Cannes French Film Festival and the Heel Hegemony

Published by: Shannon West

The 2016 Cannes French film festival has been criticized for mandating that attendees must wear heels to events in Cannes. Reports from ScreenDaily say that festival officials confirmed that it is “obligatory for all women to wear high-heels to red-carpet screenings.” However, Cannes director Thierry Fremaux tweeted that the rumors were solely “unfounded.”

But according to the Telegraph, producer Valeria Richter was repeatedly stopped by festival officials because of her shoes, despite the fact that she had part of her foot amputated. She was eventually allowed entry to the premiere, but multiple women who tried to attend the event were turned away due to their shoe wear. The controversy at Cannes has given women the reason to speak out saying that women should be able to wear whatever they wish, especially for the sake of comfort.

Valeria Richter

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Kristen Stewart certainly went against the dress code as she chose to make her own fashion statement at Cannes. She broke the Cannes dress code, first arriving in heels and then walked out of the premiere in sneakers. She later on argued against the lack of inequality at the festival by stating how ridiculous it was that she had to wear heels but her [guy] friend didn’t.
Now, it can be understandable that Cannes is a festival that holds itself up to a higher aesthetic value in its fashion. However, it’s completely degrading to say that all women must wear heels, especially those who cannot afford to due to health problems. Seriously, making Richter wear heels even though she’s an amputee? That’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s sexist to think that women should wear heels because it will make them look better. Women should be allowed to attend formal events in flats if they so choose. The fact that Fremaux is denying this rule as well is completely absurd because this has been going on for years now at Cannes.

Heels Everywhere

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According to BBC, Wendy Constance, a children’s author who attended Cannes in the 1970s, tweeted the festival’s reputation was less starry when it came to women’s clothes. She said that rule about women not wearing trousers was changed forty-five years later. She also tweeted that women are expected to “conform” to wearing heels is ridiculous because although some women like heels, “a lot of us don’t.”
It’s amazing how long it took for women to be able to wear what they want in the fashion industry, so why is Cannes going backwards? The only fashion-forward festival that seem to understand this was Karl Lagerfeld’s spring 2014 couture show for Chanel. Everyone that modeled the outfits, no matter if they were dresses, business suits, skirts, shorts, or wedding gowns, wore sneakers. Lagerfeld’s comfortable shoe statement certainly made headlines in the fashion industry. Here it is folks: Cannes values the fashion aesthetic more than women’s rights to comfortable show wear. Apparently, Cannes certainly has its reputation up for being sexist jerks, so maybe celebrities should ban Cannes instead for its appalling prejudice against women.

It goes on

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