March 8th was International Women’s day.
The day commemorates the movement for women’s rights and has been celebrated since 1917. Though the first Women’s day observance was held in New York in 1909, the world has adopted a day where a demonstration of women textile workers covered the whole city of Petrograd in the Russian Empire.
This was the very start of the Russian Revolution.
International Women’s day is a day to celebrate the progress and encourage further advancement into equality.
Believe it or not, seeing women as corporate bosses or valuable employees is still a fairly new concept in America; only sixty years old actually. I started thinking about the equality and advancement in the business I hope to break into: Hollywood.
There is no doubt that there is a double standard in Hollywood.
Men come with success and are seen in all shapes and sizes. Women come with success and are seen as the usual beauty, and lets be honest the beauty is a thin, young, white women.
Please believe me when I say I do not mean to hate on other women by any means.
I just want to state that male stars range from tall, dark, and handsome to short, thin, and awkward and everything in between; while searching for variances in the women side of Hollywood..not so much. It is much harder for a woman to break into Hollywood if she does not fit the bill.
The thought of needing to be a traditional beauty dances around my head quite often and I can’t say I’ve never felt discouraged because of it; but hope still burns in me.
Trends in Hollywood are slowly turning on itself. Movements like #AskHerMore and discussions on Photoshop images are becoming more relevant. Slowly the image of the traditional beauty is being revoked. Women are beginning to star in roles such as adventurers and geniuses while the damsel in distress roles become less popular. Not only are the roles changing but so is the idea of being a simply being a traditional beauty. Actresses are demanding for equal pay and representation in Hollywood.
Just to stress again: the change is happening slowly.
It may take many more years for women to be as diverse as men in the industry. But, I do believe that change has begun. Meryl Streep has spoken out about rejection due to her type instead of her talent. Viola Davis has made it known that her role in How To Get Away with Murder was one of the first roles that she actually went against her “type.” Contance Wu, star of Fresh Off The Boat, has spoken out against white washing roles into the Hollywood “traditional beauty” way.
I hope to forward that change of equality as well.
I am inspired by those who have defeated the type cast. I look up to these women. It is my passion to tell stories. I shouldn’t have to worry about needing to fit a certain type my whole life.