing a woman’s worth down to her appearance, we slyly diminish her role and her value as a contributor to society. People care far too much about how things look, rather than looking at how things are. And it’s high time that we speak out against this rampant sexism.

After all, if a bonafide superhero can’t get through a TV interview without having her appearance shamed on social media, who can? 

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Images: Getty/BBC One/ITV

This article was originally published in 2017.

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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