Have you seen the "Mani Cam" on E!'s past Red Carpet shows?
Yes, it was stupid; but it wasn't some sort of sexist, demeaning torture chamber for actresses.
From the New York Times:
At this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards, Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston made headlines, of a sort, by taking the revolutionary step of refusing to stick their paws in E!’s Mani Cam.
For anyone who has tragically missed this gimmicky red carpet arriviste, the Mani Cam is a camera-mounted box lined with red on which actresses are exhorted to show off manicures and borrowed jewels. Already armed with a “Glam Cam,” showing 360-degree views of stars’ outfits, E! rolled out the Mani Cam in 2012. And the host Giuliana Rancic instructed actresses to walk their fingers through it “like a runway.”
Results have been mixed. Jena Malone stuck her tongue out at it. Elisabeth Moss gave it the finger. Then came the three A-listers’ snubs, which CBS News reported as a “sign of a growing gender-equality push in Hollywood.” Which goes to show just how low the bar can be for what passes as a gender-equality push in Tinseltown.
As anyone who’s watched a televised awards show can attest, the red carpet is part beauty contest, part catwalk (emphasis on catty) and all gaming range, where viewers, along with paid hitters like E!’s “Fashion Police,” can gleefully excoriate celebrities — usually actresses — for their sartorial choices. As Hadley Freeman of The Guardian put it, “This is a strange pocket of the Western world where it is still deemed utterly acceptable to take smart, successful women and reduce them to beauty pageant contestants.”
On the one hand, it may be hard to drum up much pity for gorgeous, highly paid famous women who are usually outfitted in peerless haute couture at no charge. On the other, women quickly age out of Hollywood, are paid less than their male counterparts, are more likely to have their phones hacked and remain role models for some youngsters, all while being expected to attain mannequin-like perfection, making the red carpet’s indignities seem a little worse.
From the Washington Post:
[T]he world turned on the Mani Cam after the SAG Awards last month, when several high-profile actresses, including Jennifer Aniston and Julianne Moore, refused to play along.The Mani Cam revolt is a "watershed moment for red carpet shows"?
It appeared to be a watershed moment for red carpet shows, which have long been a place where female stars are scrutinized much more harshly than their male counterparts. The stories swiftly rolled in.
Are you kidding me?
Hey, actresses! Hey, Hollywood! What do you think these award show events are anyway?
They are entertainment, which is your business. It's all silly. It's all just totally superficial, ultimately meaningless bits of amusement.
The red carpet is a fashion show. Celebrities trot around in couture dresses and don millions of dollars in jewels. If they don't want to participate, then they can stay home. I'm sure they can avoid the red carpet stuff if they want. Attendance at the Oscars or any other awards show isn't mandatory.
Are these whiny celebrities objecting to scoring Oscar swag bags?
And how's THIS for a consolation prize? A $1,500 VIP tour to a private sea salt preserve in the south of France (La Baleine).Being a celebrity is really rough, isn't it?
Not to mention a $14,500 luxury train ride across the Canadian Rockies (from Rocky Mountaineer).
For those who might otherwise lose their way, there's a $150 silver necklace -- inscribed with the GPS coordinates of L.A.'s Dolby Theatre (from Lat & Lo).
And for those who are REALLY having trouble finding their way, there's a $20,000 gift certificate for a session with "Enigma Life" founder Olessia Kantor, who teaches "mind control techniques" and discusses horoscopes and dreams.
And the list goes on and on ... everything from $280 worth of maple syrup products (from Rouge Maple), to an $8.99 bag of Dunkin' Donuts coffee.
Perhaps most perfect of all: Each disappointed star gets his or her own personal star from the International Star Registry; that's a $127 value.
There's much more besides, all adding up to a swag bag worth at least $125,000 ... on which, keep in mind, recipients will have to pay taxes.
No swag bag for the actual Academy Award winners, however. They'll just have to content themselves with ... an Oscar.
What courage it took to refuse to do the Mani Cam! What great role models! I feel so empowered now that the Mani Cam is no more!
Bottom line: If the Mani Cam and "red carpet indignities" are too much for the pampered celebrities to bear, then maybe Hollywood should consider dropping the awards and "Hollywood's biggest night" crap altogether.
I think the Hollywood egomaniacs take themselves way too seriously.
Inside The $125,000 Oscar Gift Bag