Red carpet revolution! Savvy female celebs are fighting back | Hadley Freeman

Awards season is upon us, but Emma Thompson and Jennifer Lawrence are done with inane questions and lecherous cameras

Celebrities are not known for their revolutionary spirit, what with barricades being everso hard to scale when one is accessorised with advertising contracts and publicity commitments, but I am particularly excited about the upcoming red carpet film awards, because I sense a revolution is imminent. Do you hear the people sing? Singing a song of angry men! It is the music of a people who will not be patronised by entertainment journalists again!

The Baftas are a week-and-a-half away and the Oscars – the royale with cheese of film awards – take place in less than a month. At the rate the revolution is currently building, I'll be disappointed if there isn't full-on bloodshed on the red carpet, with Daybreak presenters lying slain across Los Angeles, their last words a pitiful bleat of "so who are you wearing?!?!?!?", and E! TV's Ryan Seacrest's head impaled on the Hollywood sign.

The red carpet is ridiculous. Even I know it's ridiculous, and I often cover it for this fine newspaper of record (you're welcome, readers!). In the past two decades the red carpet has become, as the cliche will have it, "the most important catwalk in the world", with celebrities paraded on it like race horses while the public pulls up their lips and inspects their teeth and ridiculous entertainment journalists shout inane questions at them such as: "Oh my God, isn't this the most exciting night ever?!" (a direct quote, by the way, shouted last year at Julianne Moore who looked like she'd had more exciting times at the dentist.) The red carpet is an established part of awards events and, as such, it has various conventions that have been simply accepted. Conventions such as: talented women will be treated as mere mannequins for dresses; every inch of their bodies will be inspected more closely every year with devices such as E!'s GlamCam 360, which spins woozily around them like a drunken lech; a woman's choice of dress will be deemed as important as the quality of her work, and so on. The red carpet is a strange zone in the western world, one utterly untouched by feminism. Somewhat less uniquely, it is a place where there is a tacit agreement that both celebrities and public are idiots and will be treated as such by entertainment journalists.

But this is beginning to change. It had to. As anyone subjected to the inanities of red carpet TV coverage this year knows, we have reached peak red carpet. It's all just got too stupid and too hysterical, and there are too many savvy, funny women working in the industry to put up with this bullshittery any more, or to swallow the old line that any bad behaviour on the red carpet could destroy their career.

And so, rebellion is stirring. It began with lovely Elisabeth Moss at the Golden Globes last month being instructed by E!'s chief red carpet android Giuliana Rancic to show her hand to the "manicam", a special camera designed to inspect, yes, a woman's manicure. (Not an inch of female flesh shall be left unjudged!)

"There was something I wanted to do last time," mused Moss innocently.

"Do it! This is E!" chirruped Rancic.

So Moss duly did the right thing and flicked her middle finger. Twice. Rancic literally reeled. Since then, it's been chaos: after photobombing Sarah Jessica Parker at the Met Ball last year, Jennifer Lawrence gleefully photobombed Taylor Swift at the Globes this year and threatened to push her down the stairs ("That's so funny," Swift growled); Emma Thompson simply refused to wear high heels and turned up in flat shoes to the Screen Actors Guild awards (flat shoes! Quelle horreur!); Cate Blanchett magnificently called out the sexism of the red carpet when E!'s camera began its lecherous crawl over her body and she bent down and asked the cameraman, "Do you do this to the guys?" (Meanwhile, next to her, Giuliana Rancic – for it is she again – laughed gamely, but you can see her getting ready to say, "Yeah, but anyway, who ya wearing?!")

So this is what I fully expect to have happened on the red carpet by 3 March:

At the Baftas, Judi Dench and Helen Mirren will turn up together and not bother to talk to any of the paparazzi because they're busy (ie sharing a bottle of gin.) When Daybreak's Richard Arnold asks who they're wearing, Mirren will tell him to "get stuffed and show some respect to the Queens, little man". Emma Thompson will wear Fitflops and talk at length about how much they've improved her arse while Meryl Streep laughs at her and flashes her Spanx-free stomach at the camera. Cate Blanchett will force Andrea Dworkin's classic feminist tome, Pornography: Men Possessing Women, onto a BBC3 presenter while Jennifer Lawrence photobombs her.

By the time the Oscars come round it will be full-on meltdown. Victoria Beckham will rock up in a muumuu from Hampstead Bazaar, eating a box of Krispy Kremes and shouting "I don't give a toss!" Amy Adams will arrive in one of the pleasingly unglamorous outfits she wears in Her. When told only formalwear is permitted, she'll change into her dress from Enchanted. Sandra Bullock and Julia Roberts will forgo shaving their armpits and wave at the paps for a full hour. Heat magazine's fashion writer will tell Lupita Nyong'o that her dress "doesn't work" and she'll reply: "Yeah? And soon you won't either. Byeeeee!" Cate Blanchett will lead an anti-FGM march down the red carpet. Jennifer Lawrence will photobomb everyone.


Hadley Freeman

The GuardianTramp

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