This week Anne Hathaway had a wardrobe malfunction (for want of a better phrase.) The paparazzi were there to capture it. Incase you managed to miss it, she was photographed getting out of a car in a tight fitting dress, without underpants, at the premier of Les Misérables.
The image went viral.
Anne Hathaway has since spoken about the incident. I love what she had to say;
It kind of made me sad on two accounts. One was that I was very sad that we live in an age when someone takes a picture of another person in a vulnerable moment and rather than delete it, and do the decent thing, sells it.
And I’m sorry that we live in a culture that commodifies sexuality of unwilling participants…
I have read articles on the incident. Some saying how well she handed the situation. Most, however, also go on to say it could have been avoided if she wore underpants. And this is where the articles lose me.
There is a tone of oh dear you silly girl, tisk. You really should have remembered to wear some underpants.
Once again, the focus is taken away from the photographer who took and sold the image, to the woman and what she did wrong. Which if you ask me is nothing.
Her Les Mis premier outfit is dramatic and tight fitting. I am fairly certain Hathaway is not the first or last woman to wear a tight dress without undergarments. I’ll be the first to admit I have.
Anne Hathaway has also been quoted as saying:
I was getting out of the car and my dress was so tight that I didn’t realise it until I saw all the photographers’ flashes. It was devastating. They saw everything. I might as well have lifted up my skirt for them.
But she did not lift up her skirt, she got out of the car in a tight dress in an awkward way.
It was devastating for her, but apparently that is of little consequence if someone can make a quick buck selling the images, or belittling her with patronising copy masquerading as (bad) humour. Article writers thought it witty to remind Hathaway to wear panties – a word I despise – or suggest she wears a number of different types of seamless or form fitting under garments to keep her otherwise flawless image intact. The we know better than she does mentality.
Just last week I saw form fitting underwear being sold in a department store that was without a gusset. Presumably so the wearer could go to the toilet without the need to extricate themselves from the tightness of control top, tummy sucking, thigh flattening underwear. There is was, hanging on the racks. If it is good enough for a department store to sell underwear without a gusset, it seems logical to me that it’s also good enough to wear no undergarments if one chooses. Without judgement. Without clear violations of privacy and a bit of good old decent respect for another human.
The question should not be why she did not wear underpants. The question should be why the image was not deleted. Why the image, clearly not taken with consent, is deemed news worthy. The question that should be asked is why, once again, a woman’s choice is questioned, and why, once again a woman’s body is not seen as her own.