Entertainers and politicians have erased the line that separated their professional platforms. Together, the two have joined forces when impacting national politics and creating solidarity movements within society. Celebrities in the entertainment industry have opened the door to using fashion to make more than a pretty photo for the paparazzi.
President Donald Trump gave his first State of the Union Address earlier this week. While looking into the crowd there was a large display of black outfits. A group of female Democrats planned to wear all black ensembles, to stand in solidarity with the recent “Me Too” and “Time’s Up” movement, which protests sexual harassment and assault within several industries.
It wasn’t just the Time’s Up pins and black attire that the State of the Union members wore to expand their platform. According to CBS News, there were an array of red “Recy” buttons, to recognize the death of Recy Taylor in 1944, purple ribbons to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic, migrating butterfly stickers to represent immigrants and “Dreamers” in the country and Kente cloth to stand in solidarity with people in Ghana, as well as represent the African continent in its entirety.
Jackie Speier, a Democratic Representative from California, told the Huffington Post that a sweeping culture change is taking over the country; one that congress has embraced.
The all-black dress code was first seen by celebrities at the 2018 Golden Globes, when the “Time’s Up” solidarity movement made its first appearance. The females in the entertainment industry made a statement without using their voice. When pictures from the red carpet covered every social media, more people began to use their own platform to expand the movement.
A few weeks later was the 60th Grammy Awards, which had both performers and attendees stand in solidarity by wearing a white rose. That same night, the Time’s Up Organization tweeted the “white rose symbolizes respect, pays homage to new beginnings and expresses hope for the future.”
An article in the New York Times said the dress code for the attendees to support the movement is an effective way to not only raise expectations of what clothes can say on the red carpet, but that attendees should use them to say something from the beginning. Pinning on sayings and phrases on their chest wasn’t getting the message out there.
Clothes are an expression of culture and show who we are as a society. Women, and the men who quickly followed, realized that if they want people to hear their opinions, their voices weren’t going to be enough. They all had to unite together, follow through with one big response, even if that included changing what they wear.
We all have a voice in society; some are heard while we push others back into the shadows. Celebrities in the entertainment industry are using their power to voice the opinions of those who aren’t heard. Members of Congress have used their political platform to echo the support of the “Time’s Up” and “Me Too” movements within the industry, putting the issue right in front of the president and the national spotlight.
With the Oscars soon approaching, it’s safe to assume the entertainment industry has already started planning a red carpet rebellion. Tune in March 4 to witness another potential, historical moment.