Did Kristen Stewart remove her shoes in protest at Cannes?
On Saturday night, 82 women climbed the steps of the Palais des Festivals at the Cannes Film Festival, in a protest march drawing attention to the fact that just 82 women directors have showed their films at the festival over its 71 years. For context, 1688 men have had the same honour.
Why are these stats so? Have only 82 women climbed those steps because of the structural problems facing women in the film industry, or because walking up steps in stilettos is hard?
It's the structural problems within the film industry. Duh.
But, those stilettos were not mentioned solely in jest. Cannes has attracted attention in the past for its reported “heels-only” dress code for women.
The dress code made headlines in 2015 when a number of women were reportedly denied entry to a screening of Carol, starring Cate Blanchett, because they were in flat shoes.
So, it was perhaps an act of protest as well as practicality when Kristen Stewart stopped in the middle of Cannes red carpet on Monday to take off her Louboutins before attempting the steps.
The actress and Chanel ambassador, who is a member of the festival jury, stopped in the middle of the red carpet for the festival premiere of Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman, to take off her shoes and walk up the steps barefoot.
Kristen Stewart poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of the film ‘BlacKkKlansman’ at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 14, 2018.
Kristen Stewart removes her shoes at the premiere of the film ‘BlacKkKlansman’ at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 14, 2018.
Kristen Stewart walks the steps at the premiere of the film ‘BlacKkKlansman’ at the 71st international film festival, Cannes, southern France, Monday, May 14, 2018.
Whether they have been forced to wear heels by the organisers of an event or have simply been given a pair by their stylists, steps are an unwelcome obstacle for most women on the red carpet.
Yet, they are strangely common. As stars arrive for the Met Gala, an event where wearing a nativity scene on your head or a dress with a 10m train is considered a bit of a bore, they must first contend with the steps leading to the Met's 5th avenue entrance.
Award show stages, too, tend to involve a staircase of some kind, as Jennifer Lawrence discovered at the 2013 Oscars.
Stewart's move was celebrated by fans on social media.
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