Tuesday, January 18, 2022
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Are We Too Harsh On Celebrities?

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Model and reality star Kendall Jenner recently filled the role of maid-of-honour at her best friend, Lauren Perez’s wedding. However, instead of focusing on the happy couple, social media users chose to focus on Jenner’s black form-fitting, cut-out dress, designed by Monôt. 

Many believe that her choice in attire was incredibly risque and went against the rules of proper wedding etiquette. According to critics, the biggest unspoken rule one must keep in mind when attending a wedding is to avoid doing anything that could upstage the bride and groom. Jenner disregarded this notion when she wore a skin-bearing dress to the wedding reception that many deemed inappropriate as it looked like Jenner’s intention was to steal attention from the bride. Meanwhile, some Twitter users defended Jenner and her outfit choice. 

One user on Twitter stated, “Why are so many people pi**ed about the dress that Kendall Jenner wore? She used that dress during the after-party and not the actual wedding. And y’all are saying she’s an attention-seeker???? You guys are GIVING her the attention. Make it make sense (sic).” 

The reality is, a celebrity as well-known as Jenner is going to stand out no matter what she’s wearing. The argument that her dress stole attention from the bride lacks substance.  

Regardless of what one deems to be proper wedding etiquette, the criticism Jenner is facing over her attire is excessive, and serves as an observation of the extreme harshness the media has on the miniscule actions of celebrities. The fact of the matter is that the general public tends to focus more on tearing apart celebrities for the smallest of things while ignoring more evident problematic circumstances they have been involved in. 

For instance, Jenner has been known to participate in cultural appropriation. This year Jenner was accused of appropriating and profiting off of Mexican culture to promote her new Tequila brand, 818 Tequila. 

Although plenty of people took to pointing out the problem with her promotion of the brand, the coverage and criticism she received remained on a minimal scale. Meanwhile, the amount of backlash people are sending her way over her wedding attire exceeds the responses given over the former situation. 

Another example of a similar case was the public’s responses and critique of singer-songwriter, Taylor Swift. Swift has been guilty throughout the years of performative activism and her lack of acknowledgement of the intersectionality of gender with social class, race, and sexuality. Her unproductive allyship and awkward performativity in her songs or social media presence are certainly deserving of constructive feedback. However, rather than calling out her imperfect activism, the criticism towards Swift seems to mainly be focused on people’s opinions on her dating life. Haters of the singer-songwriter are willing to look past the aspects of Swift that should be critiqued, and instead have a variety of comments to give about who she’s dated in the past and present. 

The focus on her dating life rather than substantial mistakes is not only blatantly sexist, but reflects society’s flawed methodology when criticizing celebrities. 

Everyone has room for improvement and deserves to face constructive criticism, including celebrities. Given the platform and privilege they have, it’s important to hold them accountable for their actions and remind them that they are not exempt from making mistakes. However, in the grand scheme of things, what one wears to a wedding is undeserving of such harsh and excessive criticism. Instead, our energy should be focused on providing feedback that is actually useful and relevant to the overall bettering of people. 

Lourdes Enriquez is an Opinion Contributing Writer. She can be reached at lienriqu@uci.edu.