Rose McGowan: The red carpet can be like 'visual rape' (Guest column)

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My experience on the red carpet has been a journey of defiance, then one-of-a-kind acquiescence and finally a refusal to play by invented rules passed down through an aged system. Who says I need to have my hair and makeup professionally done? Who says I need to pay someone to make me look like an odd beauty pageant version of myself? The selling of a self I do not recognize, to publicize a self that wasn't me, stopped making sense. Whether it is known to those inside of Hollywood, it looks very antiquated.

One of the last red carpets that I did, the Entertainment Tonight correspondent asked me if I, like Cate Blanchett, felt it was inappropriate for the camera to pan up and down my body. I told her that it felt like visual rape. I'm fairly sure my response didn't make it to air. The whole reason #AskHerMore exists as a hashtag says more about media idiocy than anything else. Red-carpet "reporters" should consider just being semi-intelligent and not making every question one of inanity. Maybe then we could be beyond a hashtag.

It's highly unlikely that I will walk a red carpet this awards season, but if I do, I will do my own makeup and dress. I'm an adult and I've known how to for a long time. Here's the secret actresses and actors need to know: So can they. Hollywood hair and makeup people tend to make actresses, myself included, look like Trump contestants. Not a good look. Actresses are just brainwashed and part of the machine. They don't realize they don't have to be. I don't think Hollywood has ever seen the likes of me.

This story first appeared in the Sept. 23 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

Miley Cyrus also recently made a big declaration about red carpets:

Read more: Red Carpet in the Age of Feminism: "It's All So Double-Edged"


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