Amber Rose’s Slut Walk
Amber Rose has emerged as one of the most fascinating pop culture figures of the year because society tells us that women like her (multi-racial, former exotic dancer, rapper baby mama) are supposed to be disposable. Amber Rose refused to kowtow to the “gold digger” critics and owned her narrative with her first book, How To Be a Bad Bitch, and the first annual Amber Rose Slut Walk, where she tearfully forgave Kanye and her ex-husband Wiz Khalifa for denigrating her for being an ex-stripper.
Jennifer Lawrence’s Lenny Letter Pay Gap Essay This year, Lena Dunham added “digital publisher” to her growing empire with Lenny Letter, a feminist e-newsletter she co-founded with her Girls partner, Jenni Konner. One of the most high profile pieces to date was Jennifer Lawrence’s essay on the Hollywood pay gap, and Lawrence’s frank admission that the threat of being perceived as difficult and spoiled made her a poor negotiator (a sentiment many women can relate to). Having an A-list actress speak publicly about uncomfortable topics—money, sexism, gender inequality—advanced a conversation that is long overdue, and certainly not just in Hollywood.
Had a new shoot come out today and was shocked when I found my 19 year old hips and torso quite manipulated. These are the things that make women self conscious, that create the unrealistic ideals of beauty that we have. Anyone who knows who I am knows I stand for honest and pure self love. So I took it upon myself to release the real pic (right side) and I love it😍😘 Thank you @modelistemagazine for pulling down the images and fixing this retouch issue.
A photo posted by Zendaya (@zendaya) on
Zendaya’s Photoshop Rebuff In February, December cover star Zendaya made headlines for her mature, measured handling of Fashion Police’s Giuliana Rancic implying the teen’s Oscar dreadlocks “smell like weed and patchouli.” How women are portrayed in the media is an issue Zendaya pays close attention to, so when she was Photoshopped for a magazine spread, she took it upon herself to release an unedited image, explaining that she neither needed nor wanted her image manipulated. She preaches, and she practices.
Related: Read Our Zendaya Cover Story Now
Gigi Hadid’s Open Letter to Body Shamers
What came first, the comment section or the troll? Either way, it’s infuriating to see the negative and nasty comments that are so casually thrown at female celebrities. Newly minted supermodel Gigi Hadid got tired of the anonymous fat-shaming posts (fat shaming a Victoria’s Secret angel… seriously?!), and took to Instagram with a body-positive message for herself, and a message for the haters: designers don’t care what you think, and neither do I.
2015 saw the demise of E!’s much-maligned “mani-cam” (but not before celebs like Elisabeth Moss had some fun giving it the finger). But it wasn’t just manicures that were the problem: many actresses felt that red carpet questions were focusing too much on fashion, leaving little room for a more substantive discussion. Reese Witherspoon brought attention to #askhermore with on Instagram, and support quickly poured in from powerhouses like Shonda Rhimes, Amy Poehler and Lena Dunham. But the movement isn’t without its plot holes. Actresses and actors work closely with stylists to create attention-grabbing looks in the hope of scoring more publicity for their work, so should asking about a bold sartorial choice be off the table? And why is fashion—a complex and important topic—such a conversational faux-pas anyways? Is #more necessarily more? To be continued in 2016.