When it comes to fashion-related upsets, the outage brigade is on an absolute roll this week.
First, it was the colour of the Duchess of Cambridge’s dress at the BAFTA Awards – dark green instead of black – that sparked a wildfire of fury on social media.
Then it was a picture yesterday of actress Jennifer Lawrence that elicited a response comparable to a digital riot.
It was a photo call for her new film Red Sparrow, that saw the talented thespian pose among her male co-stars on a terrace in London, on a chilly late winter’s afternoon.
The blokes were all rugged up in cosy coats and jackets, while Lawrence wore a plunge Versace gown with a thigh-high split.
No sooner had the photographer clicked his camera and a controversy was erupting, with cries of sexism, that she had been forced to freeze in a frock, that it was typical Hollywood double standards and the continued mistreatment of women in the entertainment industry.
The response was an overreaction, symptomatic of our growing tendency to become distracted by the unimportant and whip it up into a poo storm of epic proportions.
Can we please, in Lawrence’s own words, get a grip?
As she later explained, she selected that dress herself. She loved that dress. She wanted to wear that dress and doing so was her choice, and hers alone.
“This is sexist, this is ridiculous – this is not feminism,” she wrote of the furore.
“You think I’m going to cover that gorgeous dress up with a coat and a scarf? I was outside for five minutes. I would have stood in the snow for that dress because I love fashion and that was my choice.”
Can we please stop being offended on behalf of others? Can we all take a collective breath the next time there’s a sense that we should be outraged… and just not be?
There’s plenty going on in the world to be upset about at the moment. A woman’s dress isn’t one of them.
This article originally appeared on WHO.