There’s something you’re not allowed to wear on the red carpet at Cannes.
Imagine heading to the cinema in a tailored dress and ballet flats – only to be denied entry for not wearing heels. Well, that exact situation is going down in Cannes right now.
We can all agree that the very famous Cannes Film Festival is slightly more fancy than heading to a Sunday screening of the new Baz Luhrmann movie. There’s a red carpet and lots of cameras, for starters – so sure, a dress code is appropriate.
But you know what’s not appropriate? A new rule that, supposedly, requires women to wear high heels just to gain entry to films at the world-famous film festival.
The rule was reportedly applied to a group of women who were denied entry to Cate Blanchett‘s new film, Carol. The women excluded were apparently elderly and could not wear heels because of health problems.
When the rumour was tweeted, a festival attendee seemed to confirm the claim, saying the same thing had happened to his wife. The festival subsequently confirmed that heels are mandatory for all attendees of film screenings (that claim was later denied by festival head Thierry Fremaux.)
Even model Hailey Baldwin wore a single high heel on the red carpet, despite having a broken leg. Which looked more painful than glamorous:
Now, it's bad enough that women with health problems were allegedly footwear-shamed at Cannes. But here's the thing: no woman should need an excuse to ditch high heels.
It's the 21st century, people, and women are supposedly equals - in relationships, at work and yes, at glitzy, high-profile film events. So why is it that these painful, blister-causing, devices are still de rigeur for any occasion more formal than a Sunday barbecue?
Why is it that those contraptions - created for men, and commonly regarded as objects of sexual fetishisation because they elongate the legs and give the wearer a sexy wiggle - are an expected accompaniment to any woman's outfit at weddings, funerals, film premieres and even everyday workplaces?
Why is it that, if the rumours are true, women involved in film-making - who have to work bloody hard already to make it in an industry where they're already underpaid relative to their male peers - are then expected to don these hobbling devices just to sit through their own movie?
Medical professionals have issued countless warnings about how high heels mess with your legs and back. They also make it bloody hard to get up and down steps; leave you vulnerable if you need to run, should the occasion arise; give you blisters; and generally hurt like hell.