Flats Fall Flat At Cannes

Flats Fall Flat at Cannes Carol Premie

If you’re anything like me, you probably own around 90 pairs of flats and two pairs of high heels: one pair black, and one pair nude, and they both go with anything. The flats you own will go through a fairly regular rotation, and the heels stay in their boxes in the back of your closet, gathering dust until they’re absolutely needed. And if you are going to the Cannes Film Festival, they are essential.

Cannes came under fire recently when it was reported that they denied entry to some women for wearing flats on the red carpet. And Cannes looks even worse when you find out that some of the women had medical conditions that prevented them from wearing the sky-high heels that are a red carpet staple (and, apparently, a necessity).  The worst part is that Cannes staff confirmed that heels are a requirement for women who wish to step onto the red carpet. Because god forbid we don’t all look like waifish giraffes. The ‘offending’ women were asked to leave and to return when they had purchased appropriate footwear. What?!

We found this even more interesting considering it all took place at the premiere of “Carol”, a lesbian-themed film featuring Cate Blanchett and Roony Mara

I can understand requiring fancy clothes for the red carpet: that is a given. But if you’re wearing a gown and your feet are mostly covered anyway, who the hell cares what’s on your feet? Unless you’re quite visibly wearing flip-flops, footwear shouldn’t even be an issue at an event like Cannes, or anywhere else, for that matter.

One of the main themes of Cannes this year is ‘gender equality’, and for all the good things Cannes is trying to do (like having a female director for the opening film, the first time since 1987), their policies on dress code are, sadly, outdated and terribly discriminatory.

Thierry Frémaux, the director of the Cannes Film Festival, went immediately to Twitter to try to do some damage control. “The rumour saying the festival insists on high heels for women on the red carpet is unfounded,” he tweeted. Which seems odd, since a decently-sized group of women have reported similar cases of being denied entry to the festival based on their less-than-sky-high footwear. Thierry Frémaux may not think the policy is in place, but his underlings seem to have been enforcing it rather strictly, having accosted one woman a handful of times throughout the day and harassing her about her flats, only to find that she actually could not wear heels due to a partial amputation on one of her feet. From what I was able to gather, no apology has been issued from Frémaux or Cannes about the issue, the festival choosing to remain tight-lipped for the time being.

Host all of the female celebrity-laden panels you want; fighting against inequality means nothing if you don’t believe the women who are speaking out.