By Kerri McGuire
Famous women have been known to deal with sexist people who come in all shapes and sizes. It is one thing to stand your ground against someone sexist, but to also keep a cool head while being interviewed by one. Here are some famous women and their fierce attempts to both stand up for themselves and educate others about stereotyping and sexism.
Scarlett Johansson is most well-known for playing the famous character Black Widow in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She has had her fair share of sexist and frankly creepy questions in interviews. One that stands out is an interview she did back in 2012 while on a press tour for the film the Avengers. She was there alongside her CoStar Jeremy Renner who plays Hawkeye in the film.
One question seemed to irk Johansson, which was about her undergarments in terms of her costume in the film. She mentioned in the interview that she had been asked this question many times and was shocked that she was even asked in the first place. She went on to explain that she could not wear any clothes underneath her Black Widow costume as it was as tight as a wet suit. Although the interview went on, you can see in her face that she is slightly uncomfortable.
Back in 2015, singer and actor Ariana Grande was interviewed by DJs at L.A.’s Power 106 station in promotion of her album Moonlight. She had many things to talk about in terms of her career, however, the interviewers seemed to take a different approach with their questions.
The question was about whether women could go longer without using their phones or makeup. She refused to answer the question, simply stating that she did not believe that women had these troubles and that the interviewers needed “a little brushing up on equality”. She also said that women and men can all learn from each other. There were also some sexist remarks made about certain emojis that women use.
This is not the first time that Ariana Grande has shot down sexist questions in interviews.
In 2017, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles was on the popular American Reality show “Dancing With the Stars. After finishing one of her performances, she was faced with harsh comments from the judges. They said she was too stiff in her movements and that they wanted her to experiment more with her dancing. However, the sexism came when the host of the show, Tom Bergeron, questioned her.
He asked her why she did not smile at any of the comments made by the judges. She said: “Smiling doesn’t win you gold medals.”
Her statement can be backed up by the 19 gold medals that she has won in her career so far.
At the 2015 Grammys, singer Taylor Swift was interviewed and asked about the dress that she was wearing. Right at the start of the interview, Entertainment Tonight reporter Nancy O’Dell asked if she could get a full shot of the dress she was wearing, which included a shot of her legs.
She then asked Taylor Swift if she was going to go home with more than her awards. It then led on to her saying that she would be walking home with lots of men. Taylor seemed shocked by this implication and said: “I’m not going to walk home with any men tonight. I’m going to hang out with my friends and then I go home to the cats.”
She then went on to say that men get her in trouble and the conversation moved on to Taylor and her friends.
In February of 2021, actor and singer Zendaya was interviewed by Vanity Fair for the yearly Hollywood Issue. Part of the interview was about her love life, with a question about what qualities she looks for in a man. She managed to move the interview away from her sexuality and love life by talking about good qualities that she looks for in all people.
She said: “There’s this little spark they have, or this little special thing that they have, that just you feel safe and happy around them.”
Fans of her were quick to back up what she said and show her support. They loved that it was inclusive to both genders.