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Red Sparrow photocall proves Hollywood is a very cold place for women

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Kayleigh Dray
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The internet is incredibly angry about these “quietly depressing” pictures of Jennifer Lawrence and her Red Sparrow co-stars.

Jennifer Lawrence wore a glamorous velvet Versace gown to the Red Sparrow photocall in London on Tuesday (20 Feb), alongside her male castmates. 

While there’s no denying that she looks fierce AF, many have pointed out that her red carpet attire left her rather vulnerable to the winter elements. Joel Edgerton, Jeremy Irons, Matthias Schoenaerts and director Francis Lawrence, though, rugged up for the 3 degree climes with shirts, boots, jumpers and thick, heavy coats.

These photographs of Lawrence and her male co-stars have since sparked a debate online, with many people suggesting that the image highlights the differences in how men and women are treated in Hollywood.

“This is such a quietly depressing (and revealing) image. Not least because I’ve been outside today and it’s bloody freezing,” tweeted one user, later adding: “True equality means either Jennifer Lawrence getting a coat, or Jeremy Irons having to pose in assless chaps.”

Another, punning on the lyrics of Mary Poppins’ rousing feminist anthem, Sister Suffragette, wrote: “Coats for women! (and a good pair of tights).”

The comments didn’t stop there, either.

One wrote: “And just because she’s a woman she has to show skin and that gets dollars rolling in? Wow so much equality and non-oppression.”

Another shared the images into their newsfeed, remarking: “For those of you dreaming of a career in showbiz…”

And still one more said: “At least the guys look really embarrassed.”

However, there were those who were quick to defend the images – and many pointed out, fairly, that there’s every chance Lawrence wanted to wear this dress and look fantastic.

Elsewhere, others claimed that Lawrence had been given every opportunity to say no to wearing the dress… y’know, despite not being involved in the discussions or decision process whatsoever.

“[The men] look embarrassed for her because I’m sure she can afford to buy a coat. I’m sure she knew what the weather was like before she walked out the door. Seriously.”

Another said: “She gets to wear Versace for free. In return she models it. Yeah she’s outside. Yeah she’s probably cold but all of us have aspects of our jobs we don’t like. I’m not losing sleep over it. There are worse jobs.”

However, Helen Lewis, a London journalist, has come back against these comments with a blistering reminder about how “difficult” it is to be a woman in Hollywood.

Quoting an interview from Lawrence herself, in which the actress said she can’t always “stand up for myself” because it gets her branded “difficult and a nightmare”, Lewis wrote: “Who knows how many other things she’s already said ‘no’ to? This is the stuff that gets you branded ‘difficult’.”

Her message has been retweeted a whopping 383 times in under 24 hours – and counting.

Yes, maybe Lawrence wanted to wear the dress. Maybe she didn’t get the memo and thought this was a more formal affair. Maybe she really did forget to pack a coat. But maybe, just maybe, she is contractually obligated to show up for photo calls in full glam instead of a loose weave sweater.

No wonder, then, that Anna Brüggemann has been using the hashtag #NobodysDoll 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 premier.

“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.”

Images: Rex Features

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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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