A few hours before stepping onto the red carpet at the 87th Academy Awards last year, Reese Witherspoon posted a pink photo to Instagram with a series of questions. “What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken that you feel has paid off?” and “If you could play any character in any movie, who would it be?” are among them. She tagged the post #AskHermore and with it, joined a movement of female celebrities and allies who are asking red carpet interviewers—and the world at large—to put aside their obsession with the way women look and start listening to what they have to say.
The hashtag was conceived by documentary filmmaker and actress, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, and The Representation Project, in response to the way that female celebrities are often only asked one question on the red carpet: “Who are you wearing?” It’s a valid question, for sure. Celebrities borrow or even get paid to wear gorgeous gowns in exchange for saying the designers’ names on the red carpet. And designers and stylists deserve credit for the creativity and ingenuity that go into making the iconic looks that impact culture.
But when that’s the only question they’re asked, it’s a missed opportunity to get to know women. They should be treated as more than inanimate hangers with pretty things on them, just as their male counterparts are most of the time. The hashtag campaign prompts us to think about how we look at women, how we judge them, how we value them and how we interact with them as opposed to how we interact with men.
#AskHerMore exploded at the Oscars, garnering 25 million impressions in one night alone and it’s been going strong since.
❤️ this movement #AskHerMore..have you heard of it? It’s meant to inspire reporters to ask creative questions on the red carpet. I love the Oscars AND fashion like many of you – & am excited to share #WhoAmIWearing later tonight. (🙊not yet!!) But I’d also love to answer some of these Qs….And hear your suggestions?! (Share em below!) There are so many amazing, talented nominees this year..! Let’s hear their stories! Spread the word. #AskHerMore #Oscars #Countdown
Amy Poehler and her girls advocacy group joined the movement at the Golden Globes.
Julianne Moore proved that all it takes is the right question and a few seconds to shed light on a vital social issue at the Oscars.
— Upworthy (@Upworthy) February 23, 2015
ESPN scored big at the ESPYs when it upped its question game for female athletes.
The hashtag popped up again when British political candidate, Liz Kendall, was shockingly asked about her weight in an interview in the Guardian this summer.
— Liz Deken (@LizDeken) July 21, 2015
Women’s opinions and thoughts have value. Women are funny. Women are smart. Let’s talk to them. Let’s get to know them. Let’s ask them more. Learn more about #askhermore at The Representation Project: therepresentationproject.org